Empower Your Mom Friends One-Click at a Time!

Empower Your Mom Friends One-Click at a Time!

“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” Abraham Lincoln

Raising global children has become a mission many mothers have dared to take over in order to empower their kids with the knowledge and tools needed to succeed in a globalized world. It is such a sweet and time consuming endeavor, but worthy without a doubt.

I am one of those “mamás” working on preparing her children for a more peaceful and diversity aware future. And I’m loving it! 

But lately there is a question “living” inside my head that it refuses to move away. 

Who empowers those relentlessly active moms? 

How do we make sure that moms around the world receive enough support to continue the beautiful path of raising global children? 

Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, says in his book The Little Book of Lykke that “there is a four-point happiness gap between the happiest and unhappiest countries, and three points of these four are explained by six factors: togetherness or sense of community, money, health, freedom, trust and kindness.” How do we work together as women for women to procure these six relevant factors? 

Women empowered by social media. Photo credits for Pexels.com

After many thoughts and relentless nights, I have come to the conclusion that at this moment my most powerful “weapon” to promote happy moms is the Internet and social media contacts. If you are an “online active” mom that is registered in different social media outlets, then you are armed with this effective tool as well! 

Social Media Networking 

You only have to look at the rise of female influencers to see women calling the shots, changing the global conversation, and creating new careers and job opportunities from behind the screen of their computers, tablets or mobile devices.

Whether via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instragram, social media provides ready communities for women around the world. These outlets represent a great opportunity to “meet” other people with the same professional goals and to promote our ideas, products, and services in a fast and very low-cost way. 

Social Media Networking provides togetherness for women who have previously felt marginalized and powerless, being this the case of many moms in different countries. Let’s not forget that due to cultural or religious beliefs, expat assignments, trailing spouses, and motherhood, many moms find themselves isolated raising their children with no support of family and friends. 

“Social media outlets help mothers find a tribe and amplify their voice”. – Flor García

Empowering one click at a time 

Empowerment is a construct that links individual strengths, competencies, natural helping systems and proactive behaviors to social change. When we share with our Instagram audience the profile of other moms and their entrepreneurial skills, small businesses, ideas, and services we are becoming the voice and marketing solution for those whose experience could improve the life of many. Employers, recruiters and other entrepreneurs could benefit greatly from any of the talents offered by many moms online. 

How much does it cost to you to share somebody else’s business on Instagram? Think about it! And the pros for that mom with a new idea could be endless. Imagine how amazing to be an agent of change!

Promoting online can make the difference between a desperate mom and an emotionally healthy one. Which one do you think will have more energy to focus on raising world children? Money isn’t happiness, but it helps big time to focus our attention on what really matters. 

Therefore, an empowered mom producing income would be a great addition to the cultural awareness equation we want to promote at home. Also, it isn’t all about money, remember that empowerment suggest that individuals work with others (sense of community) to achieve goals (trust), efforts to gain access to resources (health and education) and some critical understanding of the socio-political environment of the place where we live (integration). 

Workshops, Webinars and Learning 

Many studies show that social media is contributing to women empowerment but there is still virtual gender gap due to lack of literacy, cybercrime and cyber bullying so many women are not able to fully utilize the new space and explore the many benefits of the World Wide Web. 

Here is when our expertise and academic knowledge play a relevant role in the fight for women literacy and independence. Have you thought about how much a mom can benefit from the knowledge and experience of other women? If you are an expert on areas such as entrepreneurship, cultural integration, diverse communications, arts, languages and web resources, the amazing power you have to enhance the lives of many moms is indescribable! 


Dare to offer online seminars or workshops, do it for a low-cost or free. Count it as your good deed for the month… or year. Jump into the wagon of helping other women. Become that mom willing to be an activist from the comfort of your own home. Generate awareness for social transformation favorable to empowerment of women, specially moms around the world. 

In conclusion, I leave these lines feeling a little bit better. I know that many of the women reading this article will find their way to support other women using social media and other online hubs as their tool for change. Please, don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. Empowering women online has been proved to be a powerful vehicle for raising women’s rights awareness and income equality for many moms around the world. 

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi
No More Mean Girls! Raising Strong Women Who Do Not Judge

No More Mean Girls! Raising Strong Women Who Do Not Judge

As a parent, it falls on us. To raise boys who respect girls.  We are aware of this need. But do we remember that we need to be raising strong girls who are respectful? Who grow up to be not judgemental of other’s choices and situations?

International Women’s Day is a wonderful time to bring this home! Raising women who celebrate other women.

I have seen it. You have seen it. Every so often, we come across women who don’t understand our choices. Their snark comments and sly compliments leave us gaping and disheartened. What reels us more though is that this person is a woman.

At an early age, we see it in play-yard bullying. As we grow, we see it in our “frenemies”, when we get older we see it the judgment of our #momlife. In India, we see it from older women. A subtle condescension of our way of life when compared to the hardships they have endured. Women very easily forget that they have been girls.

I saw a video recently, that said that girls are as aggressive as boys and that aggression only grows emotionally, with age. It is only more visible in boys in physical action. In girls, it’s all about how to manipulate and vent on those closest to us. Namely the friends. And this is actually true!

Counter Mean Comments

This is so important to teach our girls, the effect that their words have on those around them. Mean comments, back handed compliments and snark responses are so potentially harmful. A great way is the toothpaste method. You take a tube of toothpaste and ask them to take out some onto a plate. When they do, ask them to put it back. When they respond helplessly, explain to them that this is how words are. When you say things that are unkind, it leads to a mess and that cannot be  cleaned up no matter how much you desire or are sorry.

Ask your girl to compliment other girls as often as they can. Building others up and appreciating what other’s have is so very important to teach. Ask them to think about what they are going to say. Is it kind? Is it a compliment? Is it respectful? It is necessary to say? If not, it’s better to keep their comments to themselves.

No other time than now, to make sure our girls comprehend the ever lasting effect and consequences of words said in haste or spite!

Avoid Being Territorial

Girls, are very territorial. There is something innate within us, which protects viciously that which we consider OURS. Probably an instinctive thought that is a big part of our make up. This may be why we tend to feel threatened when our friends make new friends. But we need to impart to our girls early, that they need to be kind and nurture those we consider close to us.

A great way to do this is to be as social as possible yourself. By this, I do not mean parties every weekend but be friendly to every single person. Build your community with friends, acquaintances and strangers alike, caste, race, religion aside. The more our girls see US being open to new relationships, the more they open they will be.

Recognize Frenemies

Not everyone is a best friend. Little girls tend to think that every person they play with is their best friend. Specially if you have a people pleasure on your hands, who loves being the center of attention. This is what allows them to let slide a lot of mean comments passed by their so called friends. Relational bullying is the worst kind and our girls need to be able to identify that early. If your child is one, recognize and act on this instantly!

That comes from how we talk to them. Treating your daughter like a princess does not mean giving her the world. It means, teaching her to respect her herself and expecting nothing but kindness from those who surround her. And being okay with letting go of those who do not. I have spoken in detail about maintain friendships and teaching little kids to handle bullies in my bestselling book Strong Roots Have No Fear.

 

Be Mindful of Insecurities

Not happy enough. Not thin enough. Not fashionable enough. Just not enough. These insecurities make us do a lot of weird things. Women, from the time we are girls, are often fearful of losing what we have. We need to counter this by letting our girls know that they can depend on themselves for their happiness. Jealousy is possibly one of the most dangerous things to harbor within.

A wonderful way of this is to cheer for others in their joy. Often, parents seeing other child succeed worry about why their own child is not doing the same. Verbally. If instead of that, we rejoice in the success of others and use that to positively inspire us our girls will learn to do the same.

Breathe, Assess Before Reacting

A book I read recently, “Men are Waffles, Women are Spaghetti” spoke about how when women react to something, it is a reaction with a lot of history behind it. That women minds are intricate webs where everything is connected to teach other.

That really need not be the case. When some supposed infraction happens, we need to first see if it really has anything to do with us? Was the decision one for the person’s personal gain/needs or was it some way to hurt us? And even, if it was going to hurt us, is this really going to matter in 5-10 years time? This silly thing that someone has done that will soon become a thing of the past?

How do we impart this to little girls? By making them understand practically why they weren’t invited to a birthday party or a play date or why they aren’t getting something they really want. By focusing their thought process to think logically about they WHY of a situation. To teach them to see  the other side of a conversation or situation.

Often, when we grow we harbor resentment and use it in consecutive situations. That just leads to lot of build up.   Not every battle is worth fighting. Not every situation needs a reaction. Also, when you see your child being overly emotional about something and that time, bringing up other topics, make sure you bring their focus back to the situation on hand. Talk to her about how precious her tears are and how important it is for us to be mindful about what we are crying about.

Participate in Healthy Conversations

Everyone talks behind you. Again, this is an innate thing that happens between people. Not just girls. But there is a difference between gossip and unhealthy conversations.

Vents what happened to them and works on a solution to figure out how to better handle the situation. Unhealthy gossip is where people talk needlessly about other people’s lives, passing on rumors which are probably untrue or saying vicious things about someone just because they have been wronged in someway.

How do we teach young girls to not do that? When your child tells you something, be practical in your response to it. Divert their attention to how to better the situation the next time instead of calling up the other child’s parent and being aggressive. Recognize when children are being children and the consequence of your own actions before acting out.

Also, make sure your child knows the importance of keeping a friend’s secret. And that before passing on information, to be a 100% sure it is true. For a misplaced rumor is damaging and it all comes back to you.

Stand Tall

People, not just children are most susceptible to peer pressure. It all begins with what other kids have and just never ends.We need to teach our girls to be able to own their choices. To stand tall for themselves and for others, if need be. That we don’t need something or have to do something, just because another has it. Our actions are based on our family’s needs and the circumstances unique to us. This also helps build empathy and understanding of others, for everyone has their issues.

Give them ample respectful answers for things they are teased about and let them know we as parents stand behind them a 100%.

Make sure you read to them stories of friendship, love, caring and kindness.


 

If we want to raise girls who do not judge other, we need to first and foremost stop judging other women and celebrating them. Let those small things go and fight for what’s right.

What would you add to this?

Raising Girls Who Grow UP to Be Women Who Do Not Judge Other Women or Be Mean

It is Not Just "Boys Being Boys"

It is Not Just “Boys Being Boys”

The “Horror Movie” is back! Just like the Australian band the Skyhooks used to sing – “It’s the six-thirty news! Right there on my tv!”  It is irksome, maddening and frustrating when a I thought we could sit down together to watch the news, we catch a snippet of gangs harassing people, particularly women, being described as “boys being boys!”

A presenter, excusing this unlawful behaviour as boys always follow the leader!  Have they thought through the message they are presenting to our children, and society? Particularly, to the young men and women watching these stories unfold!

Please think before you speak:  Our children are listening!

Upon changing the channel over to a different news report because my young son does not need to hear how a woman standing up for her rights is facing formidable ostracizing.  No reprieve is forthcoming, in summary another reporter describing the bunch of hooligans as predators and then subtly suggesting an erroneous assessment as there were only questionable victims seeking justice (translation = young woman with their friends in the evening).

Then we come to the memes about the news story. My goodness, many feed into the very behaviour we wish to eliminate! Think! Children are watching! I wish people would be more thoughtful creating them.

People forget that children look up to them and are monitoring their actions. What happened to giving alms to the poor and protecting the weak?

What happened?

  • What happened to empowering those that would speak out and stand up for others?
  • What happened to the amnesty for whistle-blowers?
  • What happened that allows harassing and predatory behavior to be excused as “boys being boys”?
  • What happened to make it acceptable behavior to blame the victim?
  • What happened to justify “trial by media” developing as the only way victims may secure consideration?

The issues I fear are greater though – worrying about someone being falsely accused when there are symptoms of dis-ease infiltrating our society. This is what leads to the real fear our daughters may be assaulted!

Our children should be safe playing in the street, at the movies, going to a friend’s party, or shopping with a friend! We, as parents, grandparents and guardians of children should not have to second-guess our decision anytime we let our child leave our side.

I have again turned off the horror movie on the tv, but it had already had a resounding effect on my young son. I am now answering his questions, carefully, one by one.

Parenting young sons and a daughter does not need to become more difficult!  Mothers need to learn how boys’ brains work. Instinctively, we can make a reasonable guess on our daughters’ concerns.

Boys think differently. They act differently.

Before you jump up and down, there is science to support this remark. Boys hang out together – typical boy behavior mothers across the world encourage for developing healthy energetic sons. Honestly, their energy level makes me dizzy! Sending them to go rumble and play is a sanity saving exercise for mothers. I can channel my daughter’s energy into positive easily without the extra exercise because I am a girl.

Although, with two younger brothers “outside to play, please” works quite well for the time being. The exasperating, trial-and-error filled experience that ensue on occasion, for a mother finding the same positive distraction for her small sons does not leave one looking favorably on media who are not thinking through their remarks.

Small mischievous boys grow up to be kind caring young men whilst playing with their siblings and friends. Some enjoy playing soccer, playing chess, making cupcakes for afternoon snacks before dinner time, kidnapping the washing from the washing machine to hang on the line without being asked, and watching Star Wars movies, and the like, so that they can be discussed ad nausea.  Usefully engaging is the aim of the game here, and whether athletic or geeky these activities should be described as “Boys being Boys”!

Playing is how we learn the right way to do things so:

Let’s teach all our children, no matter how small, when someone says “No!” “Stop!” “I don’t like it!”, then it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure the game stops regardless of whether you are a boy or girl, and even if everyone was having fun the minute before!

Let’s stop small boys asking questions like “Do they think we are all bad?”

Let’s help our children are safe all of the time!

Let’s not use “Boys being Boys” as an excuse…

 

That Inherent Vicious Cycle That Causes Victim Blaming

That Inherent Vicious Cycle That Causes Victim Blaming

** Trigger Alert !

His hands slid down his brief case and before I knew it, they were on me. He pressed and pushed and groped. I sat stunned, unable to move. Praying for my bus stop to come. In a bus full of people, I was paralyzed. Voiceless. The bus stopped, finally. I rushed out of there, went home and told my aunt what happened.

Her response, “It’s your fault. Why didn’t you just get up?!” 

I felt like I had been slapped. Why didn’t I get up and leave? What had been stopping me? Nothing!

After this, I knew better. I would get up when I sensed a man reaching for me. Before long, I would turn around and snap at the people next to him. Or just turn away. Or worse, ignore and walk way.

From an innocent 17, I went to a 22 year old expecting men to assault me wherever I walked. In India, it’s a silent acceptance that this is a regular occurrence.

There is anger but NO surprise when men touch your inappropriately, lech at you, cat call or even masturbate in front of you.

This blind acceptance is one of the roots of all sexual assault. It is accepted. And so when such incidents happen, some people think, “It happens. Deal with it.” 

It is only after I’ve had a daughter that I have come to accept that a teenager, unless told how to handle a situation will not know how to react in any sexual situation. Be it assault or otherwise. My call to action in such situation was tell dad and mom, and that is what I thought I would do. That THEY (our guardians) would take action. And it is only recently, that I have come to question this blind acceptance.

No one says, THIS SHOULD JUST STOP.

Every group of girls sitting around has war scars of being assaulted. There are a lot of hows, but no whys. Moreover why is it that us girls are blamed for what happens to us? 

Our skirts. Our attitude. Our behavior. Our choices.  

Of all these, the only true reason for victim blaming is denial. Girls who are assaulted are blamed or not believed is because those who are doing the blaming are thinking, “This would NEVER happen to me.”

They are sitting on their high horse, thinking they are above it all. Either they have been through it, accepting it as something that happens naturally OR they have never experienced it, secretly hoping they never DO. For they are following some set para-dimes that they feel will keep them safe. 

Whereas the one and only solution to this is raising men with awareness. Raising women with empathy.

Today I understand that my aunt having two sons and being of a certain age had maybe forgotten the shame, desperation and disgust a girl feels.

I never forgot what happened. I also never forgot what was said to me after. About me. How it made me feel so much worse. For what the man had done was natural to him. But I had thought my aunt would be the one protecting me.

I never forget. Not because I have a girl. 

But because I have a boy, who is going to go out in the world. I have the responsibility as a mother, a woman and most importantly a human being to protect those around us to the best of my ability. To teach my son what it means to treat girls/women with respect. To tell him, what it means to be a good boyfriend. A great husband.

PASSING THE TORCH

 

A couple of weeks ago, he (now 7) said, “I don’t want to get married because I don’t like kissing girls. I don’t know why people have girl friends.”

I responded, “The best age to have a girl friend or boyfriend is when you are 20 because by then you have some understanding on how to be a good boyfriend or girlfriend. You have to care for them like dad cares about me. They are your responsibility.”

“Then why do teenagers have girlfriends?”

“Because some people think it is a matter of being cool. Sometimes you just like someone, and want to be around them more. But if you want to be a GOOD boyfriend, you have to know it is work, just like studying or being married. You have to be kind, gentle and loving.”

“Yuck! I don’t want to do all that with girls now. I think I will wait for when I’m old enough. “

Yes, there will be those out there who tell me he’s too young. But it is these very conversations that add up to a mentality in a society.

The only way to stop the vicious circle of sexual assault & victim blaming is to understand, that is is someone’s child who is going through something. It can happen to anybody. And this is not something that ANY VICTIM just forgets. It haunts them for the rest of their lives. And shows up in subtle ways. 

So, there is certainly nothing wrong when it haunts the person who does the assault either. That is what is called justice. We need examples for our children, that we can say, THIS is what happens when you take scar someone. And THIS is absolutely why when we put men in power who have disrespected women or stay silent when another is being assaulted/harassed, we exemplify this horrendous behavior which seems to have No consequence.

It is up to us, to be a gentle world. To believe. To act. To empower the children of tomorrow with kindness and respect.

To stand up and say, “No MORE!”

How are you stopping the cycle of victim blaming? What are you doing to STOP this vicious cycle of assault and blame?

Aditi Wardhan Singh is a mom of two, living it up in Richmond Virginia in USA. Raised in Kuwait, being Indian by birth she has often felt out of place. A computer engineer by profession, she is now a freelance writer and entrepreneur having founded Raising World Children and IndiFusion Creative Academy. Impromptu dance parties and trips to the library with her little ones are her ultimate picker upper. She provides tools to open minded parents to empower their children to raise positive, gracious, global thought leaders. She currently writes for the HuffingtonPost, Thrive Global, RMB and is author in “When You Are Done Expecting ”. Her own book Strong Roots Have No Fear comes out soon.

Strong Roots Have No Fear Book

Changing The Misnomer of Indian Feminism

Feminism in India

A few years ago I was returning home with a friend from a party at 9:30 pm. I was wearing a simple black dress which went till my knees, high heels and carrying a blingy purse. My friend was getting late so she dropped me at an intersection about a km away from my place.

The distance was not much really, but things had started closing down for the night. I must have reached a few meters ahead when 3 men on a bike started following me. I panicked and crossed the road thinking that they will continue on their way. But they turned around and came the other way.

I frantically called my fiancé to come and pick me up. He asked me to go inside a supermarket which was thankfully open. I thank my lucky stars everyday that nothing untoward happened to me. Needless to say, I got a huge dressing down from my fiancé for being so irresponsible! In retrospect, I was wearing something that was completely out of place in an area which was surrounded by slums, which is certainly not a good idea.

Conservative Thinking

In India, conservative thinkers have many “rules” which define the behavior of a  “good woman”. The most frustrating among them is blaming the girl for being eve teased or even raped because she’s wearing inappropriate clothes or standing the wrong way or luring men etc.

On top of this there are some fanatics who makes statements to the media like “It was bound to happen, women wear nudity fashion. They were wearing short dresses.” or “They tried to copy the Westerners, not only in their mindset but even in their dressing. So there was some disturbance, some girls are harassed, these kinds of things do happen.” Like it’s no big deal but needless, it is our fault! What they do not understand is that eve teasing happens no matter what we wear, salwar suits, sarees or western clothes.

This has led to a huge hue and cry about women protesting that they have a right to wear what they want in public and should not be shamed because of it. Young girls, the “feminist advocates”, in turn at times protest this thinking by wearing clothes inappropriate for the time and place, just to prove a point.

A Real Look at the Misnomer of Feminism

While I am a feminist myself, there is a very fine line here which is often missed by many. Yes, one should have the right to dress the way they want. Wearing western clothes doesn’t mean that you are a woman with loose morals trying to get a man’s attention. You are certainly not giving anyone the green signal to your body.

But there is also something called as appropriate dressing which is defined by the environment you are going to be in.

When I was in the night club I would have been considered conservatively yet elegantly dressed but on the lonely streets at 9.30 pm in the night I probably looked like an escort to those men on the bike in that location. Maybe, if i was even wearing a sweater or shawl I might have been overlooked, but on that night I was probably sticking out like a red beacon.

When the time comes for me to educate my daughter about these situations I will tell her is that you are allowed to wear whatever you want. I don’t care about the “aunties” who sit and judge the length of your dress but to always always be aware of the surroundings you are going to be in before deciding on your outfit.

Feminism has become the most fashionable word in the country today. Every time any issue pops up, out comes the “F” word. I believe that women are grossly misusing this word to get things they at times don’t deserve or something that is impractical. This is because most of these women don’t really understand what it means or stands for. [bctt tweet=”“Misguided feminism” is the root cause of confusion within women on how to respond to issues.” username=”contactrwc”]

Further Misconstrued in the Household

Another misconstruction of feminist ideals made is when it comes to doing the household chores. Women, like men have demanding careers these days and hence expect that the men of the house also contribute in the daily tasks at home.

This is quite reasonable. But in most Indian households, the mothers-in-law will judge their daughters-in-law for making their “Shona Beta” (Darling Son) do housework. The  feeling is that their sons are being treated like a servant.

They do not understand that the poor girl deserves some time off too. This rigid thought process in turn causes the women to rebel.  They take it to the other extreme by demanding that it is the men who should do everything around the house. They lounge around thereby throwing the concept of “equality” down the drain.

I want to teach my baby that equality comes when both the man and the woman change their perspective. They need to understand and respect the fact that they are both equally busy in their respective jobs. With mutual understanding they can share the house work respectfully. There should be no rigidity that a particular task belongs to a single person only.

So, What is Feminism ?

Fighting for equality when it comes to respect, voicing your opinion, demanding equal pay, is what feminism is about.

  • It is about making your own choices.
  • It is  about understanding your inner strength.
  •  It is about grace.
  • It is about acceptance that women are as capable as men are with actions.
  • It is also understanding that men and women cannot be equals in many ways.

Men and women and each individual has their own purpose and strength. If that is how God wanted everyone to be equal, he/she would have created a world full of only men or only women or vice versa. This is the lesson would like to teach my daughter and every young woman out there.

Do not be afraid of the misogynists that surround you. They are but a handful. The world is changing, and our country is changing too. There are male members of the society who proudly call themselves feminists (your father included).

Be a feminist, do not settle for anything less than what you deserve. Do not abuse this privilege and everything that comes with it. Being a woman is not a curse as many believe it to be, it is a blessing. Be proud of who you are and believe that you can achieve whatever you want to.

Changing the misnomer of Indian Feminism www.raisingworldchildren.com #feminism #indian #india #values #families #tradition

Shuchita Kumar is a new mom. She is trying to learn the ropes of motherhood with the help of knowledge passed on by the elders combined with modern thinking. Currently, residing in Bangalore, India. She spent her early childhood years in the heart of India that is Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. She then lived in Goa (heaven!) and Pune. A software engineer by profession, she loves dancing, bird watching and just spending time with her husband visiting various jungles. She also enjoys pampering her friends and families with delicious food and pastries
All Those Times I Hated My Mom

All Those Times I Hated My Mom

Skating. Swimming. Cycling. And any time she would apply gram flour to my face.

I would raise hell!

Screaming, yelling. A 5-10 year old fearing for my life. Scared I would get hurt. Wondering why in the world is she putting me through this?

That and performing in front of a crowd.

She in her pride would want to show off her talented daughter’s dancing prowess. And her hesitant daughter would cry and cry because … (honestly, even I don’t know why I cried. I was a stage performer from the age 4 for goodness sake!)

Just a kid not understanding why in the world would we need any of those life skills?! To a kid it felt like I was against a huge mountain,  unrelenting. In my heart, I always knew she would not deter till I walked her path.

As Time Passed

In my 20s, my arguments with my mom became about things that just didn’t’ factor my then thought process. Superstitions. What I wear. What I weigh. My ambition. Learning to cook or do house hold chores. How I should be with people she cared about.

All the things that left me feeling unappreciated, misunderstood. We would argue vehemently, maybe shed a tear or two and then again get back to talking about everything under the sun.

You see, my mom has never been  just my mom. She is my best friend. She is the person who knows what is happening the minute after it happens. She and I have always shared a relationship of equals where she valued my opinion on a whole and it was amazing that she eventually always did trust my judgement. Many a times, she would argue about a point and then come over time come to see my way. Or show me the light to what she was talking about. It took a lot of convincing and heart ache, but we would always reach a mutual understanding.

I don’t know if it’s the Indian-ness in her or it’s a universal thing, but the many of the things she cared about were more society based or future based than what she herself ever really cared about. 

It is through those interactions with her that I realized that what people argue or get upset about are often just distractions from what’s really worrying them. In my case it was her worries about a good prospective husband and my future.

The root cause of most miscommunication is varied base desires. 

It is not always easy to understand your mother, but with age comes the luminescence of insight.

[bctt tweet=”Understanding the fights between child and mother are such an intrinsic part of family life and personal development. #momlife #parenting #family” username=”contactrwc”]

After I Became A Mom

Every single time my child argues with me, I think back to all those times. The insistent crying, the yelling. The muttering of horrid things under my breath and then half an hour later regretting everything. An hour later promising myself I wouldn’t do it ever again to only do it all over again the next time. My brain a fog of my stubbornness.

We all have done it in a given phase of our lives. That’s what allows our mothers to proudly, and happily defend their grandchildren when we complain about them. “You were no different!”, they repeatedly chant.

When my child fights with me, in the heat of the moment, I get this huge lump in my throat of how and why in the world did I do this to another human being. “It’s all my roosters coming home to roost”, I regret. And when the moment passes, this one simple thought warms my heart, “In spite of it all, I was loved, my mom never once gave up and that is why I turned out okay.”


She continues to go through hell with me to empower me with the foundation that gave me the sense to make good choices, be respectful and today be the best mother and wife I can be. 

While we still don’t see eye to eye on many topics, specially not on how I arrange my kitchen cupboards, I still know she always has my back!

Mothers Day

A day each year where we can honor and celebrate our mothers and other motherly influences for the strong and wonderful people that they are. Today, though I want to take a moment  and say thank you for all those fights.

Copyright Aditi Wardhan Singh

 

As a mom, I now know how hard it is to keep going when your child is being difficult. Raising children takes tenacity, ferocious will and fighting every day when  you desire to just let go and sleep. It gets heart wrenching. Tears threaten to burn your eyes while you are feeling helpless in teaching them essential life skills. The guilt is tremendous, and yet, we know, if we give up on an important thing that needs to be taught, our child will eventually suffer.

Yielding to a child’s will is easy. Standing tall as an example 24/7 for love, for values, to show your child the right way That is what makes a mother amazing!

And mine is certainly extraordinary.

I certainly hope tomorrow when my children think of me, they know too that every purposeful battle I fought with them was for them. 

Which is why I wrote my book Strong Roots Have No Fear —

 

 

 

Are You Treating Your Girls "Less Than" Boys?

Are You Treating Your Girls “Less Than” Boys?

“Girls are not the same as boys.” I believe in this.

Not in what they can achieve. But in the fact that both have their own strengths. But as far as rights go, as humans every single human has the right to choose and BE as they wish.

Yet, time and again I see people differentiating in what girls “can” and “cannot” do. In Indian culture, there has always been a big difference in the way girls are treated from boys. From serving them, to being protected to what they have to wear to what time they have to be outside, Indian women are often shown that they are less than.

The difference is reducing in today’s times. But once married, the difference still exists colossally within the Indian society.

The #metoo conversation brought forth to my mind how many people talk about the need for better parenting. To teach kids that both boys and girls are equal. Yet, there are so many subtle ways that girls are suppressed or presumptions they have to overcome.

So, I delved into the online space and asked women around the world to talk about a time in their childhood when they experienced feeling less than or having to overcome being put down. 

ONE 

“My parents raised me like a boy for the first 10 years as an only child but when my brother came and as I got older my parents’ worry of me irked me. It was not the same for my brother. Or my cousins. In my teenage years, relatives would pass comments about my marriage way earlier than it needed to be talked about. It was not the same for the boys in the house hold. “

— Find out more about Aditi Wardhan Singh 

TWO

” I would say when girls are just overly protected off the bat. I was never allowed to stay home alone with my brothers. Or I was not allowed to date until I was 16 but my brothers were. It’s a standard of boys aren’t to be trusted so we have to protect our girls more so then the boys…. great post idea. “

— Find out more about Sarah Church Caroll

THREE

My grandfather just passed away and all the grandsons and grandson-in-laws were asked to be pallbearers. Just the first thing that came to my mind living in the 21st century and still having those gender differences. All the granddaughters were not included.

— Find out more about Ashley Peggs

FOUR

When boys would pull my hair or be mean to me when we were all little, I was always told it was just because they liked me. I associated meanness with affection. I grew up spouting off that same stupid, misguided notion to other girls, unfortunately. Whenever a boyfriend treated me bad, I always had this thought, “well, he loves me so it’s okay.”
Or when I witnessed my dad disrespecting women and putting them down, I was told by my grandma that he did it out of love. The lesson of “it doesn’t matter how guys treat you as long as they love you” was very pervasive in my childhood.

— Find out more about Lisa Keifer

FOUR

When I asked my dad to teach me how to fix cars, he said no because I was a girl. I pushed and he gave in and was stunned to see I had a natural talent for it. Then I ended up in architecture school which at that time was 10% women. I had a teacher tell me that women didn’t belong in architecture because I had asked a question he deemed stupid. I didn’t want to be an architect after that. I became a graphic designer and ended up in the printing industry where I was sexually harassed all the time. I’m good at math, engineering, computers, fixing things… And I have been told over and over that I have strange talents for a girl.

I have two boys and they are being raised to see everyone as equal. Since I don’t get the chance to raise a confident girl, I can at least raise boys who see them as equals.

— Find out more about Bonnie Landau Weed

FIVE

When I was growing up, it was expected for my sister and I to help in the kitchen with dinner and clean up. My younger brother did not have the same expectation. This expectation still happens now. Last week we were on a family vacation and my mom was putting a roast in the crock pot for dinner. She was trying to decide when to start it. My brother was going to be back at the campground before we got back. I suggested to ask him to turn it on when he got back. My mom actually said, “he just finished a half-Marathon and that’s too much to ask of him.”. My response was “For him to turn a switch?”. This is not an uncommon theme in our family. I intend to raise my son to have the same expectation as any other family member.

— Find out more about Jennifer Crisp

SIX

I was good at math until I was in high school. I was in high track math 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. But then I slowly started thinking I wasn’t good at math because I kept hearing girls aren’t good at math. So when the counselor was helping me pick classes for my freshman year, he basically said “let’s bump you down to average track math” even though I got a high B in 8th grade. And I learned that I wasn’t good at math even though looking back I think I actually was. So I told myself that I wasn’t good at math because other people basically told me that I wasn’t because I’m a girl. And I don’t think I learned as much in high school math because I didn’t try very hard. I had the mindset of “this isn’t my thing. I shouldn’t even try.”

Find out more about Nikki Howlett

SEVEN 

I think it’s more I’ve noticed how lucky I was to have strong female figures and a father who taught me everything. I also read a lot of book with strong females. Here’s my recent post I wrote.

— Find out more about Shari Dawson Shearer

EIGHT

I hate the comment of throwing or running “like a girl”

Nancy Elyse

NINE

I don’t have a post about this, but it drove me insane. Last year my little sister’s high school softball team went all the way to the state championship (YAY!), and they asked to go up to the field two days early so they could get acclimated and practice one day. You know, get in the right mind set. Anyways, their athletic director said nope, sorry, not in the budget. So they showed up the night before, didn’t have time to work out the jitters, and had to play the next day. They lost. I’m not saying they would’ve won with that extra day, but as an ex-athlete I know how nerves can impact your game. It helps to see the field you’ll be playing on and just calm down from all the excitement (our town held a little parade as they left). It sucked, sure, but I didn’t think anything of it.

Flash forward to the football team’s REGULAR SEASON and they had a game in Texas. They were there for three days. It was basically an all-expenses paid vacation for these boys. And they brought the cheerleaders. They got their asses kicked.

I was so annoyed by this. Let’s just go ahead and tell our daughters that it doesn’t matter how hard you work; you can be the VERY BEST and go to the championship game, but you’ll still never be worth as much as our football players. Have fun in life!

— Find out more about JoshlandLindsay Aspinwall

TEN

My husband’s grandma told me when I was pregnant with my daughter that it would be better to have a boy because girls are only good for cleaning. Granted, she’s 93 and has dementia…but it still hurt.

— Find out more about Caitlin Downs

ELEVEN

I was told I could not do percussion in band because it was for boys. I did the flute, but ended up dropping out. 

— Find out more about Samantha A Brooks 

TWELVE

When my parents went to buy me a used car, the guy selling it told them it was a standard/stick shift and that because I was a girl they should go home and talk to me and make sure I could drive it. My mom was so offended but came home anyway to ask me and we agreed my dad could teach me. To this day I still remember every guy friend who rode in my car in college being floored at how good of a stick shift driver I was 😬

— Find out more about Cammeno Messana Murray

THIRTEEN

When I was in my second last year of high school, I had the goal of going to university to study science. My physics teacher told me in front of the boys in my physics class that girls don’t do science so I would never get anywhere in the science field. I set out to prove him wrong. I went to university and studied science. I then got a job with one of the major science organisations in Australia and was ran hands on science sessions for primary and secondary school students. My crowning moment was going to his high school and running a specialized science session for his class!

— Find out more about Jennie Petrey 

FOURTEEN

I was always told about everything that I did that wasn’t “lady like” and how if I wasn’t “lady like” than no boys will want me and it was just sort of instilled into my psyche that I needed to focus on having a man, like I couldn’t possibly live without one. It made me so codependent as a teen/young adult.

— Find out more about Brigid-Ryan Milenkovski

FIFTEEN

Never in the family, but people around us (esp. neighbors and relatives) would always be concerned about our parents not having a son.. as we r three sisters,many people would say it to our faces, how our parents are being foolish not thinking of their old age etc etc.. I’m sure being an Indian you know how hung up Indians are on having sons.

We would often question our parents if there is something wrong about girls and my dad always said “it’s the way people feel ,not us and what others think is not our problem, so ignore!

— Find out more about Shalini Tyagi

SIXTEEN

Beautiful. For sure! I have a twin brother. So many times in my life I felt less than him for no reason. At work he would start after, be a good worker but have his own imperfections like meor…worse and yet, be promoted. As for treatment, I could come up with some memories.

But hey, being a twin is awesome.

— Find out more about Jewel Elise

The Subtle Parenting Difference Between Girls and Boys | Parenting | Women Empowerment | Think about it

  Aditi Wardhan Singh is a mom of two, living it up in Richmond Virginia in USA. Raised in Kuwait, being Indian by birth she has often felt out of place. A computer engineer by profession, she is now a freelance writer and entrepreneur having founded Raising World Children. Impromptu dance parties with her little one are her ultimate picker upper. She provides tools to open minded parents to empower their children to raise positive, gracious, global thought leaders. She currently writes for the HuffingtonPost, Thrive Global, RMB and is author in “When You Are Done Expecting ”

 

Letting Go Got Me Through Infertility

Letting Go Got Me Through Infertility

I grew up in a conservative Indian family with strict rules around girls like being at home before 7:00 PM. I found my solace when I started working at the age of 18. Being the youngest one I was by nature a little rebellious compared to my siblings.

Getting a job made me far more confident and gave me the freedom that my young heart was craving for. I met my husband at work and knew immediately that only he can support my newly found wings.

We got married in 2007. My husband very well supported my free spirit, but he too belonged to a conservative Indian family. The expectations from a daughter in law were to wear a sari and taking care of the household.

It took me several years to make my in laws understand that respecting them was far more important than the attire I wore. Don’t get me wrong! Out of respect, I still do wear conservative Indian clothing in their presence and take care of the entire household when at my in laws visit. But I kept my out of house life separate from the life I lived within.

Expectations Of Motherhood

My in laws often pushed me to have kids but for me the time wasn’t right until I felt it was right.

Years passed by in this fashion, with time I found myself engaged in other responsibilities. My father was diagnosed with cancer and my brother became the only earning member. I took care of the responsibilities that came along with my father’s disease and  demise. Having kids had taken a back seat with so much going on.

My best friend in the meantime had conceived and had a beautiful baby boy. Who not only lightened my friends life but also gave me a reason to smile during the tough times I was going through. His single smile would light me up and recharge me for the entire day. And after a long time I felt that I had fallen in love again.

Maan as we call him became one of the most important elements of my life, he became the light I was looking for in the darkness of challenges that surrounded me.

And from Maan, I would say for the first time I had the urge to become a mother. Life took a turn again and we moved to US. And with the loneliness I found here the urge of becoming a mother became even more strong.

I had a chance to visit India soon after I moved to US. I finally decided to see my gynecologist to check if we are in the best shape to become parents. I was advised a complete hormonal profile and I anxiously waited for my results to come in being absolutely sure that nothing could go wrong with things. I felt healthy and perfectly fine. What could go wrong?

Endless Disappointments

The results came in and my dream and hope of becoming a mother came crashing down like house of cards. Doctor broke the most unexpected news to us “ your egg count is very low”. I wasn’t even sure what that meant but I knew one thing it didn’t sound promising.

I tried to ask her what can I do to improve my egg count and she said nothing could be done this is how my body is. She also gave it a term “Early Menopause” that definitely wasn’t something I wanted to hear.

My research reflected that early menopause sets in when a woman is stressed for prolonged periods. I searched long and hard on the internet what were the chances of conception for women with a condition like me. Every search pointed in one direction IVF.

I had heard about IVF but never understood what exactly the procedure was and how successful was it. Every search gave me many success stories and equal number of heart breaks. Every search made me more and more sad.

And every month the disappointment of not being able to conceive overpowered my once happy and free spirit. I got more depressed with every passing day.  I couldn’t share this pain with anyone and spent hours locked in closed spaces shedding tears and blaming myself for what seemed to be my life’s biggest defeat. I was scared to share this with my family as I was terrified of being blamed as ignorant towards my responsibilities.

Time went by and I came in terms with the fact that I will have to go with IVF and I might even have to get an egg donor. It’s a well known fact that IVF is very costly so I started saving every penny I earned towards it. Though disappointed I lifted my spirits up and told myself that god will not let this happen to me and I will turn out to be a successful case of IVF.

I honestly did let everything go and then my little miracle happened.

The Beginning of Motherhood

October of 2016 for the first time in 2 years and after 9 years of my marriage without any external help I got a positive pregnancy test. The two stripes on the test made me laugh and cry. I became so paranoid that I took 3 additional test to make sure I had a living being inside of me. I found out a place where I could get an early ultrasound to make sure everything was fine. I started eating and living healthy so that my little one would grow up healthy.

As he grew inside of me I fell more and more in love with him. On 19th of June 2017, I held him in my hands for the first and since then every passing day I fall more and more in love with my miracle baby.

The entire experience taught me one important lesson. “It is important to let go” once you let go and believe that you will get it. Keep working towards it, there is a good chance you may get it. To anyone struggling with the same, I say it is important to keep a positive outlook.

Are you struggling with infertility? What do you use to give yourself hope?

How Letting Go Got Me Through Infertility | Pregnancy | Infertility | Motherhood | Hope

Vinni Mishra is a corporate professional presently residing in Glen Allen, Virginia. She originally belongs to Jaipur, Rajasthan (India). She completed her masters degree in geography from Rajasthan University. She started her career as a corporate professional pretty early around the age of 18 with GE Capital and was until very recently working with Suntrust Mortgage in Glen Allen. She is an expectant mother and is enjoying her time off from work awaiting the new member to her family. She has a passion for writing and her writing is influenced by the rich culture of Rajasthan which is famous for its traditions and heritage that have been passed along generations.

10 Ways To Teach Kids Gender Equality

Anyone who is even remotely associated with India knows that being a male in this part of the world is a privilege. Despite all the changing times a sense of superiority still comes with the territory. Gender equality is an ongoing battle. They are waited on, given preference, more than often pampered just a little bit extra. Older women in our society consider themselves blessed to be mothers of sons and  female members of some families still believe in this male dominance.

Yet, every day on social media pages I find some beautiful message celebrating daughters, about how lucky all these people are to be parents of amazing daughters. It is all so heartwarming! On the other hand there is news daily about the struggle that women face everyday.

The constant debate about how women are not safe, specially in India makes me feel how hollow all the endearment on social media is. The world is aware of these problems. The sexual harassment, violence towards women and gender inequality to name a few.

A while back I heard a talk from a very learned lady (cannot recall her name) on a social media platform. She said something along the lines of  “We Indians bring-up our sons in a totally wrong way”. Someone else mentioned “Don’t tell your daughters how to behave, teach your sons better”.

These two statements got me thinking, maybe we desperately need to change as a society.

“What a person becomes is a reflection on the whole society”.

This quote purely explains why we need core change.

I too am a mother, at times a very scared one! Telling my daughter to first be strong, then kind, smart and last of all beautiful inside. I don’t try to call her a princess as those pretty creatures are often lazy in looking out for themselves and depend on being rescued.

I try to teach my son better. But cannot control what goes on in the world. Things that are everywhere in the movies, media and our society. So, I made a list of things that I feel we need to teach our children.

No one is Special

Let’s try to teach our sons, being male is not a privilege. It is just as good as being any child,boy or girl. Every child will get everything in a balanced manner. No one owns the world just because of their gender.

Good Touch-Bad Touch

The word NO: These messages are loud and clear.At a young age all children need to be taught about this. There is so much helpful information about this topic online. I shared this with both my kids when they started pre-school respectively. The difference between a good and bad touch.Any touch that feels wrong or uncomfortable is to be stopped and screamed at by a big “NO”. As the Bollywood movie “PINK” recently emphasized, a NO means NO.It does not require any explanation.

If a person tells you to not touch them, you respect that.At the same time if you feel threatened by anyone learn to say “NO”.

Help Yourself

This is one thing I am a very firm believer of. Do not wait on your sons. I have asked my son to help me with small chores around the house, since the age he can manage to. Get your own water, pick up after yourself are some of the things that can be taught from a small age.

Boys Do Cook 

Last summer, my cousin’s son informed me that boys do not cook, mamas do, as they are girls. Few days later my son parroted the same line to me. I sat them both down and asked “Do you boys get hungry?” .Both nodded meekly at this trick question. So I informed them “Anyone who gets hungry, should know how to cook”. You see, hunger does not discriminate based on gender.


Talk about Sex

This is one very important question that has baffled parents far & wide. When to talk to child about it, at what age. Recently, my son who is nine, got to asking all sorts of questions. After dodging for a few months, I decided to tackle the matter head-on.

After some research online and talking to a few other mothers, I gave him a talk on the topic. The best approach I found is give all the age appropriate information, it acts as an insurance against any ill-informed influence. Helping the child to make right choices and not be a confused teenager, Looking to experiment .
Also, it is important as even boys are vulnerable and can be harassed.

Not Entitled to Any Estate 

Our boys in India come with readymade incomes from birth. It is assumed that a boy is entitled to all that the family owns and whatever he gets in the form of dowry.Let’s teach our sons some self-worth. I want to instill the value of hard work in my boy and teach him that all children have the same birth rights. No estate and no dowry can make our society so much better.

Be the Example

This is another very important thing we need to teach our sons. They need to learn to respect all women, starting from home. Don’t be the kind of woman who needs to be rescued. Be your own rescue (at least, most of the time). Set an empowered example ! Let your son understand that women can do all that men can and more. Try to be the kind of mother who takes the world in her stride. Be angry, be upset, be weak but rise from it and take charge of your own life.

Different People, Different Opinions

This is one important thing that all kids,boys and girls,need to be taught. Every day you will not meet like-minded people. Many will ridicule, criticize or threaten you. Kids need to understand to believe in themselves and stand up for their own rights. Also teach them to respect others point of view and opinions. Not every word or thought has to offend us, learn to walk away.

In a world getting intolerant by the minute, tolerance is an attribute to be cherished.


Reassure Them Of Their Place

Today this is a world which is really trying to uplift its girls and women on every possible platform and empower them. We all love our daughters to bits and constantly fight to safeguard their interests. But in all this our boys also need to be reassured of their special place. I make it a point to tell my son how important he is and will always be the biggest piece of my heart not because he is a boy but because he is my first baby.

[bctt tweet=”It is never too late to start trying and no step is ever too small in teaching kids about gender equality. #parenting #kids ” username=”contactrwc”]

Give Your Child a Growth Mindset

 

Gender Equality

Children need to learn that all human beings come with the same rights, despite their gender or sexual orientation.Though every one has their own strengths and weaknesses and the world would be a lot better in understanding and accepting that.

We as a society have strayed and things seem to be getting worse. But it is never too late to start trying and no step is ever too small.

We can start by trying at home, raise our kids to be the men and women we can be proud of tomorrow. What tips would you give to someone bringing up boys ?

10 Ways TO Teach Kids Gender Equality www.raisingworldchildren.com #genderequality #values #feminism #kids #teaching