Raising World Children with Aditi Wardhan Singh Transcript

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Leslie:

Welcome to Life After Baby. I’m your host, Leslie Hudson, from bottles to books, diapers to dorms, and everything in between. Each week, I interview parenting experts to help me navigate life as a new mom. Today’s guest is Aditi Wardhan Singh. She’s the founder of Raising World Children, a children’s book author, a book and magazine publisher, food blogger, podcaster, and mother of two. Hopefully, I got all of your titles because you have quite a few. So thank you for joining me today. Do you want to tell me a little bit about yourself?

Aditi:

Thank you for having me. Leslie. This is so exciting about me, like you mentioned, I wear many hats. I am also a self publishing coach. So I have taken our platform and we used to publish articles by parents from around the world. And, now we help them tell their stories and books because after all, books are what kids read, our platform or raising children is for parents. 

It provides a lot of articles, which parents can use for conversation starters, with their kids or you know, help them with tips and stuff, but our children’s books are for the kids themselves, to help empower them early. The second half of this year is gonna be really big for us, and we have four books lined up for kids. We are super excited to bring you three new diverse voices. I am not publishing them, I’m just helping them on their journey. 

Because I believe in empowering each other because we learn from each other. My journey started as a mom waiting, wandering around trying to figure out a way and when I had kids, I realized that my journey as a global citizen was tantamount in helping them be empowered because I could relate when they would say things like, you know, I don’t know if I’m Indian enough and I don’t think why do I need to speak Hindi and things like that. And I was blogging about it. And then from there, I started blogging and then, I went to freelance writing. I opened Raising World Children because I wanted a platform where all parents could come and talk about their personal challenges. And now we published books. 

Leslie:

Wow, that’s incredible. So, when did you start that and when did you start with your own books?

Aditi:

Oh my goodness, I have been blogging since 2007. Writing has always been my passion. I have been studying writing. I’m a student of writing since forever. I began Raising World Children website in 2016. When I realized that a few there are a lot of personal, one-on-one bloggers, but there are very few collaborative platforms which work towards lifting each other up. So I’m hoping to build a community wherein there is no competition. It is more about talking about important topics that need to be spoken about that and maybe not so much.

Leslie:

I think that makes total sense. I feel like especially you know, if the idea is to raise world children and you want to bring in many people and perspectives into the conversation that’s possible. So, you have two books.

Aditi:

Yes, I have two books. My first book took me two years to write because I was struggling to learn the process. The process of publishing books by yourself is very intricate. It takes a lot of effort from one to get all your experiences down on paper. It’s a huge challenge. It took me two years. So, January 2019 was when I published “Strong Roots Have No Fear”, my parenting book that talks about my personal experiences as a global citizen because I was raised in India and Kuwait and I always felt like the girl from nowhere where I couldn’t fit in. I just couldn’t, even though like, you know, I was in an Indian community. And then when the Gulf War happened, we went to India. So, it was very challenging. This February, I came out with “Our Skin Sparkles,” which is our first children’s book about skin color, and helping kids understand through science concept and a little bit of Indian culture, just to introduce them, to help them understand what skin color is about and you know, how we all are diverse yet beautiful in our own ways.

Leslie:

As a publishing coach, how, you know, what advice do you have for parents who are even thinking, you know, I need an outlet I, you know, if they want to blog or go right to a book, what is some advice you’d like to give parents to do that? 

Aditi:

Every parent is different. Writing is I believe, just like parenting. Every person needs to find their voice and find the method which works best for them. Because of course, we are all busy parents, it’s not easy to churn out content as it would be for a 20-year-old who has much more time on their hands. No matter what you do, remember that you will constantly have to reprioritize. Everything is intermingled, so you are gonna have to write and blog to promote your books and vice versa. It’s like a vicious circle that you need to get once you get in. No, you have to keep getting into it. So be mentally prepared for that. First, be mentally prepared for the journey that is going to be in front of you and understand what it all entails. And then, do what works best for you and your family. Because writing is a huge undertaking, but with enough thought and planning, if you do that, then everything works out pretty smoothly.

Leslie:

Absolutely. I have a marketing company. So that’s interesting because it’s like, you know, you tell people, like people think of, Okay, I get to write this book, but writing is really the first step. It’s like you said, it’s promoting it here and making a calendar. And, you know, there’s so much involved. So what are some ways that parents can raise global citizens?

Aditi:

The simplest way is best. Something that every parent agrees with, if you want your kids to be reading and what better than to read them diverse books, watch shows that are diverse, or talk about different cultures. Learn about festivals from around the world. We have an activity book up on our website right now, which is a little bit about festivals and foods. It’s like a diversity and inclusion activity book where parents can start a conversation with their kids about diversity. Being global citizens, first of all, means putting humanity first. And understanding that it’s okay to be different. It is the respect that is the most important, you know, as long as you don’t have to. 

I truly believe that we just need to teach our children to have that balance their own heritage and world cultures, when they understand it. They don’t need to imbibe it, but they can understand it. When you understand something, it’s not that scary, because a lot of divisiveness comes from fear, from what you don’t understand from what feels alien to you. 

Kids are the most innocent, and they are always asking weird questions out in a public setting like “Oh, why is that lady wearing the thing on her forehead?” Or, you know, “why is that lady wearing the cloth around her face?” Or “why is that man wearing that hat?” We tend to shush them, because we don’t offend anyone. But you know, I have yet to meet a person who if you go and ask “Tell my kid, you know, why do you wear that?” Or if you’re uncomfortable doing that, because I am the kind of person I go up and ask a stranger. But if you’re not that person, you can say, “You know what? That’s a great question. Let’s go home and find out.” So, if the person even overhears you, your kid asking that question, they know that, you know, that kid is going to be informed later on. So that’s a great way to let your kid know that it’s important to learn. 

And it’s just like, it’s just like an education. You just need to be educating your kids about the world constantly, be it geography, history, or world world cultures. And it doesn’t need to have a big conversation. It can be small things, like learning about when the Chinese festival comes around, and you know, you see your friends from China, maybe celebrating it on Facebook or on Instagram. Then, just click on the hashtag about Chinese New Year. You tell your kids, “Hey, you know what, you know, in Chinese New Year, this is what they do. Let’s go to the library and let’s get a book about Chinese New Year.” It’s as simple as that.

Leslie:

Since we can’t go to many places, it is so helpful to turn to those online resources, like you said, of learning about festivals. I’m a food person and like the idea of cooking new foods with your kids and trying new cultures. Those are all great suggestions that you can do as a family. What age should we start doing this and is it too young to talk about race and different cultures with kids?

Aditi:

No, age is too young because, like in my home, we are Indians by heritage, but like, I grew up in Kuwait, so for me, I am not totally Indian. I’m not totally not at all. So in my home, my kids grew up going to preschools, which were Catholic. The conversation started very early for us, like two and a half he was in school, and at three like he would come home and talk about Jesus. My book, “How Our Skin Sparkles,” is inspired by my three and a half year old son. He came home from school and he was the person of color in his class at that time. When he came home, he said that they put their hands together, and he said “You know, my friends, if you look different, you know why? Why do I look different?” The kids weren’t trying to be mean. 

And then, he put his hand against his sister’s hand, and he’s like, “why do I look different?”

So then he was also like, you know, because everyone’s different colors, you know? So like, it’s not a revelation. It’s just something that is very natural. It’s just like flowers being of different colors. Same way. Think, you know, whenever your kids start talking, I think you can just read books to them. That’s where you begin. So reading books is something people start as early as like six months or one year. It’s just about making kids comfortable. Like you said, we can’t go out anywhere, so books and content on television or whatever means you’re watching right now is the best way to introduce your kids to different things. 

So I don’t think it is ever too young to have these conversations. Yes, I guess four is a great age for and it  is when I started talking to my kids about consent and being safe in environments and you know how important it is to be respectful of other cultures. At five is the age when I started talking to my son about being responsible in our behavior, with our words. At six, when he was in kindergarten, I remember the end of kindergarten, a friend of ours said, “Oh, why do you eat meat? It’s not right. You know? Why? Why would you do that? Being vegetarian is the best.” This was an Indian kid. And that brought on conversation about it’s okay to be different. It’s okay to have different choices. Their family is different. It’s a progression of conversations. I believe more than anything that you can know slowly, slowly help your kids understand things.

Leslie:

Yeah, as you mentioned in your conversation, kids are very blunt, and don’t always have a filter. So I really like that your website, articles, and books are designed to plant that little bug in parents’ ears for the day when they will have to have a conversation and things they can talk about every day. I really appreciate that. Thank you. So, how does your son feel about being the inspiration for your book?

Aditi:

He is over the moon. He said he will not read the book until it’s done. I was like, why don’t you want to read the booklet? He’s like, “No, I want to see the pictures and also on a YouTube channel, he did a video he’s like I will do a video when everything is done and I will see the final product that is when I’m going to read the book and I’m going to review it.” That was his plan all along and he did it very well, even if I say so myself. I was very scared of how he would see himself in it because of course the character is not exactly doesn’t look like him but it does have mannerisms (like the character that likes Legos and you know things like what his personality)

Leslie:

That’s gonna be really cool during show and tell when he goes back to school. I feel like that beats of like, this is my you know, favorite animal stuff like that. It’s gonna be interesting as he gets older to kind of keep checking on his perspective. It makes sense that he wanted to see the entire book once it is complete. 

Aditi: 

He’d be a good manager one day. She didn’t want to talk about the process but just see the final product. 

Leslie:

Yeah, it sounds like project management is possibly in his future. We’re gonna take a quick break to thank our sponsors and we will be right back with Life After Baby!

Today’s episode was brought to you by A Taste of Olive. A Taste of Olive sells high-quality olive oils, balsamic vinegars, and gourmet goods from artisans around the world. Visit their website at www. atasteofolive. com and enter the code “Family” to save 10 percent off your total. Happy Cooking!

Welcome back to Life After Baby. I’m your host, Leslie Hudson. I’m here with Aditi today from Raising World Children. We are talking about global citizens and raising culturally minded kids. So I know you have obviously everything on your website. Do you have some of your own favorite resources when it comes to raising global citizens?

Aditi:

Oh, of course. That is Multicultural Kids Blog and it’s another platform that does things similar to us. They don’t publish books but they do a lot more trivia kind of things, which is great. They talk about festivals and stuff. I mean, we do too, but we talk more about the conversations that would come out of something like that. Like, if you see you know how to make Diwali more meaningful. Their website is a lot more about another Philippines, the city, what are the 10 things about Philippines? So that’s very interesting. I find the blog one of the best to follow. Then, there is Are Those Your Kids, it’s a biracial website run by a beautiful woman. She talks about the challenges of raising kids and what all they have faced and things like that. 

So there are a lot of resources that I can provide to you because of course being in my field, I’m connected to a lot of them. Thankfully, I found that the online entrepreneur field is very colorful in spirit and very, they understand that, you know, we can only lift each other up there is no, you know, you versus me because there is enough content and everyone’s doing their own thing. So it’s beautiful.

Leslie:

Absolutely. And I feel like, again, that kind of goes very well with parenting because I know, you know, when I first had my daughter, it was such a whirlwind experience. And I found it really helpful. I joined a few mom, Facebook groups, I found a postpartum support group and just kind of having that community of, they know what you’re going through, they can see the light that maybe sometimes you can, and like you said, just bouncing resources off each other because we’re all so busy nowadays. And if we don’t have to reinvent the wheel, we don’t have to do that.

Aditi:

What’s more important to understand that there is no need to feel judgmental, or think about why this person is doing this and this applies across all the fields. Like the first chapter in my book is just about empowering parents first, because we so often get so involved in our own heads, because of what this person might think they might not even be bothered about us. But it’s like, you know, what would they be thinking about me being a stay at home mom? You know, are they judging me for being a working mother and not being in there enough for my kids? And the honest truth is, everyone’s busy in their own thing. And people who have time to judge honestly, they’re not doing enough with their lives. So it’s fine, you know, let it let it just like, you know, let it go. But, you know, remember that you are answerable just to your family. And I think that applies to any entrepreneurial field wherein you have to take risks that are unique to you, you have to take challenges you have to put in the work only as much as you can put like, I what I am doing at raising wealth, children, people often tell me Oh, you juggle so many things and you do so many things. But the honest to god truth is that I just do what I can when I can do it. I plan a lot and then I constantly find myself reprioritizing for me, my kids will always be on top.

So like COVID is going on right now. So I know come September, it’s going to be me and the kids in virtual learning, most probably. So I’ve mentally prepared myself that everything that we’re doing online needs to step back. Of course, because I have other people who I’m answerable to, but the online work would have to reduce a little bit. We published 12 articles bi-weekly, we will probably be reduced to three, or maybe two, or maybe just stop that and just go, just have verbal conversations with people because that’s faster. But that’s exactly what parenting is where you have to constantly reprioritize what works best for you and your family. Are they happy with what you are doing? If they’re not happy? What can you cut back on? And that’s just how things are and especially with the world changing and right in front of our eyes right now. There is no More time more important where we need to remember that we need to put ourselves first keeping in mind that we need to be respectful of everyone else.

Leslie: 

I agree, I feel like especially, ’before I had my daughter, I was used to working from home and I, you know, kind of set my schedule. And then I feel like one of the things I really struggled with in the beginning is just my lack of schedule, and then kind of adding the work back in, it’s like, okay, kind of, like you said, You’re like, I can make my to do list but it’s gonna be more like, this is what I’m gonna do this weekend. If I can get to this project in between naps, I can do that and just, change your expectations of what you can actually accomplish because, you know, kids take a lot of time and they are a lot of work in themselves. So, kind of keeping that all together.

Aditi:

It’s a challenge for sure. It’s difficult, and often it’s also sadness, because as mothers, you know, we talk a lot about the guilt. We feel but we don’t talk about the sadness we feel when we are not able to do what we want to do. Like I had big plans for the second half of this year, we were going to have a couple of more books out by me personally. And I put everything on hold, and I was in depression for a good week, when I realized that, you know, I need to just stop all that I cannot possibly do it out. It made me very sad because I felt sad for myself. As mothers, that’s something we all experience a lot and I think we don’t talk about it because we feel guilty about talking about it. You know, it’s like, you know, how can you feel sad for yourself. It’s not about a pity party. It’s about you having dreams for yourself. A lot of working mothers who love working. I know you know, for them, it’s like, really difficult to put the work aside and let’s just focus on kids because that’s when their happy place is at work, you know? So it’s okay to go through that. And we’re just gonna have to change with time, I guess.

Leslie:

Yeah. And I think especially, you know, we emphasize so much to kids of, you know, embrace your feelings and you know, don’t bottle then and and sometimes they have to kind of take a step back and be like, Oh, wait, I probably need to do what I’m telling them to. And I started this podcast because I felt there’s a lot of education out there for women who you know, from the moment they are pregnant until they deliver and then it kind of skips immediately to how to care for the kid and I kind of felt a little lost in my postpartum journey. If you could have told you your pregnant self. One piece of advice, what would you have said?

Aditi:

God get help, dude, you need. I was miserably sick of both my pregnancies. I would be lying in bed most of the time. It never occurred to us we would order out and stuff. There are a lot of people in Richmond itself (I’m in Richmond, VA) who provide daily food services. We didn’t even know about this. Can you believe it? We had no idea that there are people who can come and clean your home so pregnant me whereby puking cleaning the house or you know, taking making changing the bedsheets and doing stuff and a few years like after my kids were older, and I realized oh, there are something on cleaning ladies in US. So I wish I had gotten help and you know, taken better care of myself, mentally and physically. And that’s, that’s the number one advice I would give to myself is like get help. It doesn’t have to be friends. It’s okay. If you’re eating out, you spend more anyway. You can work it out and you know, have someone cook for you and come clean the house once a week so you can focus on your health, go take those walks, just sit and relax without the stress of having to worry about those things, which sometimes make everything so overwhelming for a pregnant woman.

Leslie:

There have been so many times this year that I’m like, “Man, I wish I learned about this earlier!” I think I was 36 weeks pregnant. I was trying and looking for natural ways to induce. Someone suggested that I get a yoga ball. So then I started looking and found these great exercises to do on the yoga ball to prepare for labor. And what did I know about this? No, I wish I found out about this during week 2 of pregnancy, not 36. But that happens, but I think that’s really good advice. Especially like you said, you know, with mom guilt and kind of feeling that. I don’t know why we feel like sometimes they have to do it all. You don’t have to,

Aditi:

We tend to always think about, you know, when the baby comes. So all my prep was like when the baby comes, we will need this and that. I completely did not pay attention to myself in those nine months, I feel and I think we were relatively younger. Also, some of our priorities were a little bit skewed, I guess. It was like, okay, we’re spending here. We shouldn’t spend there, but we could have managed it better if we just have put that thought but it just never occurred to us that you know, instead of out eating from outside, we could just like have someone come home and cook for us or you know, get a bus service as they say, I don’t know if you know what the bus services is like a lady cooks at her home. And she’s just my husband would just have to go and pick up the food in the morning. So it would have been a great thing to have because home cooked foods would be definitely much better than eating out.

Leslie:  

That’s really great advice. What are some of your favorite parenting resources? 

Aditi:

I think Raising World Children is one of them. Because it’s just a lot of cumulation of the advice that I got from Facebook groups. Oh, yes, Facebook groups are the number one thing. I would say. Like if you’re struggling, you have to find a group. Like we have a group also where we encourage people to, of course, make it their own home, because you want to save space to ask a question and not be judged for it. And you know, talk about your struggles and not be judged for it because parenting resources are great, but I think the number one resource is to find a tribe, who is open about their struggles. Not like yeah, I had my kid who was sleeping all night and never sleeps. What do I do? Like, you know, tell me what should I be doing? And he’s like, I don’t know. Okay, great. So you need a place where people are going to talk about it. A lot of books of course are great. I have picked up quite a few books. I’m like, offhand, I can’t remember because now my kids are like six years down the line. Actually, I had “What to Expect” myself. But yeah, the number one parenting resource I would say is to find a tribe, either online or offline who listens. And who is there for you to be, you know, non judgmental, to be like, Okay, you know what, let’s figure this out together and I think that’s most important.

Leslie: 

Before we had a stay at home, we loved going to the library for storytime. We probably started taking her at five or six months and she’s 14 months now. At that point, the parent gets just as much out of it, not more out of it, as the kid does. We had kids that were her age, they were a month older or a month behind. Parents would mention that their that kid got his first tooth at six months, or someone else started walking at nine months, or someone mentioned that their daughter had cradle cap too. And like you said, just kind of having that resource of people who were in the exact same stage as you is really helpful.

Aditi:

I remember, it’s, I am, it’s not just I’ve been in this field, I have always been active online. So I remember even when my son was breastfeeding at two or three in the morning, I’d be you know, asking, asking my friends list, not even like a group, my friends list, you know, I’m having this problem. And, you know, how do I solve it? And I’m sure now in retrospect, people must be thinking, why is she putting her problems out there? But I used to get great advice. He didn’t have colic, but he had a lot of gas and someone told me, you know, just hold him and go up and down the stairs and it worked like magic. And that’s one of the things I remember. So yeah, it’s just I think being open with your struggles is also a little bit taboo these days, because everyone’s got a very positive and happy outlook constantly. We are forced to have that. But I think it’s very much more important to talk about your struggles and say, Hey, you know what, I’m facing this. And, you know, we, we need to be okay with someone being feeling that way. Yeah.

Leslie:

Absolutely. And I feel like parenting is one of those few jobs where, you know, you can prepare and you can read, but it’s learning on the job. It is problem solving on the job. So having someone that, you know, has that same problem that you’re trying to figure out, like you said, is, is very helpful.

Well, it is time to move on to our last segment, it is our parent pop quiz. Life with kids is unexpected and so are the questions in this segment. So we are going to spin our wheel and see what question you land on.

[Wheel spinning and slowing down]

What is one thing that needs to be invented to make parenting easier?

Aditi:

Teleportation. I would love to go to India and drop my kids there for an hour and then come back because my mom keeps saying you send them to me. I don’t want to send my kids to India by themselves or anywhere else. Yeah, I want to be able to drop them off somewhere. I haven’t traveled two days to get to my mom. Okay, so I would love that. We have to go on three different plane rides. 

Leslie:  

Yeah, you definitely need a teleportation device.

Aditi:

Faster planes please. I’m bigger. Oh my God, we need bigger like seats we need seats in Oh my transportation as a whole pet peeve of mine we have transportation. International transportations is really bad.

Leslie:

Yeah. Especially if you’re gonna be traveling for two days. You want to be comfy. Yeah, that makes total sense. Well, you have given us so much fantastic information. I know you have a lot of different places where people can find you online. So do you want to kind of tell us about some of those.

Aditi:

So you can find me and my team of writers at RaisingWorldChildren.com you will find Make sure to subscribe and get our free activity book that is for diversity and inclusion in you know, encouraging that within kids. Just fun, you know, match, match the following and you know, dance steps and those kinds of things. It’s really fun to do. And of course, you can join up anything group and find a tribe there. You are always welcome to write to contact@ RaisingWorldChildren.com calm with any articles that you may have or any questions that you may have. And I would love to be friends with you on our online platforms. So feel free to follow us and we’d love to connect with you. And, our Facebook group is Raising World Children at empowered storytelling.

Leslie:

Well, thank you so much for joining us today. This was a fantastic chat. We will include on our show notes, all the different places where you can find Raising World Children. 

Thanks for tuning into “Life After Baby”.  We’d like to thank Aditi of Raising World Children for joining us today. This show was produced, hosted, edited by Leslie Hudson with editing help by Kyle Hudson. It  is a production of Crimson Planet Media. Our Theme song was created by Doug Keller.

Today’s episode was brought to you by A Taste of Olive. A Taste of Olive sells high-quality olive oils, balsamic vinegars, and gourmet goods from artisans around the world. Visit their website at www. A   taste   of   olive   dot  com and enter the code “Family” to save 10 percent off your total. Happy Cooking!

When the kids are finally asleep, visit our new podcast network at keystonedigital.tv and follow us on Instagram and Facebook at lifeafterbabyshow. And, don’t forget to take care of yourself, so you can take better care of them. 

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