7 powerful photos moms posted during #familiesbelongtogether rallies

Celebrities like Chrissy Teigen weren't the only moms protesting.

7 powerful photos moms posted during #familiesbelongtogether rallies

The banners are being rolled up, and recycling bins are full of wrinkled protest signs, but the impact mothers made at #familiesbelongtogether rallies on Saturday will be felt long after the evidence has been erased from public spaces.

They wanted the government to hear their voices and understand that immigrant children and parents who've been separated must be reunited, but there were also plenty of little ears listening today.

Many mothers attended the rallies with children strapped to backs, holding little hands in their own, or pushing strollers filled with the minds and hearts that will someday inherit this society.

And those moms shared a powerful and message that those children heard in person, and the rest of the world heard through social media: There is so much power in love and empathy.

Here are five amazing images moms posted while protesting.

Chrissy Teigen in Los Angeles

Chrissy Teigen is probably one of the most honest people on the planet, and she's also one of the most influential on social media. On Saturday, Teigen and her husband John Legend, along with their children, attended a rally in Los Angeles where Teigen took the stage while wearing the couple's 1-month-old son, Miles, in a wrap. She posted a photo of the moment to her Instagram, but the words behind that image are even more incredible.

"This is his first rally," she told the crowd, referencing the tiny baby on her chest. "I'm really proud to be here, obviously. You guys are so incredible and give me so much hope," Teigen explained, adding that as the daughter of an immigrant, she believes in the strength that comes with diversity. What she does not believe in, is taking kids away from their parents.

"I cannot even comprehend the kind of cruelty in the hearts of the people who enacted this policy, but I do know they didn't expect us to come together in such an incredible way and in such incredible numbers to resist this," she said in her speech.

As usual, Teigen is saying what a lot of mothers are thinking.

Chenelle Alise in Newark

Chrissy Teigen has 18.3 million Instagram followers. Fellow mama Chenelle Alise has 725. She does not have the platform Teigen does, but she still has a voice that matters and she made sure to use it when attending the Newark, New Jersey protests with her 14-month-old son Xavier.

Like so many moms across the nation, she braved the heat with a baby on her hip for the sake of other mother's children, and her own.

"It was important for me to bring him to the protest because I want him to always know and remember that when you believe something is wrong, you help to do something about it," Alise told Motherly. "It's also a great time for him to see democracy in action, even at his young age."

Kate Chassner in Asheville

In Asheville, North Carolina, mother Kate Chassner attended a protest with her young daughter, and captured a moment when her daughter and a friend were showing off their signs, and serving some serious looks.

"If only more people could get in touch with their 5 year old empathetic self. And really care," she captioned the photo.

Chassner tells Motherly she wanted her children to take part in #familiesbelongtogether because while going to the rally will help others, it's also a practical lesson in the values she's trying to instil in her kids at an early age.

"It's important to me to teach my kids empathy and acceptance. And being part of rallies and marches teaches them that there are many other people and families who feel the same way. Going out and being part of something is important," she explains.

Alicia Keys in Washington

Mom of two Alicia Keys has some of that empathy that Chassner wants her kids to learn, and she too is passing it on to the next generation. Keys posted beautiful photographer of herself and her son at the rally in Washington D.C., and, like Teigen, took to the microphone.

"My seven-year-old son is here with me today. His name is Egypt. And I couldn't even imagine not being able to find him. I couldn't even imagine being separated from him or scared about how he is being treated, so this is all of our fight, because if it can happen to any child, it can happen to my child and your child and all of our children," she told the crowd.

America Ferrera in Washington

Actress America Fererra is s new mom and, like Keys, she spoke at the rally in D.C.

"I am here not only as a brand new mother, as the proud child of Honduran immigrants and not only an American who sees it as her duty to be here defending justice. I am here as a human being with a beating heart, who can feel pain, who understands compassion and who can easily imagine what it must feel like to struggle the way families are struggling right now," Ferrera told the crowd.

"It is easy to imagine that I would hope that if it was my family being torn apart, if it was my brother being arbitrarily criminalized, if it was my sister who was being banned, that someone would stand up for me and my family."

JJ Keith in Los Angeles

This photo of 7-year-old Kasper captures a lesson for children that his mother, JJ Keith, calls "the importance of showing up and voting with their bodies."

Keith tells Motherly it was important to her and her husband to take their children to the protest because the family had heard the audio of children separated from their parents and the kids "viscerally felt that it was something that should not happen." She wanted them "to know that there is a way to voice that upset and do something about the wrongs being done at the border."

Her children wanted the world to know that they care.

Alexandra Blom in Chicago

Like a lot of mothers who've been following coverage of this issue, Alexandra Blom has found herself in tears a lot lately.

"While I cannot know what it is like for a family to travel treacherous miles, I do know the profound love a mother has for her child," she tells Motherly. She brought her nursing son, Everett, with her to the protest and says they marched in solidarity with the mothers and children who have been separated at the border.

"The shared experience of being a mother is greater than our differences," she says.

This weekend, mothers used their voices to let the world know that empathy, kindness and compassion are something we value not only in our homes and families, but in our society. Whether you have millions of followers like Keys or Teigen, or just a few hundred like Chassner and Alise, a mother's voice is incredibly powerful, because our children are always following us.

[Update June 30, 2018: Additional photos and comments added]

You might also like:

Rarely is a woman more concerned with what her body needs than when she's pregnant. We start to question and research everything, right? From swearing off turkey sandwiches to diving down the rabbit hole of prenatal supplements that make up what we lack, the stress of overthinking is real, mama.

One of the main reasons we launched the Motherly Shop is to help take some of that stress away. We've tracked down the best brands and products developed by people (and in many cases, women!) that truly work to serve the needs of real mamas, especially throughout the overwhelming transition into motherhood.

That's why we knew we had to introduce mamas-to-be to the science-backed and expertly-formulated protein collagen for pregnancy from Needed. And as one of our bestsellers, it's clear you've been looking for it, too.

Keep reading Show less

I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.

And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


Talking to kids can come so easily. They have thoughts about everything and stories for miles. They see the world in a completely different light, and could ask enough questions to fill an afternoon.

But sometimes finding the right words for talking to kids can be really, really challenging. When choosing how to respond to the marker on the wall, or the seemingly unending why-can't-I battle, or in simply keeping healthy communication open with kids who don't want to talk, the words don't seem to come so easily.

Keep reading Show less
Learn + Play