Recap: Motherly’s IG live on racism + motherhood in America

Two mothers discussed their feelings, lessons on what they learned (and unlearned) about race in America and how racial injustice can no longer prevail for our next generation.

Recap: Motherly’s IG live on racism + motherhood in America

Whether we like it or not, systemic racism in America is real. It has been ingrained in our country for decades upon decades often leaving black families at the short end of the stick. Black America has reached a breaking point and it's time for us as a nation to step in and be the voice of change.

On June 2, Motherly took a stance and participated in #BlackOutTuesday, a movement devoted to observe, mourn and bring about change in racism in America. We also held an important conversation on our Instagram stories with a white mama and a black mama.

Deena Campbell, Senior Lifestyle Editor and black mother to two children, and Diana Spalding, Digital Education Editor and white mother to three children had an honest conversation about motherhood and racism. They discussed their feelings, lessons on what they learned (and unlearned) about race in America and how racial injustice can no longer prevail for our next generation.

Here's a recap and some resources if you're not sure where to get started. You can watch the full video at the end. Also, continue to step up not only in solidarity, but for justice.

Here's a breakdown of our mom-to-mom discussion about racism:

On white privilege:

Deena: White moms should use their white privilege to change the mindset of non-black people. If you see injustice, speak up and do something about.

Diana: Racism is all around us, and we need to acknowledge all of the ways that privilege has allowed us to ignore it. We can choose whether or not today is a day we feel like we can think about racism, while the black community must deal with not only thinking about it, but living it, and all of its consequences, every single day.

On teaching kids about racism:

Deena: Educate yourself. Use resources (see a few below) and talk about racist behaviors when your children are young. Be sure to celebrate differences and teach the importance of listening to black people explain their perspectives. Above all, model the behaviors you want your children to have. Your children will follow the behaviors you display.

Diana: As I teach my children about racism, the message is not "race doesn't exist" or "I don't see color." That messaging ignores reality and is unhelpful. Instead, we should convey that we do see race, and we respect and honor it.

Deena: Black moms shouldn't be afraid to teach their children about how society views them. Arm them with the knowledge they need to navigate this country.

Diana: One way that I am trying to teach my white children about racism is through teaching empathy. When we explained what is happening in our country right now, we asked our kids to talk about how they would feel if someone was mean to them because of the color of their skin.

On feeling sad for the black community:

Deena: I don't want you to feel bad or sorry for black people. I'm proud to be black. I love our music, food, art and overall culture. Use your frustration to motivate you to speak up against injustice.

On listening:

Diana: One of my responsibilities as a white woman is to make sure that I am listening, and not centering myself in conversations about racism. This is bound to make white people feel uncomfortable, but our discomfort is not what we are discussing.

Diana: My role as a white person is to be quiet, and to be loud. Quietness involves listening—truly listening—to the black community who has been doing this work for so, so long. And being loud is about standing up to injustice and racism when I see it. Silence is incredibly dangerous.

On being an ally:

Deena: The goals is to not only be non-racist, but to actively be anti-racist, and teach your children to speak up against injustice.

Diana: We never arrive at being an ally. The work is never done. This is about making a commitment to doing this work every day, forever.

On Black Lives Matter versus "all lives matter"

Deena: Saying Black Lives Matter doesn't take away the importance from other lives. It's akin to a house burning. The fire department doesn't attempt to put out flames in the entire neighborhood, they just focus on the house in flames. In a similar manner, the black community needs everyone to step up and fight against injustice.

They say necessity is the mother of invention—and nothing makes you more inventive than motherhood.

Sometimes that means fashioning a diaper out of paper towels and your older child's underpants (true story). Sometimes that means creating an innovative and life-changing weighted baby sleep sack and totally crushing it on Shark Tank. Tara Williams is the latter.

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5 brilliant products that encourage toddler independence

Help your little one help themselves.

One of our main goals as mothers is to encourage our children to learn, grow and play. They start out as our tiny, adorable babies who need us for everything, and somehow, before you know it, they grow into toddlers with ideas and opinions and desires of their own.

You may be hearing a lot more of "I do it!" or maybe they're pushing your hand away as a signal to let you know, I don't need your help, Mama. That's okay. They're just telling you they're ready for more independence. They want to be in charge of their bodies, and any little bit of control their lives and abilities allow.

So, instead of challenging your toddler's desire for autonomy, we found five of our favorite products to help encourage independence—and eliminate frustration in the process.

EKOBO Bamboo 4-piece kid set

EKOBO bamboo 4-piece kid set

This colorful set includes a plate, cup, bowl and spoon and is just right for your child's meal experience. Keep them in an easy-to-reach cabinet so they'll feel encouraged (and excited!) to get their own place setting each time they eat.


Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Before you know it, your little one will be asking (okay, maybe demanding) to fill their own water cups. This amazing 4-pack of cups attaches directly to the fridge (or any glass, metal, tile or fiberglass surface) making it easier for your child to grab a cup themselves. Just be sure a water pitcher or dispenser is nearby, and—boom!—one task off your plate.


Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

These beautiful blocks, made from sustainably-sourced wood and water-based, non-toxic, lead-free paint, will keep your little one focused on their creation while they're also busy working on their fine-motor skills. The puzzle design will encourage patience as your kiddo creates their own building, fitting one block in after the next.


Lorena Canals basket

Lorena Canals Basket

This *gorgeous* braided cotton basket is the perfect, accessible home for their blocks (and whatever else you want to hide away!) so your kiddo can grab them (and clean them up) whenever their heart desires.


BABYBJÖRN step stool

BABYBJ\u00d6RN Step Stool

Your kiddo might be ready to take on the world, but they might need an extra boost to do so—cue, a step stool! An easy-to-move lightweight stool is the must-have confidence-boosting tool you need in your home so your growing tot can reach, well... the world.


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


I wasn’t sure if I wanted to have kids—so here’s what I did

We asked our three most pessimistic friends who have kids whether it's worth it or not

As told to Liz Tenety.

Around the time my husband and I were turning 30, we had a genuine conversation about whether or not we wanted kids. I was the hesitant one because I was like, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Let's just hold on. Okay, let's talk about this. Because we love our life. We like traveling. Is this what we want?"

My husband said, "Let's ask our three most pessimistic, crabby friends who have kids whether or not it's worth it."

And every single one of them was like, "Oh, it's unmissable on planet earth."

So when I got pregnant, I was—and I'm not ashamed to say this and I don't think you should be—I was as connected with the baby in my belly as if it were a water bottle. I was like, I don't know you. I don't know what you are, but you can be some gas pain sometimes, but other than that, we're going to have to meet each other and suss this relationship out.

But all the cliches are true that you just know what to do when the baby comes out. Some of the times are hard, some of them are easier, but you just gotta use your gut.

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