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5 ways mothers are transforming the world—from inside their homes

An interview with Tara Teng, former Miss World Canada and advocate fighting human trafficking.

5 ways mothers are transforming the world—from inside their homes

Tara Teng, former Miss World Canada, is a force of nature.


Since winning Miss World Canada in 2012, Tara has been fighting gender-based violence and human trafficking. And not just fighting, but actually creating real waves of change.

Tara has been directly involved in getting new laws passed in Canada that help to protect those affected by human trafficking, and has established Canada’s first Municipal Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking.

She was named Canada’s “Woman of the Year” in 2011, named one of the Globe and Mail’s “Top 25 Most Transformational Canadians,” and has received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal as recognition for her work to end the sexual slavery.

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Tara herself seems unstoppable. But changing the world; it seems like such a massive thing. So immense and vague. Where do you even begin? Tara believes it can happen inside the four walls of your home.

A mother of one, with one on the way, Tara shares with Motherly the 5 ways she believes mothers are changing the world, right from our own living rooms—

1. Teaching compassion beyond our own life

Raising children today means raising global citizens for tomorrow. With that huge responsibility comes huge opportunity, and the ability to shape the future.

We can teach our children compassion by helping them to realize that although it may seem that some issues do not effect us directly, we are actually all connected in some way or another.

The food we eat, items we buy, things we participate in, and friends that we have, come from all over the world now. That makes our choices all the more important. In my experience, children are incredibly attuned to justice concepts of fairness and equality, understanding compassion sometimes more easily than we do. We help our son to think and act beyond himself by teaching him the importance of choices; good choices have good rewards for yourself or others while bad choices have bad consequences for yourself or others.

2. Instilling confidence

Perhaps one of the greatest challenges of motherhood is raising confident children in a cutthroat world. We must teach our children to be both strong and compassionate, to speak the truth with grace and to stick up for what is right, even when it is hard. Sometimes we do this by allowing our children the freedom to fall, take risks and when necessary, handle rejection with grace. Life will not always be kind to them, but they must learn to be kind to others in all situations. Giving our children challenges to overcome helps them to build confidence in their abilities and the experience to know what to do when they encounter difficult situations.

3. Using the lessons we have learned as mothers to better the world

Parenting is one of those life experiences that teach you a lot about yourself and your world. For me, raising my son is a daily exercise in patience, compassion and my own emotional intelligence. Learning how to communicate these things effectively to my boy or walk him through the process of calming himself down in an emotional situation, will ultimately lead him to becoming a better human being and on the flip side, is giving me greater perspective to understand where others may be coming from, in the board room, at the grocery store and at home. After all, we all benefit from a little extra patience and understanding, right?

4. Embracing diversity

This generation is more connected than ever before and traditional walls that once divided us (i.e. race, gender, spirituality) are no longer holding us back in they way they did before. Raising our children to be rainbow children, with friends that represent all backgrounds in life, is a very powerful way to help our children embrace diversity and learn from one another.

5. Modeling how to practically apply personal values

As mothers, we are one of our child’s most influential role models due to our close proximity in their lives. They watch what we say and do all day long. We teach our children how to practically apply the values we instill within them by living them out in daily situations. For example, we can teach our children to be active participants in their local communities by finding ways to involve them. Shopping local, supporting family-run businesses and donating time or efforts to local charities are all great ways to get our little people involved in the community. Over time and through intentional conversation, your kids will learn how to invest in their community and practically live out important values.

More Motherly wisdom from Tara—

When did you start your involvement with the fight against human trafficking?

Tara Teng: When I was sixteen we moved to a new community in the suburbs of Vancouver. As I got to know my neighbors, I learned that one of them had lost a daughter to human trafficking. At 14-years-old she had been lured into prostitution by a trafficker who pretended to be her boyfriend.

I had known about human trafficking before, but I always thought it happened in other places of the world, I didn’t realize that it was rampant even in North America, happening on my very street.

To have something so devastating hit so close to home made it impossible for me to ignore the reality. Throughout my high school years I began studying everything I could on human trafficking, both within Canada and abroad. I went on to become very active in social justice clubs throughout university.

Now, I’ve been working for ten years to combat human trafficking and I serve as the BC Director of the Joy Smith Foundation, focused on prevention programs and the rehabilitation of human trafficking survivors in Canada.


What has been accomplished, and what are you working on now?

Tara Teng: I worked in Canadian Parliament for a time as part of the team lead by MP Joy Smith that successfully passed two private member’s bills that established mandatory minimum sentencing for persons caught trafficking a minor, and that extended Canada’s extra-territorial jurisdiction to hold Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada accountable for trafficking minors outside of Canadian borders. We were also involved in the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking, as initially proposed by MP Joy Smith. And alongside the Langley Human Trafficking Task Force, I co-wrote the country’s first municipal action plan to combat human trafficking.

Much of my work now is focused on helping the average person find their place in the freedom story.

It doesn’t matter who we are or what background we come from, we all have influence to make the world a better place.

I help people to understand their gifts and abilities so that they can use them with purpose.

My greatest encouragement is working with young people, and the mothers of young people. There is just something about a child that deeply understands fairness, equality and the importance of standing up for what is right; or teenagers who are compelled into action when they hear that the target age for recruitment into human trafficking in the same age as their peers.

These young people are world changers; and as their parents it is our job to model a socially conscious lifestyle to our children while also showing them an unwillingness to back down from what we know is right.


The key to making sure my mornings run smoothly is. . .

Tara Teng: The key to making my mornings run smoothly is time management…and a sweet cup of tea! But in all seriousness, I am always running late and mornings are the worst because no one in my family is a morning person. I’ve found it to be incredibly helpful if I can prep breakfast and wash my hair the night before. Overnight oats with chia pudding and wild rice is a family favourite.


The lifehack or tip that has changed my life:

Tara Teng: The lifehack or tip that has changed my life is learning to when to say “no” to things that are draining so that I can save my “yes” for the things that really matter.

As mothers and modern women we all wear a lot of hats. For me, being a person of diverse interests and deep passion means that I have had to learn how to find balance in my life by focusing my efforts strategically and purposefully while also protecting the importance of family time and self-care. If I’m not intentional with my time and with my “yes” then I quickly tend to find myself spread too thin.

And when all else fails, we pack up the jeep and head to the mountains for a little family escape!

Choosing to only invest myself into things that bring purpose to my goals or things that bring joy to my heart has been a great way to avoid burnout.

The superpower I discovered as a mom:

Tara Teng: The superpower that I discovered as a mom was endurance. While in labor, we all reach a point where we must push ourselves to keep going, beyond what we originally thought was possible. We discover how strong we truly are and that endurance, the ability to push through the hardest times, brings us to the ultimate goal of holding our children in our arms.

For me, the strength and endurance I acquired giving birth has carried through with me today. When things get hard, I have to “woman up” and be the adult, because my littles need me to be strong for them.


The quote that inspires me on the hard days is. . .

Tara Teng: In my line of work, I come across a lot of nay-sayers, people who don’t believe that positive change can come to major world issues of injustice. Yet though I’ve seen some of the most horrific things humans can do to one another, I also get to witness incredible victory. The bottom line is that nothing is ever impossible and great power can come from a dedicated community that is faithful and strategic to their cause.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”
Margaret Mead

Right now, with the current world affairs, I’m hearing a lot of people question if one vote counts or if it’s even possible to bring change to a culture based on systemic racial discrimination and sexual violence; my answer will always be yes. It may not happen right away but we must never give up on fighting for what is right.

To me, being "Motherly" means. . .

Tara Teng: Being both strong and nurturing. Mothers are badass warriors, who fight for our children and to make the world a better place for the generations yet to come.

Haley Campbell is the founder of Beluga Baby and creator of the ultimate bamboo baby carrier. She is a regular contributor to Motherly and is an avid advocate for entrepreneurs, and for the new generation of mothers making the world their own.

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By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

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For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.

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Hands-Free Pumping Bra

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Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!

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Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.

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Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

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There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌

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Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

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When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.

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Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.

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Washable Breast Pads

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Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.

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The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.

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Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.



Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

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