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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.

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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Sometimes inspiration just strikes.

Diana, our Motherly Experts Editor, had a moment just like that. The result was magic. "I was tucking my middle guy in, and he was all toddler-perfect... lost in a sea of blankets, so cute and little, and I just had this moment of, "wow, one day he is going to be a grown up, and someone else is going to love him..." And the rest is history :)" These poignant moments of motherhood touch the heart in immeasurable ways...balh able bla

After the tears have dried, this unique story, inspired by the overflow of love in a mother's heart, stays with you for a loooong time and is bound to resonate in your heart fas long as a mother's love remains for her child, long after they've left home. That's motherly. And, that's Motherly.

"To the person who falls in love with my son" went viral.

This video, more than the sum of its parts, has provided an overall experience that has transcended its concept, writing, execution, quality of craft—and heart.

• It has been viewed 26,387,039 times.


• It has reached 58,287,532 people.


• It has garnered 2,363,086 social engagements (comments, likes, and shares).


This video elevates what is in plain sight to something timeless, universal, and memorable. Bound to live in the heart of anyone who views it, this video is destined for legend in the parenting community online. Our innovative strategy, tactics and creativity combine to succeed at truly engaging our community.

Motherly not only has over 3X the engagement of competitors in the parenting space but also across women's interest and lifestyle categories.

FACEBOOK FOLLOWERS VS. ENGAGEMENT RATE

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With a clean and direct design aesthetic, our content does not get lost in the overload that is so endemic to other brands. Our unique sense of honesty and our authentic and emotional content connect with our community of engaged Millennial moms across channels to deliver results that empower and inspire. Through the powerful lens of motherhood, our content generates mom-to-mom sharing and valuable conversation, unlike any other brand.




Meet Motherly.
We are a community–driven lifestyle brand redefining motherhood. Motherly occupies a unique position in the media landscape, sitting at the intersection of parenting, lifestyle and women's interests to address her entire life and connect her more fully.

At Motherly we have a voice.

We are the only positive, encouraging parenting site reaching and influencing Millennial moms when they are looking for and absorbing more information, products and services than during any other life transition. How we think, act, and express ourselves is why we have built such a strong community of mamas.

Our community engages across all platforms, at Motherly, on Instagram and on Facebook, because mamas are on the move.

Motherly supports mamas through their entire parenthood journey, delivering women-centric content that addresses her whole lifestyle through thousands of articles, images, videos and classes each month with Mom-to-mom insights, inspiration and empowerment.

Our innovative strategy, tactics and creativity combine to succeed at truly engaging our community.

With a clean and direct design aesthetic, our content does not get lost in the overload that is so endemic to other brands. Our approach to content and how it is presented crosses all platforms for a cohesive and truly branded aesthetic that is fresh, clear and direct, always light and enlightening.

With a unique sense of honesty, our authentic and emotional content connects with our community of engaged Millennial moms across channels to deliver results that empower and inspire. Through the powerful lens of motherhood, our content generates mom-to-mom sharing and valuable conversation, unlike any other brand.

Motherly not only has over 3X the engagement of competitors in the parenting space but also across women's interest and lifestyle categories.


FACEBOOK FOLLOWERS VS. ENGAGEMENT RATE

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Sources: Facebook Analytics 2018


The synergy of our compelling content, pure aesthetic and fully engaged community has afforded us staggering fan growth.

In October, 2017, we doubled down on our engagement strategy to reach our community with our innovative approach to content and realized a stunning fan growth of 442% over the following twelve months.



That "something" extra...

Through our social presence—encompassing concept, creativity, content, structure, visual design, functionality and interactivity—women are encouraged and have the confidence to know, "I've got this". As savvy, digital natives, Millennial mamas take Motherly everywhere for information, inspiration, and empowerment—we are the brand that helps her redefine what it means to be motherly, every day.

Vacationing with a baby isn't for the faint of heart. But while it typically means more luggage (hello, travel-friendly bassinets, clothes for all seasons, and more diapers than you can shake a boarding pass at!), it's still possible to have a fun, memorable adventure with your little ones―especially with the right equipment.

Our favorite family vacation saver? The right baby carrier, like BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier One Air. The breathable, mesh design is perfect for a variety of climates, while the supportive construction will help you stay comfortable while you trek across your favorite destination.

One of our favorite family-friendly locales? Los Angeles. That's why we teamed up with LA mama extraordinaire Magin Birrenkott to share the best places to play in La-La Land when you have little ones in tow.

DO

La Brea Tar Pits and Museum
Perfect for your little dinosaur lovers, the famous Tar Pits and art museum feature something for everyone. Take the tar pit tour to learn more about excavation, or simply let the little ones run around the park to see the variety of sculptures. The museum features a Fossil Lab, atrium, and even a 3D theater to learn more. "You can have lunch and play on the grassy areas around the tar pits and fossil areas, as well as grab a coffee and stroll through the different art exhibits around the park," Birrenkott recommends.

Kidspace Children's Museum
Who says vacation can't also be educational? This incredible children's museum helps your little ones learn about everything from physics to biology―all through the power of play. Babies can face out in the Baby Carrier One so they'll have plenty to look at while staying snuggled up to you. Bigger kids will love experiencing the indoor and outdoor exhibits. Note: Several attractions feature water play, so pack a spare outfit for any kids who like to get messy.

Magin navigating a day out in LA with two little people and one free hand, thanks to the BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier One Air.

Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens
Lions, tigers, bears...and more! The LA Zoo is home to a variety of animals from around the world―all of which your kiddos will love to admire. The bird show and giraffe feedings are especially popular hits. "Make sure to plan the short trek to the giraffes between 11:00-12:00 and 2:30-3:30. For $5 you get three branches and are able to feed them up close and personal!" Birrenkott says.

Move your little one to your back in the Baby Carrior One Air so they can get close to the action too. "We like to go at the very beginning since they can get full and sometimes walk away if there were too many people in front of you." After letting the kids run out their energy in the zoo, the Botanical Gardens make the perfect spot to relax and have lunch. "There's a beautiful grassy area that's quiet where you can set a blanket and enjoy the beautiful LA weather. And for us struggling tired mamas, there's a coffee shop that has the most amazing lattes and cappuccinos. Huge win."

SEE

The El Capitan Theatre

More than just a must-see on your tour of Hollywood, the El Capitan Theatre is an excellent spot for family memories. There are "Tiny Tot Tuesdays" for families with younger children (AKA, no one will give you a dirty look if your kiddo wants to sing along...or just throws a tantrum mid-show), and all of the family-friendly movies feature something extra, whether it's live Disney cast members, gift bags, or extra effects like confetti. Check the website to find out what is showing during your trip.

Aquarium of the Pacific
If your kids are fans of Finding Dory, they're going to love the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. With everything from penguins to sea otters to sharks (not to mention millions of fish in every shape, size, color), there's something to catch the eye of everyone in your family. The aquarium also features seasonal festivals and events, so check the calendar during your visit to make sure you don't miss their best shows. As for your littlest family members, they'll enjoy a comfy ride through the aquarium in their carrier.

"Our weather is all over the place sometimes, but in the BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier One Air, he didn't get sweaty at all!" Birrenkott says. "Plus, after two days of activities, my back is in one piece. I can babywear him all the time now!"

Traveling Tikes
Forget something at home? Traveling Tikes on Santa Monica Boulevard is the perfect spot to scoop up any baby gear that didn't make it into your suitcase―including the BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier One Air for easier travel around town. One other store we love? KIDSLAND on Wilshire Boulevard.


Making the time to explore is one of the greatest gifts you can give your family―and yourself. And thanks to BabyBjörn, now everyone can come along for the ride.

This article is sponsored by BabyBjörn. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

If there's anything better than dressing your kids up in adorable holiday outfits, it's gotta be matching them.

We rounded up seven of our favorite looks for this season. 🎁

1. Classic Christmas for kids

Go crisp, clean, classic and Christmassy with a Short Sleeve Smocked Holiday Dress from Feltman Brothers.

Short Sleeve Smocked Holiday Dress, Feltman Brothers, $67.95

BUY

Classic Christmas made modern for mama

Match your cotton cutie in a crisp and modern shirtdress that can last you far beyond Christmas.

Kowtow Monologue Shirt Dress, Garmentory, $93.00

BUY

2. Nordic-themed sweater set

Get cozy + complimentary with black and red family sweaters that you can wear all winter long.

Oh Sno Happy Christmas Collection, Hanna Andersson, $68 - $92

BUY

3. Matchy matchy mommy

A super-affordable option for the matchy matchy mama.

Emmababy Mommy and Me Matching Plaid Long Sleeve Shirt Dress + Princess Tulle Tutu Dress, $14.99

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4. Mommy + me tutus

Tutus make everything, including the holidays, a bit more magical. Grab a matching set to enjoy a twirl with your girl.

Mommy and Me Tulle Tutus, Etsy, $110.00

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5. The perfect plaid dress

Quick! This one is perfect, grab it fast.

Ruffle Trim Babydoll Dress for Toddler Girls, Old Navy, $20.00

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Mama's plaid

Mama deserves ruffles and plaid, too.

Relaxed Plaid Twill Classic Shirt, $24.00, Old Navy

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6. Best sweater set yet

Moms and sons can play match-up, too. Grab a sweater set you can return to the entire season.

Festivewear Sweater Sets, Boden, $55.00-$130.00

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7. Big blue

Light up the night with Santa's sleigh and a sleek little number for mama.

Festive Big Applique Dress, Boden, $48.00

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Blue for you, too

The perfect LBD (little blue dress).

Flippy Pencil Dress, Boden, $170.00

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Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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