Hi friends. I’ve been struggling with what to say in order to ease back into the typical health, fitness, and lifestyle content that you’re used to seeing around here. While I could easily hop back into it full force, my heart isn’t there yet.
I’ve learned more than I could write in the last few weeks. And hey, the last three months of being in quarantine have taught me several life lessons as well. I’ve adjusted the things that I want to focus on, my personal goals have shifted, and my eyes have opened to things we just can’t unsee or unlearn.
This space was created to be a lighthearted, yet informative. You can expect to see more healthy eats, recipes, workouts, city whereabouts, mom life, etc., and you will. But, as an ally, I feel compelled to add that I will be including more diversity and speak up when needed. While most of my research and conversations for change will be done offline, I will be sharing more variety in the shops I support, the restaurants we dine out at, and the people I follow in the health and fitness industries.
I can’t highlight everything (and man, wouldn’t that be a long list), so I’ll keep this one a little lighter, like a good ‘ol weekend recap with some of the takeaways that I think we should cover.
Please take a few minutes to read my last blog post that includes many action steps you can take to help moving forward. You can also reference the story highlights I’ve shared on Instagram under the highlight labeled “change” on the main profile.
Thank you so much for hearing me and supporting.
Town Hall With Sesame Street Takeaways
One of the biggest highlights of this time for me was watching the CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall special with Skyler on Saturday morning. He absolutely loves Elmo, so I figured I’d give it a try and learn something as well. That I did. And at two years old, being exposed to the content with conversations on the show and with me on the commercial breaks definitely didn’t hurt.
You can watch the entire episode here, and below are my biggest take-homes:
Your child is not too young to talk about racism. They are seeing it in real life anyways, especially with the protests. We need to do our part and explain what is happening.
Here’s more on how to talk to your kids about showing empathy and taking action …
- You’re caring about how other people feel and trying to understand what they are going through. Now talk about what can you do to support them. Ask them “what can you do to support them?” and listen and coach their answers.
- Finding a balance between talking about racism, addressing it and putting unnecessary burdens on them can be hard. Talk about what’s fair and what’s unfair, and how to stand up for circumstances and situations.
- White privilege. This is the situation that racism affects black (and other) communities, but not white communities. These communities might not get equal rights or opportunities in things like getting approved for loans, getting a job, and more, simply because of the color of their skin. It’s important to discuss and acknowledge this.
- Change the “we don’t see color” mindset. Read the books. Read age appropriate books with your children. Talk about the differences in skin colors and why we have to see and love all colors.
- How should kids deal with racism when it happens to them? Children need to learn how to interrupt racism and practice responses with their families. Being bullied because of racism is not okay, so we have to discuss actions that should follow when this happens.
- How do we broaden the conversation to other races? Talk to your children about the diversity of not just skin color, but eye shape, hair texture, and everything under the rainbow that can make us different. If you don’t have a diverse community, you can find pictures.
- Do the work.
I can’t recommend watching or rewatching the episode enough!
There’s something to be said about a community coming together to support what is right. While living in New York City isn’t the easiest right now, I am thankful for the neighborhood we live in and the family-friendly support that follows.
Not all protests are violent, and we felt comfortable taking Skyler to a family march to stand in solidarity with protesters in NYC on Sunday. We gathered as families and with our children to show that we are raising them to be anti-racist and stand up for what is right, peacefully.
It was an emotional walk, and while some kept marching, we stopped at Grand Army Plaza in the midst of a drum circle. As the song “Lean on Me” played on various instruments, the circle grew bigger and the crowd clapped and sang along.
Free drinks and snacks were served to all, and love was felt all around. It was really neat to witness, and for the first time in a long time, it sent a wave of peace and hope through my soul.
Kids see what’s happening in the world around them, and it sticks with them. They hold onto things. They may not ask you about it in real time, but it will come up completely out of the blue when you least expect it.
It’s never too early to teach your kids the difference between right and wrong. They’re never too young to hear about the importance of equality. We’re never too old to change our ways, and it all starts with conversations that can literally change lives.
Be the change, my friends.
I’ll be back with some healthy eating inspiration tomorrow, and I will be sharing resources as well as continuing my education behind the scenes. Ways that we can support this movement will be sprinkled in from here on out, and I want to thank you for checking in today and for opening your minds and hearts as we move towards the future.
Wishing you a great day, and chat soon.
Stay safe out there!
Ashley @ A Lady Goes West
Heather! I think it’s amazing you went to the protest. And I love that you’ve started early on bringing Skyler into the equality discussion. Thank you for being a positive (and realistic) voice of change! We all have so much work to do to be better, but we’re here for it.
Ashley @ A Lady Goes West recently posted…How to schedule your week of workouts
Thank you! I was nervous about the protests until I actually went and saw one for myself. It’s important to show up and stand up for change in a respectful way!