Raising Justice

A blog about parenting, growth, and healing…

  • Anti-racist baby
    I read Anti-racist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi to my littlest. They especially like the counting. While reading this book, there is a page that shows a white person on a ladder who reaches the top and has a trophy. There is a second ladder with a Black person and the rungs above them are […]
  • November astrology
    These days, I think I can call myself an astrologer. I have been studying astrology for the last 3 years and have just loved every second of it. There is something in there that speaks to me, and especially in our birth charts. Here, we can see the universe at the exact moment of our […]
  • Lord Beric
    I love dogs, like love love dogs. In fact, I dream of retirement on a farm with so many dogs. Enough to fill the fields and enjoy the wonders of the land. I have always lived with a dog, starting with the day I was born. First, there was Bruno, a German Shepherd who spent […]
  • “Thank you Mommy”
    “Ooh, hi Mommy! Shower good?” my youngest asked as I walked out of the bathroom. “It was good, thank you baby,” I replied. Our two kids are so different in how they approach the world. In a 2 and 1/2 year old person, we can already see how they are becoming their own in the […]
  • Black Lives Matter
    She’s been having trouble sleeping. There is a lot to worry about these days. And it’s all taking form in the minutes after she lays down to sleep. I know this all too well. The other night, she came out and said she was scared. We asked her what she was scared of. And she […]
  • Blueberries and bees
    The other day, I was stung by a bee. My parents were in town and we decided to take a trip to a farm to pick some peaches. When we got there, we learned that the peaches had been picked clean and needed to ripen. But there were still blueberries for the “die hard” pickers. […]
  • My name is Kelly Baker Warner
    My whole life, I’ve been so good at being good. I have shown up in the way that others have wanted me to, or how I have assumed they have wanted me to. I’m tired of being good, and my rawness is starting to seep out. So let me reintroduce myself… My name is Kelly […]
  • Damn, it feels good to write again
    I’ve been away for six months. In early 2020, I attended a retreat to vision the year ahead. I was struggling, just thinking about the simple tasks I wanted to complete. What were my values and how was I meeting them? I was forced to confront this. And it became so clear to me, the […]
  • Intuitive eating…post #2
    I’ve been in the dark. And I’ll admit that writing, sharing has been hard lately. Not only has the world turned dark, and cold, but so has my body. When I took on the healing process to find my intuitive eater, I was told that emotions might arise. And they have erupted. There is an […]
  • So many questions…
    When I was teaching sex ed, I worked with parents on how to talk with their kids when hard questions came up. The answer is always to answer matter of factly with truth and honesty. Then wait. Kids will ask a follow up if they don’t understand or ask nothing more if their curiosity is […]
  • A bathroom disagreement
    I had a nerve-wracking incident come up the other day – an email from the school counselor expressing concern about something my daughter did. Very simply, in a hall bathroom she shared a stall with another student. They each went to the bathroom and then proceeded to play around in the bathroom instead of going […]
  • Halloween candy
    First read this article by Virginia Sole-Smith. “How to stay sane about Halloween candy.” I’ll admit, I was anxious about this Halloween. How was I going to handle the candy this year with two kids, and with one who is only a toddler? Last year, my oldest, then 5, got so much candy. And she […]
  • A short story on the beginning of humans
    We were in the car and somehow the topic of birth came up. She started to ask me questions about scenarios and birth. “What would happen if someone gave birth in their house? In their car? In a parking lot? In the ocean? In outer space?” She got stuck on my answer about having a […]
  • Intuitive eating…post #1 of many
    “What would you like for snack?” I asked. “Gummies,” she responds. Every. Time. “AGUA!” shouts my youngest. This is my house, currently. As I embark on intuitive eating, a quest to rid my life of diet culture and to embrace this squishy, perfect body of mine, I am considering how our house can move in […]
  • Do I look pretty?
    “Do I look pretty?” she asked. “You always look pretty,” I responded. “And that dress is pretty too.” I had a realization this morning, these come all too often anymore. As I navigate healing and existing in this world, I continue to unravel the layers of how I live differently than I say and love. […]
  • Rock ‘n Roll
    Six years old had been an amazing ride. I am watching this little person start to sense and understand empathy. I am watching her start to see impact and feel guilt about impact she doesn’t intend. I am starting to see her consider her options, make choices and be a little less implusive. She is […]
  • Eat! and Race!
    My youngest is 19 months old, so it’s time to start talking about race. In our house, we believe that being race explicit is essential to understanding racism and oppression in this world and country. We also believe that colorblindness is harmful and we want them to untangle this problematic worldview in their lives. Once, […]
  • Boundaries
    They quit me. Just like that and it was over. One morning it was a refusal, and then another, and then another. They just kept coming. Uncomfortable, breasts engorged from unexpressed milk, I wasn’t sure what to do. “Maybe, it’s a phase,”  I thought, “or maybe it was a strike. I’ve heard that babies can have […]
  • Still eating that piece of cake…and learning
    Two of my most read blog pieces were about dealing with food and my kids. See them here and here. Writing is a way for me to put to paper, to the world sometimes, what is going on. And it’s a way to show my learning. Both pieces I wrote feel out of date, and […]
  • Bedtime apologies
    I’ve done some deep diving into how I parent lately and thinking about what I’d want to share with others. One thing keeps popping up for me. Apologies. I wonder how many parents apologize to our kids. Society tells us that we are all knowing. That we are the guides, the teachers, the ones who […]
  • The robin
    “Mom, come quick, you have to see this bird. It’s so beautiful,” she said. I was in the baby’s room getting them ready for something. “Can I borrow your phone? I want to take a picture,” she asked. I handed over the phone and finished what I was doing quickly to make it over to […]
  • Jelly beans
    “Mommy, you should eat slower so you don’t eat so much,” she slipped into our dinner conversation. I jumped, without thinking. “We don’t tell people how to eat, not how much or what speed or their choices,” I sternly responded. I wish I had replied more gently, made it a moment to share why. But […]
  • Raising justice and healing me
    I’ve been writing for two months and have shared very little. Unsure of what to say out loud. Unsure if it’s even meant to be heard. In March, it became clear to me that my parenting was short sighted. I had been focusing on my kids so deeply that I was missing what I needed […]
  • Small steps
    The other day, I saw a post on facebook that I decided to share with my daughter. Here is the picture. I quickly noticed the issue and wanted to see if she did too. I showed her the picture and we talked through what it said. I asked her what she saw. She noticed that […]
  • Self-acceptance and the body
    I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’m teaching my kids about bodies. I have made a point to not talk badly about bodies including my own. In fact, I’ve gotten pretty good at silencing my inner critic, telling myself this or that is not true. But, I’ve also noticed that I don’t outwardly love […]
  • Imagine a world…
    A friend is due to have a baby in a few months. When I got to see them the other day, I got to share a little bit in their joy, bliss. Hear about what is exciting and what nerves are sneaking up. They are not finding out the sex of the baby. Out of […]
  • Blocked
    I have something to share, I’m blocked. This happens every once and a while where I have nothing to write about. So it leaves me with this task of writing for the sake of writing, which then makes me feel unsure about my work. I also find it draws away from authenticity. I instead write […]
  • You’re a tiger
    My kid had a rough play-date recently. Both kids are strong and independent and like to be in charge of deciding how to play. My kid was also having a tough day, one I blame myself for. That morning, she was taking a while to get ready. This is not unusual. She is a last […]
  • My birth story – one year later
    About 365 days ago, I shared my birth story. The story of when my youngest came into this world. Not as planned, as they nearly never are, but also filled with a few days of twists and turns and an abundance of life changing love. I wanted to share our story, one year later. In […]
  • A toy vacuum
    I bought the baby a toy vacuum. They love it, as they are much in love with our robot vacuum. Always touching it, sneaking up to it while it cleans. As I was putting it into the shopping cart, I had a flashback to when my daughter was a baby. There was no way I […]
  • Just a short story on empathy
    I have to admit, I was worried. “She’s five, isn’t empathy supposed to kick in by now?” I kept asking myself. I was trying to do everything I could to teach it. Little bits of sharing here, role modeling there, asking her questions about her feelings. I was getting no where. And I’d be lying […]
  • In a world of chaos and wonder, we must evolve
    A few days ago, my baby turned one year old. As I did with my first, I spent the hours up until the anniversary of their birth remembering where I was, what we were doing, and what was happening. I am quite surprised by what came up for me. With my first, I remember trying […]
  • More sparks of joy
    My baby is turning one, that alone is throwing off my week. There is an unexpected set of emotions I am experiencing as their born day creeps closer. This is my last baby, at least I am 99% sure. As a result, the need to capture every second of every moment is very present for […]
  • Valentine’s day and my high school newspaper
    It has been many years since I have been able to get on board with Valentine’s Day. I just haven’t been able to connect, mostly due to the capitalistic side of it. Like many other things, I did some research on Valentine’s Day in my younger years. I did this while I worked on my […]
  • Footloose
    Today, I feel compelled to write about play. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. There are so many moments that my kid asks me to play and I think of some excuse not to. I tell myself it’s because I have too much to do. Or that her idea of play is confusing, […]
  • Some honest parenting
    I am doing some deep work on myself these days. This includes looking at my parenting and how I am choosing to parent in single moments. To date, I’ve mostly looked at my overall parenting, my collection of moments – simply meaning looking at what values I want to uplift and teach, what decisions I […]
  • Sparks of Joy
    Last night, while figuring out what to do, I saw a post from a friend on facebook to check out the Netflix show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. First, let me recommend this friend, Kendra Hicks who has a rad blog and is working on the most amazing project in Boston. Check out her website […]
  • A quick word on civil disobedience
    I am reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, and am on Chapter 9 this week. In this chapter, she states, “parents do act hurt when children rebel.” And this got me thinking… Specifically, it made me think of a Facebook post I saw a while back that I want to share. It’s from a […]
  • Be the lighthouse
    I’ve been thinking a lot about pronouns these days…. I want to first admit that we haven’t been as gender neutral as I want for pronouns in our house. We’ve pretty much reached the point where we use gendered pronouns for our baby all the time. I am struggling my way through this. And, I […]
  • Parenting astrology 101?
    Back in the spring, I participated in a group on astrology called Astro Story Club. As part of the group, I learned more about birth charts and took a deep dive into my own. The awesome thing I learned about birth (or natal) charts is that they are not your future or fortune, and they […]
  • “Well, that makes me feel sad.”
    My kid had a friend over the other day. Their dynamics are so interesting to me. They fight, a lot. But, they don’t want to stop playing together. When they argue, I offer them a break or to play again later. They both always say no and then look at me with confusion. This day, […]
  • The real Santa lives in Rhode Island
    My kid asked me this the other day… “Does Santa really watch you all the time?” I immediately said no. When we first started the idea of Santa, we decided he wouldn’t be the creepy version most of us are taught. This includes that Santa doesn’t watch you all the time. We tell her that […]
  • Eating that piece of cake
    Last spring, I wrote a piece called “Piece of Cake.” It was about our turmoil of what our kid ate and eats and the fact that she doesn’t eat. I introduced some ideas of how to handle it better and we gave it a try. Over 6 months, I have learned more about food, parenting, […]
  • Update – Boys will be boys?
    A few weeks ago I wrote a post called “Boys will be boys?” that you can check out here. It was a story that my five year old daughter told me about how she was treated on the playground by an older boy. It sparked some serious concern by many friends and family. And even […]
  • A gift from the universe
    I am reading “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. It’s a gift to myself, to re-ground in my creativity, to explore what’s next for me. I am on chapter three, called “Recovering a Sense of Power.” It focuses on anger, synchronicity, and shame. I just finished reading how the universe will gives you gifts and […]
  • Ready, Jet, Go
    My kid watches PBS every morning. This is mostly because we don’t have cable and it’s the only kids show on in the morning. But, it’s also because both we and she love the shows. Sure Daniel Tiger is whiny, and Pinkalicious is a name I didn’t know existed, and Thomas is pretty selfish. But […]
  • Every moment
    The baby wakes me at 5:30am most mornings. Today, it was 5:34am, an extra four minutes of overdue rest. After 1st breakfast, (I call it this because it’s impossible to not eat again until lunch at noon) we sat down to relax. He was a bit tired and squirmy, so when this happens I turn […]
  • I can smell the woods
    These past four months, I have been stuck in a world of work. Returning from maternity leave, I was brought back to a job that needed more of my attention than I was able to give. But during and before my leave, I had been prioritizing me in order to prioritize my family. I was […]
  • Boys will be boys?
    I’m going to tell you a story. “Can I tell you something that happened yesterday?” “Yes.” “A boy tried to kill me.” “What!?!” “Well first he tried to kiss me, and then he tried to kill me.” “What did you do?” “I told him to stop but he didn’t listen.” “Did you tell anyone else?” “Yes, […]
  • Bodily autonomy
    Bodily autonomy…this has been quite the feat with my 5 year old. I am constantly worried about her body and ensuring that she owns it and others respect it. This seems to be going well. We respect her “no” and help guide her when she encounters others and it’s clear she understands how important this […]
  • More to come soon
    Hey Folks! I’ve had a month filled with beautiful chaos and I’ve lost my hold on getting posts up. I wanted you to know that I’m sending out love and that I’m still writing. More to come soon. Happy summer!
  • Lots of babies
    A couple of months back, I quickly realized that I had never talked with my daughter about pregnancy options. I taught her consent, that not all pregnancies survive, and how pregnancy happens. But I missed this crucial piece. Luckily, kids are brilliant and she brought it up herself. “Mom, when are we going to have […]
  • Piece of cake
    I want to talk about parenting and food, because goodness do I have no idea what I am doing. I am frustrated with myself by the things I say to my daughter: “Finish that or no treat for dessert…finish that or we won’t go…eat that or I’ll take away this…three more bites…you have to eat…ok […]
  • Giving and receiving love
    I have been called a (r)evolutionary parent. It’s quite the compliment and I’m struggling with embracing it. It’s made me think about how we accept love and kindness from others. Whether or not we fully accept gratitude. Recently my family was in town and at dinner we were having a fun time when my dad […]
  • “If, then” podcast
    This is a great podcast and I recommend it for a listen. One of the speakers, Eroc, is a friend and a (r)evolutionary parent. https://content.blubrry.com/the_platform/po_and_pro_3_27.mp3 In this podcast, he is unpacking the complicated components of punishment with two other men. It is three men talking honestly about how they want to step towards the world […]
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
    It was the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And, it was finally time to talk in depth about him and the civil rights movement with her as she’s finally starting to connect with things that happen in the past. I started by showing her a picture of him and […]
  • Beautiful chaos – the transition to a family of four
    Now that we are a family of four, I am realizing two very important things: My love is abundant. It really is possible to love another baby as much as your first, without sacrificing an ounce of what you already give. That no matter how much you prepare, the transition to a larger family is […]
  • #metoo
    Note: I wrote this post back in November and haven’t been able to bring myself to share it. Through self-exploration and intentional work, I am beginning to find my voice without fear of hurting others with this pain, and in feeling validity in the importance of sharing the hard stuff. Thank you for reading. In […]
  • My Birth Story
    Several days ago, I gave birth to a perfect little human. It was a whirlwind full of joy, fear, love, confusion, and blessings. As a result, I feel compelled to share my birth story, and to do so from two different perspectives – first, from a place of fear and second, from a place of […]
  • Birth update
    Hey folks – thank you all for liking and reading this blog. I wanted to give an update that I expect to slow down a bit these next few weeks. 6 days ago I gave birth to a gorgeous little human. We are all doing well and I look forward to sharing more through writing […]
  • “But I’m a good white person, right?”
    “But I’m a good white person, right?” my kid asked me the other night. As we were sitting in her bed, I wanted to show her a video of a chicken greeting its owner at a school bus stop because I knew it would make her laugh. In the process of scrolling through my social […]
  • Is pregnancy a diagnosis?
    I just spent two days feeling like a medical experiment. “Raising Justice” is about parenting, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t include what it’s like to parent while your kid is in the womb. We already make decisions for them before they can even survive on their own, breath in air, or open their […]
  • A handful
    I have written about #metoo a couple times now but have failed to press publish. I just can’t bring myself to share all the stories in a public forum just yet. But over the last few weeks, these stories have been ever so present in my mind watching person after person share their story, their […]
  • A quest to de-gender
    We have been on a quest to remove gendering from our kids lives, and it’s been a journey. For this pregnancy, we found out the sex of the baby. We did this last time too. It was too tempting not to, a symptom of our own socialization of gender. But we keep it mostly to […]
  • I’m turning towards the sun in 2018
    This time of year, we’re surrounded by New Year’s resolutions, challenges, contests, etc. all with the aim to improve ourselves. This year I reject that notion. I am not here to change me, but instead to be me for once. I reject what the world expects of me in regards to my body, my personality, […]
  • Good Night Stories for Kinder, More Loving, Consent Obtaining Boys
    This holiday I gave my daughter the newest version of “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls.” We also gave the same book to two of her cousins who also identify as cisgender girls. Both of these cousins can read the stories themselves and I watched one spend two days reading page after page. This inspired […]
  • “Baby, it’s cold outside”…so I’m going to wear a hat
    As Christmas music fills my life this month, I am regularly running into the song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” It’s catchy, easy to sing, and has the music sounds and sway of the season. I’ll admit, in the past I loved to sing along. But a couple of years ago, I heard myself, what I […]
  • Keeping our connection to humanity
    These days, it is an overwhelming experience to be in public. At 30 weeks pregnant, I am hard to miss. Yet, I am so easily missed. I am never in-between. Many folks have transformed me into a vessel – simply a body carrying a baby. So I am cooed at, told how cute I am. […]
  • Thanksgiving?
    Every year I struggle. Not just with the words, but how to explain to my daughter the intense truthful history of colonization. Thanksgiving feels like such a hoax and I am working to embrace it from a different direction. So far, our approach is to consider it as a way to come together in family, […]
  • Gendered toys
    The other day, my partner took our daughter for some fast food. At the drive-thru window, the cashier asked if he wanted the girl toy or the boy toy. From the back, she answered “girl toy.” This is what showed up in her meal. When she opened it, she said “thank goodness I got the […]
  • Batgirl Ariel
    Halloween is on its way, which means I have to figure out what to dress my child as. I always ask her and she never knows. This year I tried to get her to pick from a book she has on rebel girls. I thought for sure she’d pick Misty Copeland or Joan Jett. But […]
  • “9, 10, a big fat hen”
    My kid loves to sing, any and all songs. The other day I heard “1, 2, buckle my shoe” and I thought this could be an opportunity. The version she knows from school ends with “9, 10, a big fat hen.” This time when she sang it, she laughed and said “fat is a funny […]
  • Finding Humility in Parenting
    I was reminded of this instance not long ago and feel it’s an important lesson in humility as a parent. This reminder came because recently my daughter referred to a person as “bigger.” But then she followed with “some people are bigger and some are smaller and that’s ok.” When she was about three years […]
  • Toxic masculinity
    As I sit here, I feel incredibly overwhelmed. I am 19 weeks pregnant and now know that the baby has male body parts. This feels foreign to me and incredibly pressure filled. This little person has a good chance of growing up to hold the most privilege in our country. Although, we don’t know their* […]
  • Charlottesville
    Today, I spoke to my 4 year old about white supremacy. We’ve talked many times before about how some white people think that they are better than people of color. We have talked about how some people even have hate for people of color. But today, as she scrolled through my facebook feed like a […]
  • Parenting win
    A good friend got her a shirt that reads “Puppies, Not Patriarchy.” It was pretty big in size, so it was only the other day that she finally picked it to actually wear. We were getting ready to go to the grocery store. When she showed up in the big shirt, big smile, ready to […]
  • The women’s march in DC
    I was so sick and I couldn’t march. I had planned on going, and taking her with me. I thought, “she needs to start learning about being out in the streets to fight for our rights, to fight for change.” But I was too sick. Instead, we sat at home while I nursed a terrible […]
  • The day after the election
    The night of the election, she went to vote with me. I had already explained the urgency of this election and the fears I had of the outcome. I wanted her to vote with me, in case we made history that night. Leaving the voting booth, she turned to her Dad and said, “Daddy, we […]
  • Parenting in an election year
    I am 34 years old and have watched white man after white man run this country. In a moment of sheer hope and relief, President Barack Obama won the election in November 2008. I have never felt such joy for politics, to see someone win on a platform of hope and change. November 2012 was […]
  • Dear Ms. Ellis
    “Dear Ms. Ellis: It has taken me nearly 20 years to understand and I am writing to say that I hear you…” (Ms. Ellis was my 10th grade government teacher. She expected a lot of us as students in regards to respect and also our school work. I remember feeling that she really never liked […]
  • Talking racism
    I overheard another Mom the other day, as she was sharing a story about recently riding the subway with her nephew. On the ride, they saw a group of young men of color. Her nephew responded by gawking, as his predominantly white neighborhood had normalized his experience to be one without people of color in […]
  • Body Parts
    I noticed when my daughter was quite young that she knew all of her body parts with the exception of reproductive body parts. And more so, I realized that I didn’t really have a good way to teach her them. There aren’t many books for one year olds, and so it was up to me. […]
  • Darth Vader
    It was a regular afternoon, I had picked up my kid from school and we were sitting on the couch as dinner cooked. I had just retrieved the mail and a giant toy catalog had arrived. This was about to be her second Christmas and this year, she had a better understanding of the concept, […]