Meet the Mother & Blogger Showing Parents How To Combat Racism
The Tot FIVE x FIVE invites inspiring mamas to answer five questions on motherhood and curate five products they can’t live without. Here we talk to Brooke Angelique, blogger and mom of one.
Brooke on Motherhood
Creative, transparent and refreshing are just three words to describe Blogger and mama of one, Brooke Angelique. Based in the DC/VA area, Brooke gives parents around the world insight into how she is raising her daughter, Nori, to be brave, strong and beautifully exuberant through her love of family activities, books and DIY party decorations & home decor. She’s also the QUEEN of celebrating holidays like Halloween (Seriously, you need to go dive deep into her Instagram feed to see the best kids Halloween costume ideas ever!) While you’ll finish reading her writing and seeing her beautiful photos feeling heard and understood, you’ll also feel empowered.
What prompted you to take a year off social media?
“Prior to becoming a mother, I found myself in a dark space with social media. I was playing the comparison game and started to develop body-image issues which in return, took a toll on my self-esteem. Social media also began to negatively effect my relationship with my significant other. I decided to delete my accounts and focus more on nurturing our relationship and living in the moment.
During this time away, I became pregnant with my daughter. After giving birth, I really wanted an outlet where I could not only connect with other mothers, but also share tips and ticks that I learned along the way in hope of helping someone else. I decided it was time to return after being gone for a little over a year. In October 2019, I created my Instagram account and launched my blog, brookeangelique.com.
This time away was honestly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made as it allowed me to have a newfound appreciation for social media and a better picture of reality. Social media can be a such toxic and scary place so I always encourage people to take time away when needed. It doesn’t have to be a year like me, but even disconnecting for a few days can be so refreshing. Also – remember that social media is a “highlight reel” and there’s so much more that you don’t see behind those perfectly curated photos.”
2. What’s been the most surprising thing to happen since you’ve started blogging?
“I would say the overwhelming support I’ve received from other mothers. I don’t have many “mom” friends in my personal circle, so being able to connect with other mothers online has been amazing, many of which have now become close friends. I’m also surprised at how quickly I’ve been able to connect and work with brands. It was never my intention to step into the “influencer” world, but it sort of just naturally happened. By the grace of God, I’ve landed some really exciting partnerships. I’ve also been featured in both Essence and Yahoo! Life, which I still pinch myself about.”
3. You’ve had to spend much of Nori’s life social distancing. What’s helped you stay connected to friends and family during this time?
“As a parent, seeing your child disconnected from the outside world is heart breaking. There is so much that her family and friends have missed out on, from her first birthday to major milestones such as her walking. Thankfully, we are living in a digital era so we have relied on FaceTime and Zoom to stay connected.”
4. When it comes to parenting advice, is there any, in particular, that’s resonated with you as a Black mother?
“While pregnant with my daughter, my mother gave me a piece of parenting advice that I’ll never forget. She said, “Make sure you raise my granddaughter to have a voice, to hold her head high, and to always know her worth. There will be people in this world that will treat differently because of her race. Opportunities will not be presented to her simply because she’s a female. Make sure she knows that she can be and do anything she sets her heart to. The world is hers.” I have made it my mission in life to ensure my daughter grows up understanding these things.”
5. How are you celebrating Black History Month with your family?
“While Black History is celebrated in our home everyday, there’s something special about having an entire month dedicated to commemorating all things Black. During the month of February, we have continued to educate ourselves on the contributions African Americans have made to this country. We have also made a conscious effort to support even more Black-owned businesses and donate to Black organizations. On my social media, I am sharing both toddler friendly books for Black History Month, along with Black-owned children’s brands and creators to support as well.”
Brooke’s Tot Picks
“I purchased this shopping cart for my daughter’s first birthday and she loves it! It was perfect for helping her learn to walk. Now that she’s almost two, she enjoys using it to push her dolls around in. The craftsmanship is amazing and I know this is a toy that she’ll have for years.”
“I’ve been eyeing this bike for Nori’s second birthday. I love that balance bikes teach children to balance while they are sitting and in motion, which is the hardest part of learning to ride a bike.”
“I was first introduced to Raduga Grez when I began converting my daughters playroom to a more “Montessori friendly” space. I love the vibrant colors of her toys and how each piece is un-varnished and made without the use of plywood or glue. These building blocks helped with Nori’s hand-eye coordination.”
“Once Nori became a toddler, I quickly learned how important learning towers are. She loves helping in the kitchen and being at counter height to see what we are doing. A learning tower allows her to safely stand at our level with added protection in the event she falls. I love that she can help us cook or even play nearby with her toys on the counter. I also love how aesthetically pleasing this tower is with the birch plywood and tanned leather.”
“I absolutely love the “Little People, Big Dreams” series, especially the three books found in this set. These awesome books highlight important Black figures in history that stood up against racial injustice and fought for a brighter future. This is a great set to add to your child’s collection if you’re looking for books for Black History Month. They’re also great books to read throughout the year!”
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