Let's Talk About Lived Experience.

Updated: Jul 25, 2020

How many of you were parenting experts before you had children?

This analogy to better understand the concept of Lived Experience and why listening to those with it is so important was originally posted in the Moms Against Racism Facebook group.


Racism is an abstract concept to those who have never experienced it. As much as you will read, talk, learn, know BIPOC people, you will never fully understand. And that is where the acceptance comes in. You need to trust what BIPOC people are saying.

You will hear us, and many other BIPOCs, talk about the importance of Lived Experience and that it is irrefutable. That we need to listen to, accept, and appreciate the lived experiences of those who are impacted by racism.


Racism is an abstract concept to those who have never experienced it. As much as you will read, talk, learn, know BIPOC people, you will never fully understand. And that is where the acceptance comes in. You need to trust what BIPOC people are saying.


I have been thinking about how to relate this to you. So here goes:

How many of you were parenting experts before you had children? How many of you gave your friends grief, rolled your eyes at their stories, cringed when their kids had tantrums, couldn't understand WHY in heavens name they could no longer meet up with you for brunch/lunch/drinks or had to be back promptly by 2pm for nap-time?

The pre-kid you did not have the lived experience of being a parent.

I remember that once I was a parent thinking about all the shit things I said to my friends who had kids before me. How ignorant I was to the weight of the role of "parent". How naive I was to think I know what it was like to be one based on what I had seen on TV or heard from a handful of people. It was cringe-worthy.

And then once I was a parent, I started having those cringe-worthy interactions. When random strangers would tell me how I should be feeling (be happy and enjoy every moment). When well intentioned coworkers would try to relate to my parenting stories with how difficult it is to be a dog owner. When older generations would say "well when I was raising my kids a good spanking was all they needed" and then give me the look like I was raising spoiled brats.

We need to listen to the people with the Lived Experience. We need to accept and respect their stories. We need to support them in the ways they ask for not what we think is best. We need to let go of the idea that we know and embrace that we don't know.

Depending upon where you are in your anti-racism journey you could be in the pre-kid stage or coming close to the post-kid stage of racism understanding. Unless you are BIPOC, you will never actually make it to post-kid stage. However, wherever you are in your growth, just remember the feeling of pre-kid you and post-kid you. Remember the righteousness of before and the exhaustion of after. Remember the ignorance of before and the anger of after.

Remember and believe in those sharing their lived experiences with you.


#momsagainstracism #doingtheworkstartingathome #unlearning #bipocvoices #livedexperience #racism #antiracistvalues


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