Mother to three beautiful children, Kaii, Chalii, Bellamii, and wife to her high school love, Seth, meet Santana Blackburn. One of the things we love about social media is it’s ability to keep us all connected, especially navigating parenthood. We all do things a little differently and that’s the beauty of it, that’s why this community is here.
Q: What’s something not many people know about you?
A: Most people don’t know that I’m very interested in music! I’ve played guitar, piano and the flute in school! I use to teach myself to play by ear before I learned to read music. I haven’t practiced since having kids but I’d love to have a music room one day and teach the kids a few instruments.
Q: Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like?
A: I grew up in a small town in South Carolina. I was always super shy but when I made friends, we were always BEST friends and stayed that way throughout school. Making friends was hard for me because I felt like I never really fit in anywhere and if people didn’t try to make friends with me, I just assumed they didn’t like me. So when someone accepted me, I always tried my best to make that work! I feel like I’m still kind of like that to this day. I don’t let many people in but when I do, you know we are going to be close!
Q: Were you raised with traditions or experiences that you’re consciously trying to incorporate into your own parenting philosophy?
A: Besides things like Christmas or Easter, I didn’t really grow up with many traditions. Now that I’m a mother, I really try to give my kids things that I never had, so I try to make it a point to start new family traditions even if it’s something simple like weekend bike rides or pancake breakfast every Sunday. I want my kids to have something to look forward to as a family.
Q: How old are your kids and what are they most into right now?
A: My oldest son is Kaii and he’s almost 8! His absolute favorite thing right now is Godzilla and he can tell you any and everything there is to know about him! He’s also into science and I’m always so amazed by all of the knowledge his brain can hold! My second kiddo is Chalii. She’s almost 5 and she has taken up being a mom to her baby dolls lately. I think from watching me take care of Bellamii all the time, she kinda plays along..although she says she doesn’t want kids of her own one day because they are too much to handle 😂 Lastly is Bellamii and he’s 9 months old! He’s begging to take his first steps already and keeping me on my toes!
Q: Was it challenging bringing home your third baby? How have your bigger kids adjusted?
A: Honestly, bringing Bellamii home felt like such a breeze, mostly because I had a ton of help. With my first two, we were out of state and away from all of our friends and family, so we really had to figure things out on our own. But this time, I felt great. I wasn’t stressed about how I was going to take care of my other kids or pets and I really got to rest and relax with my newborn. I got to just be in the moment which was nice. Kaii and Chalii took to their new sibling with ease. I think what helped was constantly talking with them about what to expect before the baby arrived. Letting them know that the baby would need my attention the most, but that they were never going to feel left out because they could always help and be involved. They just had to practice having a little more patience for when I got busy with the baby.
Q: As a mother raising multicultural kids, what are some ways that you discuss and incorporate diversity and inclusivity at home?
A: To be completely honest, we raise our kids to not see color when they look at someone. Both Seth and I grew up in a pretty diverse community and with my family being half white and half black, our kids get to be around both sides and it’s just their normal. We have had discussions about how people of color are viewed differently by some people in this world and how it can be unfair and unjust. My kids are still so young to truly understand it all, but we try our best to expose them to different cultures through books and restaurants we go to.
Q: You’ve mentioned people on social media commenting on a video of you and your daughter. Could you share this experience and how you handled it?
A: For the most part, we get lots of positive comments on our videos of me and my daughter comparing our features. Of course their are some people who just don’t get my humor and they think that I truly don’t understand why my kids are white 😂 I originally shared the video because I’ve been asked a few times, “Aww are we babysitting today?” or “Wow, are they yours? How’d they get those pretty eyes?”…”How does she have blonde hair?”….specifically when I’m out with my kids by myself and Seth isn’t around. I use to get so upset because, why do people just look at us and see our color difference? Why don’t they look beyond and see our features? And really, why are they so interested in if my kids belong to me and how? It felt like a rude thing to be asked. I am now at a place where I can laugh at it and just help educate people on how genetics work. As far as how I handle the negativity, I just block and delete! That’s the best thing for me to do!
Q: How important is the community you’ve built on social media? And do you have goals to keep growing and sharing with your followers?
A: Social media has always been a bit of an outlet for me to share my good days and my hard days of motherhood, to motivate the unmotivated and to spread positivity..because really, that’s what I needed. It’s kind of a push for myself and at the same time, I’m helping others! My little community that I’ve built is so so important to me. They may say how much I help them but they have no idea how much they help me! They support me in so many ways and it truly means so much! I definitely plan to continue sharing with my followers. One thing we are big on is setting goals, and as we achieve them, I hope our community will see the importance of it and know that when you work hard, anything is possible!
Q: How do you all find a balance between work-life, parent-life and love-life? Any self care routines, music, family outings, cooking, etc. that you’ve found brings you balance and peace?
A: We are still trying to find our balance between it all, but what I feel is really important is spending one-on-one time when we can. Seth recently took our daughter on a date for ice cream and I took our oldest son for snow cones. It’s not always easy but Seth and I also try to have date nights to focus on just us! That alone time helps us to re-center and find that balance we need.
Q: What excites you the most about motherhood right now?
A: I know this sounds cliche but just seeing my kids grow and develop their own personalities just makes me so excited! As much as I wish they could stay this little, I can’t wait to see what they do with their lives.
Q: Parenting in today’s social climate is challenging to navigate. What are some of your fears?
A: My biggest fear when it comes to parenting these days is just knowing if I’m making the right choices for them in these early stages of life. With the recent school shooting in Texas, I find myself constantly asking “Should we home school? Would they get the social skills they need if we do? Should I tell my kids about it? Should they have a say in it?” I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer but it sure is tough to think about. And I don’t think you can ever be prepared for anything when it comes to parenting. We all just have to try our best.
Q: Any parent / business advice that has worked for you and your family that you’d like to share?
A: Parenting advice..cherish the good days and the bad days because they truly don’t last long. Slow down and be in the moment. And be your own kind of parent, figure out what works for YOU and not what works for everyone else. Business advice..get out of your comfort zone/get comfortable in the uncomfortable! Take risks and don’t be afraid of the unknown!
Q: What is something that your younger self needed to hear that wasn’t said?
A: If I could go back and tell my younger self something I needed to hear, it would be to self educate! There’s so much in life that is not taught in school and to really be successful, you need to look beyond what’s presented to you.