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Davenport ‘Mama Bear’ dares moms everywhere to do better

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- Moms may be the real superheroes of our lives. One Davenport woman says motherhood has given her special powers to not just make her children's lives better, but to make the communities around us a better place.

"We realize we all have that power inside of us, we call it the Mama Bear, this intensity and even anger or rage we feel when our children have been wronged," said Leslie Klipsch, a writer, entrepreneur, and a mom to Oliver, 14, Eli, 12 and Sintayehu, 9.

"She's a mama bear," agreed Klipsch's daughter Sintayehu. "She’s angry if someone wants to hurt me or Oliver and Eli. Like, 'Tell me if someone calls you names or wants to hurt you,' and I’m like, 'Okay...'"

For Klipsch, these moments made her realize the immense power moms, and dads, can have.

"Really as moms or parents, aunts, neighbors, we can have so much impact. I take that responsibility really seriously," she said of that Mama Bear instinct.

Lucky for Leslie, she had someone to talk it out with: sister-in-law Tesi Klipsch, herself a mom of five.

Suddenly, creating a better world for their kids, wasn't just about their own families anymore.

"We can share that power, we can share that anger. We can share that passion beyond just the kids in our own house." Leslie said.

Leslie and Tesi's conversations often went beyond motherhood, and even beyond states as Tesi moved to Michigan. But they were always energizing, and always had a social justice bent.

Three years ago, they decided to hit the record button on their conversations. The Mama Bear Dares Podcast was born.

Leslie and Tesi have been at it for more than 200 episodes already. The goal with each episode is to come together and learn something. The two readily admit on their podcast that they don't know it all, that they come from a place of privilege and are still learning how to be better moms, citizens, human beings.

"It is important to intentionally show empathy and intentionally learn about people who might not look like you or share the same experiences like you so we can widen that circle of compassion," Leslie said.

Every week, she and Tesi talk with each other via Skype or invite famous and ordinary sisters from other mamas on their show.

"We found that we were just surrounded by these amazing women who were doing incredible things in the world. We really wanted to learn more from them and then share those lessons and those stories with a wider audience as well," Leslie said.

"Once you know more, you do a little bit better," she explained.

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