Parenting is an incredibly important responsibility and so we wanted to get a conversation going with input from parents in the community. We asked them: what is the most important thing you’ve done as a parent? We’ve highlighted some of the responses below.

Ashley Rimmer-Ratzel | Realtor®

Becoming a full-time Realtor® has been one of the most important things I’ve done for my son. A little back story here! We relocated here from Milwaukee,Wi without any of our family or support system. I was working as a loan officer and that consisted of a lot of long days and weekends. I remember days when I would literally only see him in bed due to the hours and the commute i had to take to work everyday. I loved being a loan officer but I also began to realize I was missing a lot of time with my family that I can not get back. My son is now 6 years old and somedays I feel like he’s the realtor! Read more>>

Ellie Shorb | Realtor with Compass in DC

The best job I’ve had is being a parent. My husband John and I are both entrepreneurs. We do what we do for a living to provide for our kids -always keeping top of mind the focus that we want more time with them (not less) and quality time at that. When our kids were toddlers, I did work from home when the kids were born John had just started his landscape business, yet still, he made sure to be home by 5pm so we could each pick up a kiddo and dance around the living room til dinnertime, bath time, story time and bed time. Once I became a full time Realtor, I found that sometimes when I’d pick up my daughter from school, I’d still be on a work call and that meant I was not “present” with her. My friend Sharran Shrivatsaa suggested that we finish calls in the driveway before coming into the house and that we turn off cellphones whenever possible when it is family time. Great advice. Read more>>

Claire Vo | Artist & Entrepreneur

I became a mother this year to my son Levi and it has changed me so much as a person. I did not know my heart could hold so much love for someone so tiny. Everything I do now is because of him. My son is the main reason I started to branch out into the business world and want to build a better life for our little family. To me, the most important thing I’ve done as a parent in terms of the impact on my kid would be to give him respect. I believe kids are incredibly smart and they are way more capable than we ever thought they could be if we just give them a chance. I want to normalize giving children respect and end fear-based discipline, showing them the tool to learn how to regulate their emotions. I believe this can help them to become kind adults if they can learn and understand emotional intelligence. Children are human and just like us, we all want to be seen, understood, treated with kindness, and most of all respect. Read more>>

Ezriel Wilson | Artist & Art history major

I think the most important thing that I’ve taught my children and being a parent and making the career choices that I’ve made. Has been a decision to only worry about your self and your family instead of worrying about everyone else. You can worry yourself to death over a job that you’re easily replaceable at or you can chase your dream work twice as hard and try to achieve everything that you want and more and be irreplaceable. I used to spend so much of my time worrying about these 9 to 5 jobs that actually didn’t end up being 9 to 5 jobs they ended up being sixteeen hour days sometimes six days sometimes seven days a week endlessly stuck in the retail cycle. There was times that I missed my children’s first steps I had to work through them being sick guy was the breadwinner so we rely so much on my income that I was over caffeinated way too much and unhappy way too frequently. Read more>>

Everlena Dean-McCown | Founder of Daisy Love Community Enrichment Corporation

The two biggest impactful lessons I taught my children (and foster children) is to have integrity and to never give up (learn to adjust). I left home (TN) at 18yrs and moved across country to California. I needed to be self sufficient to prove to myself that I can make it if I stuck with it. I learned success comes when you never give up. My children learned this valuable lesson and thankfully, exhibited perseverance in their careers and their personal lives. Also, integrity. I teach my grandkids now that “Integrity is doing the right thing with no one is watching”. We don’t do the right thing because someone may see us, we do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. In life, we’ve learned that you’ll reap, what you sow. Sow positivity, good deeds, faith, love and integrity. Read more>>