We asked some fantastic parents from in and around the city to tell us about the most important thing they have done as parents.

Candace Hershberger | Director with Thirty One Gifts

Kids are sponges and watch everything we do and say. Have a home business has shown my kids how to work hard and play hard. When you have hard days they see those, when you have good days they are those too! They are us celebrating small wins and big wins along the way. I think the most important thing is to not hide it from them but see how it works and let them get involved with you. They can do more than we think. Read more>>

Erin Reitzel | Wood Flower Florist

I was the kid who told everyone I wanted to be a mom when I grew up, It has always felt like something I had to have in my life. Fantasizing about that dream and having it become my reality was a bit jarring at times. When you don’t have kids and you have this idea in your head of what life will be like, I always imagined the fun times of dress up and family movie nights. I didn’t however envision the tantrums in the middle of the mall, being a human jungle gym, or the rollercoaster of emotions that come with a toddler. I get whiplash from that daily. With all that being said to love your child so completely you would give up everything for them, is the greatest feeling on the planet and I wouldn’t change it for anything. During my first few months of mom hood with my daughter, Hannah, I did however feel lost. I felt like I wasn’t me anymore and I was living only for her. That turned out to not be the healthiest of situations, but it’s one I think most new moms find themselves in trying to balance their new life. Read more>>

Roc | Author, Poet, Small Business Owner

I had my oldest child at a very young age and with that came many challenges however, what I feel that I continue to do well, and I hope has the greatest impact on my kids, is that I lead by example. Now it’s not all roses and chocolates and I’m far from perfect, in fact my child has seen me through being a single parent, working and going to school full-time which often left little time for us. I sacrificed time with him as a young person that I can never get back in the attempt to build a more stable future for us as a college graduate. The silver lining is, I did graduate and put us in a more secure position, and he saw me do it. He knows firsthand what it can look like and even more importantly, he can learn from my mistakes and hopefully choose a smoother path. I later went on to have another child and now they both get to watch me fumble through maintaining a small business, being a homeowner, a wife, a full-time employee, all while chasing my dreams and it’s raw. Read more>>

Taylor Wismer | Motherhood Blogger

My children are only 2.5 years old, and 5 months old. Although, that doesn’t mean they can’t be impacted. The most important thing I believe I have done to impact them is giving them positive attention. This can be as simple as showing my daughter or son I am interested in what they are doing or giving them daily affirmations. I make a point every day to give them attention in some sort of positive manner. I believe that is important in my relationship with my children. Especially on the hard days, when We are all frustrated. Read more>>

Heidi Zebro | Vice President of Operations, DeLex Realty

Looking back, I believe the greatest gift my husband, Dave and I gave our three sons, Tyler, Josh and Jordan is to never say “can’t”. When they were toddlers and would look up to us and say they “can’t get their toy to work”, we gently correct them to say “can you help me to get my toy to work?”. We wanted our children to be empowered and accountable. We know the power of words, and not using the word “can’t” was a consistent lesson we could easily implement. Another example is when the boys were in elementary school, I had picked them up from school and we were driving home when Tyler, our oldest, said “we can’t run in the halls at school’, this gave me the opportunity to explain, yes, you actually “can run in the halls” if you wanted to, but there would be consequences. You “don’t” run in the halls because you choose to follow the rules. You made that choice. By the time the boys reached high school, they rarely said “can’t”. They almost always look at every situation knowing they have a choice, they are ultimately the one in control. Read more>>