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

Allyson Balzuweit | Registered Dietitian

This is the million dollar question, and one that I think about often. After establishing myself in a career in Dietetics and pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Health, I made the decision to take a pause from work and stay home with my children during their younger years. This coincided with a relocation from Northern Virginia to Atlanta, so I also left my connections and contacts behind. While I always managed to pick up some contracting gigs at health clubs, private consultations and later in a very part time job in Public Health working with HIV/Aids patients, my focus was to be around for my kids, and I was extremely fortunate to have that choice. It wasn’t easy and I always thought about the next chapter as far as how I would truly use my professional skills down the road to really make an impact in my community. Read more>>

Lisa Engle | Coach, Author, & Small Business Owner

I believe that in order to teach children to become healthy, high-functioning, responsible, adaptable, and contributing adults, the most important thing I can do to equip them is to be that healthiest version of myself. By remaining pliable and tuning into present moment priorities, I can create a space for processing and growing in ways that support the optimal expression of their authentic beings. Learning to regulate our emotions, resources, time and energy are key for our well-being, As a parent, leaning into the conversations of what we want and need so that we can independently and collectively set our intentions and actions toward meeting those wants and needs. In order to assist my kids in doing that for themselves, I must practice it in my own day to day lifestyle and model the behavior I aspire them to experience and benefit from. Read more>>

Ashleigh Bivins | Event Planner/Designer

As a mother of 3 kids, ages 14, 10, and 8; I’d like to think that everything that I do is impactful. I want my kids to see me being successful in all of my roles: a wife, mom, full time teacher, and full time business owner. In parenting everything done takes conscious decision making. And while every time we make a decision, we are prayerfully making the right ones. I want my kids to see me work hard and take on any task that comes my way. I want them to see me consciously work through the process of multitasking and doing it all like a boss. Ultimately it helps me rest confidently in my choices. My goal is to raise confident kids. As with most things, kids imitate what they see most. If they walk boldly in authority and own the day, I think I’ve done well with them. For both adults and children, self-talk is what you say to yourself out loud or what you think to yourself in your head. Read more>>

Courtney Jolivette | Earth Mama Naturals Holistic Herbslist/Doula

Teaching my children to always be present in their emotions, honest about their feelings, and intentional about their healing and growth. I’m not here to control them I’m here to guide them. They say in order to move past your trauma you have to forgive and forget why is that even a norm it should never be your tone. well I say to you, you can forgive, but forgiveness doesn’t look the same for everyone. Forgiveness doesn’t mean over look and never recover. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you’ll never receive an apology because in reality you’re mending every broken piece of your childhood self when you choose to heal. You’re apologizing to yourself for ever thinking you didn’t or don’t deserve better. Read more>>

Dawud Anyabwile | Illustrator/Creative Director/Graphic Novelist

I raised two sons who are now aged 29 and 24. When raising them I would allow them to explore their interests and offer all of the support that I could to assist in their goals. I would share with them my talents and skills and spend as much time as I could with them to just have fun and bond. I would not pressure them to live the life that I live but instead to pursue whatever they wanted that would fulfill their lives. Read more>>