Mother’s Day is an occasion we can remember and celebrate mothers everywhere, collectively honoring and recognizing the woman in our lives. Over the past year, we recognize that many of our working parents have played the roles of full-time caregiver, teacher, parent while managing a career. DHG is proud to support our working parents through flexibility and family-centered benefits.
To mark the occasion, we are highlighting the unique story of Leidy Gonzalez, a manager in our Raleigh, North Carolina Tax practice.
Leidy, please tell us about your family.
We are a family of four, however, my daughters will always say five because of our dog Lucy. My husband and I married young at the age of 22 and we have been happily married for 17 years. Since we were dating our dream was to adopt an older child, one that had trouble getting adopted because many see them as “too old.” Our plan was to adopt first and then have a biological child, but things do not always go as plan. I was in the Army National Guard and shortly after being activated, I found out I was pregnant with my oldest, Dara. I did not know I was pregnant until two weeks before I was scheduled to leave for Afghanistan. As you can imagine Dara loves this story, since she thinks she saved me from being in war. If I am being honest, she kind of did. When we moved to NC from NY, my husband and I decided to adopt through foster care. Three years ago, we met our second daughter, Carolyn, who was eight at the time. She moved in with us as a foster child in April of 2018. It has not always been easy; foster kids often have many traumatic experiences that we were very naïve about. We have settled into our routine and she is finally finding herself, realizing what are her likes and dislikes, and is thinking more about her future and what she wants to be when she is older.
What is the most valuable thing you have learned since becoming a mother?
How resilient and forgiving kids are. I have made my shares of mistakes, but they are always there loving you and thinking that you are still the perfect mom. We do not need to be perfect in our minds, they already think that we are perfect for them.
We have talked a lot about silver linings at DHG. Tell us a special moment that you’ve had with your kids from the past year.
My silver lining through the pandemic has been the ability to have dinner with my family more consistently. Over the past year we have made it a routine to always eat dinner as a family. Even through tax season, I have been able to sit at the table with them, which would have been almost impossible if we were in the office. Over dinner, we share stories, and my kids get so excited and ask so many questions.
We launched a new series called Heroes at DHG on the Life at DHG Podcast. We have been asking our DHG Heroes who they look up to and many said their mother or father. What is one piece of advice you have learned from one of your parents?
My mother is definitely my hero. She came to America from a foreign country as a single mom with three kids - I still do not know how she did it. She taught me to dream big, and always work towards that dream. She would always tell me I needed to study and, “Todo te lo pueden quitar menos tu educación,” which means “they can take everything away from you except your education.” Following her advice, I became the first one in my family to graduate from college. She pushed me to think for a better future, and she is the reason I am where I am today.
What makes you most proud to be a working parent at DHG?
I am most proud of how family oriented DHG is. My family understands tax season is the time where mom is always busy. I always have mom guilt for not being with them, but DHG has allowed me to enjoy my daughters more these past two tax seasons. The firm’s flexibility allows me to spend my special dinner times with them and continue working after that. They understand that family is important.
To all the mothers at DHG and around the world, DHG wishes you a Happy Mother’s Day!