Parent You Should Know: Phaedra Stewart Business owner and author Phaedra Stewart on parenting

A woman smiling.
Photo Credit: Marvin Joseph

How do you balance juggling parenthood and your career?

Very carefully! I left corporate culture and started a business in 2021 partly to focus more on my family and son’s academic and social progress. My son was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, and he requires academic support because he learns differently. My husband and I sometimes have to reteach lessons from school in a manner that allows him to process the information.

I try to ensure that I maintain a tight schedule with adequate time allocated to business matters as well as homework, study time, communication with teachers and, now, preparation for college. My son is completing his senior year in high school, and he will be attending the University of Baltimore in the fall. My calendar is essential. I also try to make sure that I set aside some time for myself, even if that means just sitting alone, quietly for 30 minutes.

What factors make balancing both easier for you? How do you set priorities when it comes to family?

A strong support system (My Village) makes balancing parenthood and my career easier. I have family members who help with transportation and preparing meals. I am so grateful to the teachers and staff at St. Frances Academy because they embraced my son on the day he entered the school in ninth grade, and they have provided many opportunities for his academic and social development.

My son was able to participate in extracurricular activities, and I knew that he was well cared for, which provided time and peace of mind for me and my husband. When it comes to family, we make sure that the necessities are completed daily: homework, reading and studying. We also make time for things we enjoy: movies, dinners, concerts and spending time with extended family.

What do you love about being a parent?

I love watching my son develop opinions (although often different from mine), gain knowledge, learn to advocate for himself and continuously reach new milestones. I am proud when he demonstrates the values that he learns at home when we least expect it. Every day isn’t easy, but there is an unconditional love that makes moving through the difficulties a little easier.

What’s your biggest parenting fail?

I could spend less time attempting to de-escalate situations if I didn’t go from zero to 100 in 60 seconds when I am irritated. I am still working on responding instead of reacting.

What do you hope young readers will take away from your new book “Beyond the Clouds”?

I hope that young readers and seasoned individuals will learn or be reminded that although we may experience bumps in life, when we remember that there is a greater force always working on our behalf, and we stay focused on the love of God (or whatever you choose to call your Source), then you will absolutely get past the difficulty—“Beyond the Clouds.”



Family Meal: The adults love to try various foods. The child primarily eats chicken tenders (with ranch dressing), mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, broccoli, spinach and cornbread (mixing and matching these items).

Family Snack: Chips with guacamole or ranch dressing (for the child)

Way To Spend A Weekend With Your Family: Movies at home, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, outdoor concerts (weather permitting), roller skating

Vacation Spot: We love to travel. We have visited Senegal, Cabo San Lucas, St. Martin, Puerto Vallarta, Las Vegas, Myrtle Beach, Virginia Beach, Atlantic City, San Antonio, Philadelphia, New York City, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. to name a few.

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