Dr. Stephen Lee
Occupation: Veterinarian at Sherwood South Animal Hospital
Wife: Dr. Lacie Lee
Children: Ashlyn, 16, and Jax, 14
Hobbies: Cattle ranching, watching LSU football, working in the yard, and riding ATVs with the family
Each day, Dr. Stephen Lee is tasked with caring for some of our families’ most important members: our pets. As a local veterinarian, Dr. Lee has cared for a wide range of animals throughout his career, including a monkey and a prairie dog. Over the years, Dr. Lee has created a family atmosphere at Sherwood South Animal Hospital, providing guidance to his employees and building strong relationships with the pet parents he sees everyday. For Dr. Lee, family time is a huge part of his days, whether he’s at the clinic with his second family, or at home, simply sitting around the dinner table with his wife, daughter, and son.
What are some of the joys of raising your children?
STEPHEN: I think the joy is seeing my wife and I in them, seeing things that we do and things that we’re proud of as individuals coming out in them. Another joy is watching them mature into responsible little humans who actually did listen to the lessons we tried to teach them. It’s great now when a situation arises and they bring up a lesson we taught them. We’re very strict parents. We’re certainly very old school parents. It’s just nice that now they’re finally starting to realize that it wasn’t so bad. There was some structure and there were reasons that we parented the way we did.
What do you like to do as a family?
STEPHEN: We’re not the typical family that is together all the time. Even throughout COVID, my wife and I both worked full time, and where a lot of the world got to slow down and really enjoy extra family time, we didn’t. COVID was advantageous to teens because it slowed them down, and therefore, their slowing down did allow us to have more family time because they weren’t off in every direction. We like to do outdoor activities together. We enjoy the cattle. We enjoy working in the yard.
What’s something a lot of people don’t know about you?
STEPHEN: Most people don’t know that I raise cattle. I grew up in North Louisiana on a cattle ranch, and then I went 15 years without any cattle in my family. Getting back into it was a huge goal of mine because I enjoyed it so much.
What’s your favorite thing about being a dad?
STEPHEN: My kids truly love me. I enjoy the love I get reciprocated from my children, and I love being able to teach them. What’s interesting about my career is, I have two sets of children. I’ve got my two and then I’ve got my other 70 children who work for me at my office, most of them are 18-30 year old people, and that’s a joy I get from work. I hope I make a positive influence on them everyday. I try to give them direction, and I try to instill in them some things I think would help them in life. They’re my second family.
What has parenthood taught you?
STEPHEN: Patience, patience, patience. I’m not a patient person, and my children have taught me patience. Raising children has also taught me humility.
What has been your biggest challenge in parenting during the pandemic?
STEPHEN: In my family situation, it was childcare, because we were expected to be at work every day and the children were at home every day. It was also balancing because they were at home, and even though they are teenagers, we had to work on a schedule of having people there to assist them, whether it was with school or helping them move from point A to point B.
What do you love most about your job?
STEPHEN: I love my pet parents. I love being able to make a difference. So much is educating the pet parents, and so many people want to know; they just don’t have someone who takes the time to teach them or help them understand. That’s the biggest joy. It’s not just treating the dog or treating the cat, but developing that relationship with my clients.
What has your job taught you about parenting?
STEPHEN: I would say the biggest effect is that, at my work, I’m teaching people how to raise their pets. The biggest thing I stress to people about pets is consistency and schedule, and so I have carried that home. Our family, we’re very consistent and we’re very scheduled. It’s also a very emotional job because we deal with everything from life to death, and so, I think it has helped me understand how to deal with my children’s emotions even more.
What kind of dad would you describe yourself as?
STEPHEN: I’m a very structured dad who expects hard work. I don’t expect excellence; I just expect hard work.
What lesson do you teach them?
STEPHEN: That hard work and determination will pay off. It might not be in the way you expect it, but it will. If you’re working hard enough and you’re determined, you will be successful.
Which family member has been your greatest role model in life?
STEPHEN: My father. He’s honest, hardworking, a great husband, and a truly great guy. He’s helped mold me.
Any advice for other parents?
STEPHEN: Time really does fly. In a blink of an eye, they’re bigger and older. My other advice would be that, as parents, you always think that the next phase they go into is going to be easier than the one you just left. It’s not easier. It’s just different. That’s certainly my take home message.
Before I go out, I always check to make sure I have…
In my fridge, you will always find…
pickles, salsa, milk and sweet tea.
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