For Dr. Jeremy Burnham, coming home after a long day of work and being greeted at the door by his children’s happy, smiling faces is what makes being a dad so special. Those incredible moments of them recounting their days to him and saying, “Daddy, watch this!”, remind him of the important role he plays in their lives every day. Dr. Burnham’s love for his family and his work is adamant, and despite his demanding schedule, he always makes sure that the time he has with his children is time they won’t forget.
Tell me about your children.
J: Avery is very much into drama, music, and singing. She loves shiny things and clothes. She recently had the lead role in her school’s play. Brielle is very persistent and determined. If there’s something she wants to do, she’s going to do it. She also loves being outdoors and playing with the dogs. Jacob was throwing a football since before he could walk. He’s a rough and tumble boy, and he’s very mechanically inclined. He never quits.
What do you like to do together as a family?
J: I don’t have a lot of time when it comes to work, but when we do have time together, we make it count. We ride bikes around the neighborhood, or I’ll take them to the levee and I’ll jog while they ride their bikes. Not long ago, we went to St. Francisville and spent the entire day just exploring the woods. It was a great day.
How has parenthood changed you?
J: It has put everything into perspective for
me. You get hyper-focused on your goals, and parenting has mellowed me out. It has showed me that there are more important things in life than just grinding everyday.
What do you love most about your job?
J: Being able to work with my hands and have a huge impact on people’s lives. It’s very fulfilling.
How do you find the balance between work
and family time?
J: It’s a challenge, but it’s evolving. One of my mentors taught me that, maybe you work a
full day until 6 p.m., and maybe there’s still more work to do, but you need to stop, go home, and spend time with your children. You have to know when enough is enough and when to shut it down. I try to model that and make that time count.
Who helps with the homework?
J: I would love to say me, but my wife does the majority. I’ll sometimes come in during the middle of it and sit down and help with what I can, but she is the reason for them being so structured with homework time. Sometimes, since math has changed so much, they are teaching me!
What kind of dad would you say you are?
J: Hopefully they would say I am loving. My parents passed on a hard work ethic, but no matter what, I knew how much they loved me. I want to pass that on as well.
What advice do you give your children?
J: To always get back up when they fall down. I tell them that falling and failing isn’t the end of the world, it happens, but we keep plugging away. I also encourage them to be friends with everybody, be inclusive, and be open.
What’s the best parenting advice you have
J: Don’t be scared to make mistakes. Sometimes parenting is figuring things out as you go. As long as you are there trying, that’s what is important.
What do you do to take care of yourself?
J: No matter how busy I may be, I try to get up every morning and go for a run or workout. It’s just a few minutes to allow me time to do something I want to do.
What do you keep on your nightstand?
J: My phone, lamp, charger, laptop, and a book I’m reading.
What personality trait of yours do you hope your children also get?
J: To always be able to laugh at themselves and enjoy life.
What’s your favorite date night with your wife?
J: Dinner in a not-so-noisy restaurant and one-on-one conversation.
Do you think you are more protective of your kiddos since you are a doctor?
J: I have a tendency to be like that, but I try not to be. Through my job, I see every way they can be hurt because you can get hurt doing anything. I have to let them live their lives though. I can’t keep them in a bubble.
Do you have any advice for other parents?
J: Be flexible and be able to adapt because all kids respond differently. My kids watch and observe me so much more than I thought they did, so I try to model for them. I’ll compliment my wife or pick up around the house, and they see me doing those things, so always lead by example. ■
In my fridge, you will always find…Sugar-free Red Bull.
Favorite movie growing up…Braveheart.
Music I’m loving…everything—from 90s hip hop and recent hits to country. I have such an appreciation for music.
I feel my best, when I...wake up early, run, have coffee, and get to the office early.
My favorite television show is...whatever is new on Netflix.
My favorite ice cream is...Rocky Road.