Family Life

Dechia Badeaux-Gerald

Occupation ▪ Student, studying to become a Medical Lab Technician
Children ▪ Dawclyn, 12; Fynleigh, 6; Falyn, 2; Jensyn, 8 months
Hobbies ▪ Fishing, hunting, watching baseball, and camping

Dechia Badeaux-Gerald is a name many know throughout our community. With a goal of bridging the gap between the community and law enforcement and first responders after the death of her husband in the line of duty, Dechia shares her family’s story in hopes to help others, letting them know they are not alone.

As a mother of four, Dechia strives to always give her children 110 percent. While she considers their home life “structured chaos,” Dechia keeps everything running smoothly each day, and she always makes sure her children know just how loved and special they are.

Tell me about your children.
They’re all very active and great kids. They’ve been through more than most adults have at their age, but they’re all incredibly resilient. They’re able to smile despite what they have gone through.

What do you like to do as a family?
We like to go camping, and we just recently bought a camper. We enjoy going out and eating Mexican food. We like going to football and baseball games, and having crawfish boils.

What’s the greatest thing about being a mom?
It’s challenging, but you know you always have someone in your corner. They definitely keep you on your toes.

What’s the hardest thing about being a mom?
I always try to give them equal amounts of attention and guide them through rights and wrongs. They can challenge your patience. It’s tough to manage four kids, make rules and consequences, and stand by them.

How has parenthood changed you?
I am who I am because of them. Sometimes, you don’t have the choice to fail. You just have to do what you have to do and push forward. You don’t give up.

What do you love most about becoming a Medical Lab Technician?
I get to learn new things every day, and I don’t have to bring the work home with me. Before, I was a teacher for children with special needs, and when you’re a teacher, you can’t leave work at work. After losing Matthew, things were hard and I wasn’t able to give 110 percent to my kids and my job, so I chose my kids over my career.

How has life changed since he passed?
I see the world through different lenses. We’re all very hyper aware of our surroundings, and I take so many photos now because you never really know what could happen.

How do you find the balance?
I still haven’t found it. Some days you succeed, some days you don’t. If someone was looking from the outside in, they would think I am trying to be the master of a three-ring circus. You have to be willing to go with the flow and be in the moment.

What kind of mom are you?
I’m very hands-on, strict, and attentive. I hold them accountable. I make sure to give them equal attention and love them.

What advice do you often give your children?
Just because someone is mean to you doesn’t mean you should be mean to them. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Don’t give up, and don’t be the mean kid on the playground. If you see someone sitting alone at lunch or by themselves on the playground, go sit or play with them. Everybody needs a friend. Also, be a leader, not a follower. Do the right thing even when no one is looking.

What’s the best parenting advice you have ever received?
It’s okay not to be okay. It’s okay to make mistakes, but live in the moment. Stay flexible.

What do you do to take care of yourself?
That’s something I am trying to work on because I usually don’t. I’ll try and go get a manicure and a pedicure or a massage, or I’ll treat myself to something every once in a while.

What personality trait of yours do your children also have?
They’re all so different, but overall, they make friends very easily. They’ll start off shy but before long, they’ve rounded up friends.

Which family members are your greatest role models?
My PawPaw who was my fishing buddy. He didn’t say a lot, but when he did, everyone listened. He was wise. My mom was a single parent and she worked three jobs. She taught me that it’s okay with being by myself. She’s resilient. My dad loved me through all my choices and he held himself accountable. I knew he was always going to be there.

What’s your biggest goal in life right now?
Number one is to be the healthiest mom I can be so I can see them grow up. I also want to bridge the gap between the community and police officers and first responders. I want to make a difference. 

Do you have any advice for other parents?
My biggest advice to single moms and parents in general is to not make promises you can’t keep. Show up as best as you can, support them, hold them accountable, and love them because you never know what tomorrow will bring.

The parenting item I couldn’t live without…
my calendar.
In my fridge, you will always find…milk.
Favorite movie growing up…Top Gun.
My guilty pleasure is…a caramel vanilla latte.
Music I’m loving…Lauren Daigle.
I feel my best when I…get plenty of rest and pray.
My favorite television show is…I’m a Hallmark movies kind of girl.
My favorite ice cream is…chocolate chip cookie dough.

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