Family Life

Lori Debenedetto-Webb

Occupation ▪ Owner of Lulu & Bean
Husband ▪ J.J. Webb
Children ▪ Tae-Woo, 17; Neena, 15; and J.C., 14
Hobbies ▪ Learning about Korean culture, photography, walking and bike riding

Lori Debenedetto-Webb’s approach to life is all about living in the moment and making memories with her husband and her teenagers.

Whether they’re walking or riding bikes at the LSU lakes, cooking Korean food together at home, or coming together to all pitch in at Lulu & Bean, Lori’s boutique located right here in Baton Rouge, Lori and her family always make time together a top priority.

Lori is at a time in her life where she can say that she is content and happy, and the happiness that she exudes is certainly infectious whenever you meet her.

How would you describe raising your children?
A joy but not without challenges. It has been very rewarding, enriching, amazing, difficult, all of those things at one time, but the joys outweigh the challenges. I’m raising three teenagers right now so there’s challenges with that, but it has been wonderful and truly a blessing for my husband and me.

What do you like to do as a family?
My husband and my oldest son love to cook Korean meals, and we visit Korean restaurants everytime we travel. We’re very connected to the Korean community in Baton Rouge. We also enjoy bike riding. We live a couple of blocks from the LSU lakes, so we enjoy bike rides and walks.

What’s the greatest thing about being a mom?
The privilege of raising my children. It’s a huge responsibility but also an amazing privilege. And all the joys that come with nurturing my children, celebrating all of their accomplishments, sitting with them in the hard times, being present.

What was your biggest mom win?
Not a lot of people know this, but my youngest son, about a year ago, received the Kindness Award at his middle school. He was chosen by all his teachers and the staff as the kindest student. They recognized how he helped other children in the school who struggled. That was my proudest moment because it’s about character.

How has parenthood changed you?
In so many ways. It has taught me not to sweat the small stuff. I tend to be a perfectionist in a lot of areas of my life and parenting has taught me what is truly important in this world and in my life. It’s about connections more than things. Parenting has taught me perspective.

What do you love most about your job?
I truly love going to work. We have a pretty large staff and they are just so kind, hardworking, and they have become like family. I’m a social worker; I practiced 20 years before I opened the store. I’m a people person and I enjoy relationships and connections, so this is a job I still get to enjoy people.

What has your job taught you about parenting?
My kids work at the store on their breaks, so it has given opportunities such as my children seeing firsthand how I work, the values I have when it comes to working, how I interact with people, how we operate. They learn a lot of interpersonal skills.

What kind of mom are you?
Present, nurturing, lots of hugs, available. I have a lot of conversations with my kids and not just about the easy topics. I don’t avoid things that are difficult to talk about.

What’s the best parenting advice you have ever received?
Our adoption social workers emphasized and educated us on connections and bonding. They taught us how important physical and emotional closeness is and different ways that we can accomplish that.

What personality trait of yours do your children also have?
Kindness. We adopted three children and even in biological families, kids can be very different, and they’re all so completely different. They have different personalities and abilities, but the consistency among all three is that they are kind individuals.

Do you have any advice for other parents?
Be present, listen to your kids, tune in to what their needs are instead of your hopes and dreams for what you want them to be. Support who they are even if it’s not consistent with what you’ve dreamed they would be. Try not to achieve perfection as a parent. I don’t believe the perfect parent exists. I believe if you are growing closer to your child, you are a successful parent. ■

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