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Parent You Should Know: Michael C. O’Connor, Mayor of The City of Frederick

City of Frederick Mayor Michael C. O’Connor with his family | Provided Photo

What is the hardest part about juggling parenthood and your career?
I made the decision early on that family would always take first position. Now that does not mean I made every game, every production or every awards event. When I could schedule City business, those were times I worked to avoid. The hardest part is keeping track of multiple schedules and working to ensure as few conflicts as possible
that need to be managed.

What makes trying to balance both easier?
My daughters, Clare and Erin, were middle-school students when I started my campaign in 2009. As they got older, the balance got easier. The presence of a supportive wife and family who understand the importance of the public work made it easier. Now that my daughters are post-college, it’s a different balance. I miss not seeing them daily, but I am rewarded that they are pursuing their own paths.

What do you love about being a parent?
All of it. The challenges make the triumphs so much better. My daughters are better students and more accomplished than I was at their age. They are strong, independent, progressive, community minded and civically engaged. Tammy (my wife) and I could not be prouder. Watching your children grow, achieve and exceed is the hope and dream of every parent.

What do you think is your biggest parenting fail?
Our children jokingly refer to them as the lies of their childhood. “We’re going to get a pool.” “We’re going to Ireland.” Benign failures perhaps. I wish we had taken more family vacations or more day trips to museums and such. We always seemed busy with camps or their various sports seasons. Their answer to this question would be fascinating.

How has your family been handling the pandemic?
As well as we can. My wife lost her uncle early in the pandemic to cancer and then her mother to COVID in May. After August, because of jobs, schooling and travel restrictions, we haven’t had the chance to see them in person. But now we are all vaccinated, so that should be changing in the next few weeks.

What’s the one thing you hope your children learn from you and your career?
Service to your community is important. Everyone can do something to make the place they live a little better. If everyone did what they could, then no one would be asked to do too much. We would send them to school every day telling them to be good, have fun, study hard and learn a lot.


Family Meal: Grilled cheese sandwiches and soup
Dessert: Ice cream
Book to Read Together: Harry Potter
Way to Spend a Weekend With Your Children: Then (when the children were younger): board games, sports, wandering downtown. Now (when the children are older): board games and visiting breweries, wineries and distilleries
Vacation Spot: Camping on Lake Ontario and visiting my brother’s cottage on Sodus Bay, New York