The demanding and fast-paced hospitality industry can be a challenge for anyone, especially for those balancing their work life with that of raising children. The Director of Sales and Marketing at Larkspur Events and Dining in Vail, Colorado, Meridith Lowe, is one such individual. She has come up with an effective formula to balance her working life with that at home with her husband and young son.
Meridith wears many hats in her busy role, which requires agility. She and her team involve themselves in community events, the wedding industry, destination services, new business prospecting, negotiations, contracting, planning, and keeping clients happy. Having been in the hospitality business for her entire adult life, she understands people and is passionate about her purpose in life.
She’s also highly dedicated to her family, which includes her husband and three-and-a-half year-old son, Maxwell. For Meridith, juggling the balancing act is more about quality than quantity. She focuses on the strengths of her family even though she may not have as many days to devote to her son as some mothers. She often works weekends and holidays which means she adjusts accordingly. She and her husband often celebrate holidays a day before or after the fact, to make sure they still enjoy important and meaningful traditions.
“Every week, we make a point to get outdoors in nature or even do little things like go out for breakfast or do the shopping together as a family,” said Meridith. “My priority is family, and I think it’s important to unplug and be present to make the most of the time we do have.”
Meridith and her husband wake up around 6am so they don’t have to rush in the mornings, and can have a leisurely breakfast while spending quality time with Maxwell. Her husband also works full time, so they are usually out the door between 8am and 8:30am. Maxwell enjoys attending a Montessori-style preschool three days per week. The other two days he has a private sitter who comes to the house, so he is getting the positive social interaction he needs to thrive.
“My son is learning to be multi-faceted, which makes me happy, because of course there’s an element of mommy guilt in working outside the home full time,” added Meridith.
Has Becoming a Working Mom Been a Lifelong Dream?
Meridith wouldn’t say that she grew up knowing for sure that she would be a busy working mom, but both of her parents worked and she was raised with a strong commitment to her obligations and a job well done. Over time, she found her passion and grew to be a successful executive. She also chose to have a child and continue working, and has managed to do both effectively.
The challenges of being an executive working mom for Meridith have been finding the quality time in her schedule. It’s easy for her to see other moms with more time during the day to participate in play dates and other kid-friendly activities so she works hard to celebrate those days she does have with her family. In her case, the rewards outweigh the challenges. At work, she’s proud of the way she builds relationships which challenge her mentally and make her feel strong, confident, and capable.
“I believe that because I am using my skills to juggle many different roles at a time at work, I can do the same for my family at home,” said Meridith.
Making It Work
When parents are making the decision on how they will raise their children, whether both spouses work full time or one stays home, Meridith believes it’s important to ensure there’s a strong support structure in place.
“It’s overwhelming having a newborn and that’s why it’s essential to have great support, whether that be through friends, sitters, a strong community, or others with flexible schedules who can jump in and help at a moment’s notice,” said Meridith.
In addition, self-care is something Meridith takes seriously. When there’s a way to squeeze time for herself into her busy schedule, she takes advantage of it. She doesn’t have a regular routine for taking time to herself, except in the evenings, when she enjoys meditation and yoga to clear her mind and help her relax. She also finds time during conferences every so often to spend an hour at a spa or do some shopping.
While she only travels once or twice per quarter, she’s only away one or two nights at a time, saying her husband is highly capable of managing the home front.
“I’m lucky to have an incredibly thoughtful and supportive husband, who manages to keep the household clean and running smoothly, but we will consider getting outside help for cleaning in the future, so we can reduce stress and maximize what time we do have together,” added Meridith.
And when it comes to stress, Meridith and her husband have chosen to make communication a priority, so that when difficult situations arise, they are reminding themselves that they chose this lifestyle. They focus on what’s happening in the present, talking it out, and responding rather than reacting.