Meet Alexis Lanman, the Director of Marketing of New Waterloo. Unless you’re living under a rock in Austin, you have most likely stayed, brunched, or partied at one New Waterloo’s spots. They are about to open their 4th restaurant of 2018 and it’s only February. Just a little busy, right? But then there’s Alexis. Always calm, always cool, and as you’ll see in the following photos, always chic. She agreed to a photoshoot while very pregnant with her second, in front of one of New Waterloo’s instagram-worthy restaurants, Le Politique. Alexis opened up about work/life balance, maternity leave and raising two boys. Photography by Alysha Rainwaters
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I crave challenge and excitement, which is a beneficial quality for my always-evolving career as the Director of Marketing at New Waterloo, but is one of my biggest struggles as a mom. Being a parent is an adventure, but sticking to routine can be a challenge for my curious nature. My husband, Stuart, is a talented lawyer and together we have 1.75 kids, a cat named Gizmo, and an active social life. I cherish close friendships and never turn down a good dance party. I am constantly seeking balance but between you and me, the struggle is real.
You are expecting baby boy #2. How is this pregnancy different from your first?
Physically, I enjoy being pregnant and haven’t experienced many difficulties with either pregnancy. Emotionally, the 2nd pregnancy has taken a much greater toll. I highly value my personal freedoms and managing a career, marriage, toddler, etc. already greatly limits my independence. The impending exponential increase of responsibility has been a real mental struggle for me. Luckily I have a badass support system to help me navigate through this.
Describe your maternity style.
Being pregnant gives me the rare opportunity to just let my body be and not fret over body image. It’s wonderful to relax and let my stomach grow. To me this means the opportunity to rock fitted dresses. I have 4-5 staples that are versatile enough to dress-up with heels and a leather jacket or dress down with Adidas 3 stripes and a jean jacket. I’m not much of jewelry girl but I like a good pair of earrings for added flair. Being pregnant does NOT mean you have to sacrifice style.
What will maternity leave look like for you?
I was ready to get back to work fairly early with #1 and cut my maternity leave short at 7 weeks. We had a nanny at the time so I was comfortable leaving Wilder so young. I told myself it was important for me to get back to work, but frankly I was scared and also tired of being at home alone with a tiny baby. People don’t always say this because you are supposed to adore & cherish every second with your new human but I think it’s a real thing to address. At work you can have a conversation, get a coffee, stimulate your brain, have some freedom. At home every second is consumed with keeping a human alive, which is a selfless and exhausting task. I applaud those hard-working SAHMs out there.
I’m hoping to strike a better balance with Ridge. Stay home longer and make it more of an adventure. I know this will be my last baby so I do want to relish the moment longer. We also decided to forgo the nanny this time (managing another person can be tough!) so I want to wait until he is a bit older to drop him off at childcare. Bonus – New Waterloo offers a progressive maternity leave policy which gives me the luxury of spending more time at home.
Are you doing anything in particular to prepare your son to meet his new brother?
Mostly just crossing our fingers that his attempts on his little brothers life will be minimal 😉 We’ve got a few big brother books and talk to him about it regularly — but either he’s not quite getting or he’s refusing to believe it’s true.
You are the director of marketing for a successful hospitality group in Austin that seem to open new spots every month! How do you balance work, relationships, and motherhood?
I DON’T! Every second of the day I have to make decisions on what to prioritize. Something always has to be sacrificed. On one hand it’s a great lesson on letting go and setting boundaries, on the other it can lead to feelings of guilt and failure. It’s messy and chaotic but also so joyful. I truly wouldn’t have it any other way.
What does your wellness routine look like?
My pregnancy wellness routine doesn’t fluctuate too much from the norm. It’s a mix of yoga, strength training, walking/running, always trying to read more, listening to podcasts, and the constant attempt to eat healthful foods. The latter is the toughest, especially when you happen to be opening 5 restaurants. Wellness can also sometimes mean just getting a f*ing break – a glass of wine with a friend, a pedicure, a bath, staring at a wall in a dark room, watching Vanderpump Rules. Ok, maybe don’t publish the part about Vanderpump Rules?
Any favorite pregnancy or post pregnancy essentials?
I’m not really an essentials kind of gal when it comes to brands or products. For me, a parenting essential is determining what’s going to keep you sane and try to make it a priority. Our family essential is carving out the time + budget for sitters so we can still enjoy our personal time & social life.
We love your son’s names. Tell us how they came to be.
They are all family names! My husband and I were both aligned on wanting only family names for our kids from the start. Franklin “Wilder” – Franklin is Stuart’s middle name and Wilder is a last name on my side that goes back generations. Ridgely English “Ridge”- Ridgely was my late mothers name and also goes back generations on my side (male and female). English is my M-I-L’s maiden name.
What excites you most about raising two boys?
This is the hardest question you’ve asked because the responsibility of raising these boys to be good men is so deeply important to me. I want my sons grow into whole human beings. To be empathetic, have self-knowledge, to value compassion, to respect women and all people. I want to make them feel fully loved so they have the confidence to do these things. I read an article once that said the best way to make sure your kids are #notassholes is to teach them to deeply appreciate the human experience. I don’t know exactly how to do this, but I’m excited to figure it out.