along with capturing unique and genuine family connection through photography, Tropical Moms interviews Maui mothers, learning more out about their experiences, challenges, and passions. Tropical Moms showcases families throughout the island, and what an authentic, honest, and inspiring life they live.
name: Meredith Richmond
kids, age: Ireina, 6 Isaiah, 3
where do you live on Maui? Haiku
occupation: I am in a new phase as of recently since becoming a mom right out of graduate school. I have been fortunate to primarily be with my children since they were born as a stay at home mom, while sometimes having contract work that I could do from home. Mostly projects involving community organizing, and program planning for senior services. Now that my little one is almost 4 and starting preschool, I feel like I’m at a big crossroads with the opportunity of choosing my next path. Currently, I am contributing to the Maui Mama Magazine, supporting Kate Griffiths as she expands to a global audience with launching the magazine online. Within the magazine I am developing a local activity guide, including keiki classes and local events, with visitor resources as well. Kate’s vision is brilliant and I’m so excited to be on her team. Furthermore, I am a wedding officiant and I am putting more energy into developing my business in that scope. You can find my information about performing ceremonies at MauiMeredith.com.
what are you passionate about: I’m passionate about living a healthy lifestyle and that includes all dimensions, such as my physical, mental, environmental, spiritual and social health. Health is wealth! I also, feel very passionate about advocating for vulnerable and at-risk populations, like seniors, children and people with mental illness. It’s a big world out there with many services and resources; I don’t think anyone should feel alone or not supported. It is important to me to create community and have a hanai family that I can call on when in need and for me to be there for others.
why did you choose to raise your children on Maui?: Moving to Maui to raise our children was a big decision. My intuition really spoke to me when it was our time. I had always envisioned us on Kauai, it was the island that we knew most and dreamed of for ten years. But it was Maui that really called us, we had never even been here prior to moving here, we didn’t know a single person who lived here. However, when we gave Hawaii the green light, all signs pointed to Maui, and everything fit into place miraculously. So we packed six suitcases and headed to the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Now I can see why, Maui has embraced us. I feel like it has the right balance for us, the diverse climates are incredible, the amazing community events, it’s a melting pot of diversity, of course the beaches and I love how we can feel so far from Haiku when we are just up the hill in Kula, over in Kanapali and East to Hana all within a few hours. Yes, there have been challenges but truly it has felt empowering to establish ourselves here, creating a dream into a reality, I feel like anything is possible to manifest!
What is the best part about being a momma?: Wow, there are so many amazing parts about being a momma to name just one is impossible. From the first moment of conceiving to birthing, to now raising two little people, so many times have felt incredible. I was so naturally high while pregnant, and then nursing and cuddling with my newborn in those precious first few weeks was what I describe as the “highest high!” I just feel so blessed that I was given these precious souls to mother and have an incredible husband to share all of these experiences with. The sweetness outweighs all of challenges, I already feel like they take care of me in many ways. My son recently asked me if I would marry him and he’ll say things like “I’m never going to stop loving you”. My daughter sometimes just wants to have me all to herself for morning snuggles, and when my kids exchange “I love you” or “you’re the best and cutest baby brother” to each other is simply the best, it’s those moments that turn your whole world into a love fest.
what has been challenging since becoming a momma?: It is challenging for me to let go of my inner critic and my expectations, I can feel embarrassed if my kids aren’t acting in a way that I think they should. I feel that it reflects me as a parent. If I can sit back and relax about it, I realize they are doing exactly what kids need to be doing. They often are the center of their universe in their eyes.
what’s your favorite thing to do as a family?: If it’s a day that we are all together it doesn’t really matter what we do, it can be a simple walk around the neighborhood, or having a dance party in the living room on a rainy day.
How did being a mom change you?: Becoming a mom gave me this sense of connection with others, especially moms; I feel that there is something in everyone that I can relate to. I became less judgmental as well, children are each their own person, I realize that you can be the most gracious, kind, loving parent, feed them the highest quality foods, give them the sweetest gifts and your children will be who they please and act how they please. At the end of the day we are all parents, and it’s the hardest job in the world. Parents need lots of support and we all have many different strategies as to how we raise the next generation. My confidence also changed where I find that I have a stronger “voice” that comes out when I am advocating for my children or hold a strong belief on an issue.
What are your favorite forms of self-care?: My absolute favorite activity for self-care is to go on a hike/beach walk date with my husband. We have our best conversations out in nature and at this time of life, hiking without children really adds to the serenity of the experience. My husband is also very supportive of my needs to fuel my soul, I love to catch a yoga class, participate in women’s retreats and go out dancing with my girlfriends time to time. It is so important to recharge and so nice to have uninterrupted conversations.
How do you balance your passions and motherhood? Any tips for time management?: Children grow fast, their stages do not last long. There were times that my energy was so depleted, like in the first year, and I knew that some things needed to be put on hold. You need to remember that you will have more time and energy eventually and it’s okay to surrender to the moment and that you don’t have to be able to do everything, that’s impossible. You can embrace new passions and unearth gratitude in sometimes very undesirable circumstances.
Time is so valuable, it is important to schedule in time for fun and time for relaxation. It’s really motivating to know that I can play at the beach in the afternoon, or the weekend if I can get my to do list checked off first.
Any advice to the moms and future moms?: Go outside, let them get dirty, let them make messes and give space to explore and work out their problems. Allow time for boredom, that’s when imagination takes over.