Orlando Family Celebrates Lauren Rowe – A Remarkable Mom
Balancing motherhood, hi-profile career, and community volunteerism
Like many busy moms, Lauren Rowe, an awarding winning news anchor for WKMG/TV Local 6, juggles a weekday schedule that would exhaust the Energizer bunny. When you read about the 39-year-old mother of two toddlers and her regular daily routine along with the recent, unexpected health challenges that her family is facing, we think you’ll agree that Lauren is a really Remarkable Mom. In between play dates and boo-boo kisses, and her community leader interviews and out of town disaster coverage, we sat down with this busy mom to talk about her hectic life as wife, mother, news anchor, TV producer, and community volunteer.
Lauren’s typical work day begins between 7 and 8am. “We get up, have breakfast, and then I pack lunches and take Leah, my four and a half-year-old, to pre-school four days a week. Except for two days at an in-home day care, two year old Livia spends most of the day with me. We go to music class, play, go for walks…all sorts of Mommy things,” say Lauren. “Leah usually comes home from school around 2pm and I get to spend an hour or so with them before I go to work.”
At the television station, Lauren researches and writes cutting edge stories and gets ready to come into thousands of Central Floridian’s homes to deliver the news at 6pm and again at 7pm. Then, its home for dinner and the family’s nighttime routine. After two giggly, soapy baths, story time, and lots of hugs and kisses goodnight, Lauren heads back to the station again. She freshens up her on-air makeup, reviews the night’s top stories and gazes into the camera to deliver the 11pm news. Lauren’s day ends at midnight. “It can be pretty exhausting, especially with the little ones,” she admits. “I really don’t have a hard time falling asleep at night.”
When asked how she manages the split times at home, she says Michael, her husband of seven years, is the love of her life and the glue that holds them all together. “Our house operates on teamwork. My husband is terrific. We help each other out, as much as possible,” she says.
“When I’m with my kids, though, I try to be with them 100 percent. I put down the cell phone and unplug. I try to separate work and home time, but it’s not always easy.”
Both Lauren and Michael’s moms live nearby, along with Lauren’s sister. Family backup comes in handy, especially when Lauren gets called out of town to cover a disaster. For example, she had to drop everything with the Gulf oil spill, and rush to the Panhandle for a few days to cover the disaster. Also, it can be a challenge for any mom, when one of the kids gets sick. But imagine being up all night with a sick child and then having to be bright-eyed on camera the next day. “Sometimes I think there’s just no amount of makeup that’s going to make me look well rested,” she says with a laugh.
Lauren put the on-air makeup application to the test in early April, when she and Michael found out that their 4-year-old was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. Leah had begun wetting her bed, and always seemed listless, hungry, and thirsty. “Once I realized that these were symptoms of diabetes, we went to her doctor’s office and after a few tests, Leah’s blood sugar was so high, they almost had to put her in the hospital,” Lauren says. “The next day, we were in the pediatric endocrinologist’s office to begin learning how to raise a diabetic child.”
It is a major adjustment for the family. Carbohydrates have to be tracked and Leah needs to have her meals and snacks at the right time. The parents now have to record Leah’s blood sugar and give her insulin twice a day, with finger-pricks 5-6 times a day. “Leah’s been amazing. She is already pricking her own finger and is getting used to the injections she gets twice a day,” Lauren says with pride. “It breaks my heart that she will deal with this the rest of her life. But I’m also comforted by the belief that she has the personality and positive attitude, even at the age of four, to live a normal life despite the diabetes. She asked me on the day we found out about her disease, ‘When will I get better?’ I had to tell her that she would always have diabetes. She understood, and we both cried. That was the toughest moment of all.”
To add to the family’s medical worries, Lauren has discovered that she has a tumor on her thyroid that needs to be removed. “They will not know if it is malignant or benign until they remove it and dissect it. They will take out half of my thyroid with the tumor. If it is cancer, they will go back in and take out the rest of the thyroid. ” She adds that she feels fortunate to have such wonderful physicians and world class medical resources in our community. (As we go to press, her surgery is scheduled for Tuesday, April 19.)
However, there’s no time for a pity party, because Lauren and Michael are too busy trying to stay on top of the emerging medical situations. “Anytime I get maudlin, two-year-old Livia does something to bring us back to reality like taking off her clothes and running down the street,” Lauren remarks. “She helps us keep it real.”
As part of her commitment to serving the community, Lauren believes in getting the word out about issues that impact families through her Sunday news show, Flashpoint, and volunteering. “I sit on the board of Heart to Heart, an organization that offers transitional housing for women and children who have suffered some type of abuse. I also volunteer with the Heart of Florida United Way.”
With Mother’s Day approaching, she shares her thoughts about Mom’s groups…the support and sanity they offer. Lauren joined a group after Leah was born and she’s still friends with the women. “I love the camaraderie and connection that Moms have. Whether we work outside the home or are stay-at-home Moms, we all have the same goals, wishes and priorities. That’s what I love about motherhood.”
Lauren says being a Mommy is terrific. “My girls just brighten my day, no matter what’s happening. It’s just such a privilege to be a Mom and get to experience and enjoy life through their eyes.”