There’s a general rule of thumb when writing a hook for the intro of a person’s profile. Especially one that will live indefinitely on the web. Choose a topic of focus that ages well. (incidentally, this rule can also apply to tattoos, vanity license plates and high school nicknames).
But to lead with anything but her current life as a brand-new Mom, would just be ignoring the stuffed animal elephant in the room.
On September 10, 2017, Meaghan and her husband Anthony proudly welcomed Connor Anthony Trupiano.
As any new parent knows, bringing a baby home from the hospital fills you with a deep sense of happiness and fulfillment. But somewhere around the time you experience your first explosive diaper, you realize your well-ordered, spit-up free and well-rested life is over for the foreseeable future.
“My husband and I love to travel. We like to cook big Italian meals. We enjoy home improvement projects. But that all took a backseat when Connor arrived,” Meaghan says with a laugh.
The irony of life as a new parent is you work so hard to get your newborn on a regular day/night schedule, your own internal clock is thrown out of whack. Life becomes an endless Groundhog Day loop of midnight feedings, diaper changes and sleep deprivation so extreme, even a tough as nails Marine fighter pilot would buckle under the weight of it.
“Motherhood is exhausting, challenging and rewarding all at the same time,” Meaghan says.
“I've quickly learned it's a constant struggle between wanting him to stay little, and anxiously anticipating the next stage of firsts.”
Every time their four-legged first born trotted into whatever room Connor was hanging out in, Piper promptly threw up.
“Ugh, that was not fun. But once we started giving her doggy happy pills, everything smoothed out,” Meaghan recalls.
One of the hardest parts of parenthood is that window of the day, generally between say, 5pm and 7pm, dubbed by many as “The Witching Hour.” Connor, like newborns for centuries before him would transform from a cheerful, happy, cooing bundle of joy into resembling something akin to a rush hour commuter before they’ve had their morning coffee.
But then, Meaghan and her husband discovered, quite by accident, that the classic tune “Jump in the Line” sung by iconic crooner Harry Belafonte, magically quieted Connor’s crying. Every time he heard it, he stopped fussing. Day after day, as the clock struck 5pm, Meaghan and her husband would repeat the magic words, “Alexa: Play “Jump in the Line.”
“I never want to hear that song ever again,” Meaghan says, only half-jokingly. “But at the end of the day, I'm just very thankful I get to be Connor's mom and watch him grow.”
“I would say I was a pretty normal suburban kid,” Meaghan recalls. “I was born and raised right here in St. Louis. I have a brother named Rob who’s 15 months older than me. Growing up, I tried just about every sport, but it was mainly social hour for me. Swimming was the one sport I really stuck with.”
Meaghan swam summer swim team for the better part of a decade. She parlayed that into a lifeguard job for several years. She also taught swim lessons and was the assistant swim team coach.
After graduating high school, Meaghan enrolled at Missouri State.
“MSU was a great fit. It was the right size for me. It was far away enough from home that I felt like I was on my own, but not too far that I couldn’t go home on the weekend. And it’s where I met my husband.”
The Oprah Months
After college, Meaghan relocated to Chicago to break into the ultra-competitive world of public relations.
The Windy City was where Meaghan had a brief, but intense work experience, perhaps best described as “The Oprah Months.” During the final season of The Oprah Winfrey Show, Meghan interned in the publicity department at Harpo Studios, Oprah’s production company.
Arriving in the office at 5am, Meaghan was tasked with finding, aggregating and distributing to the staff, every mention of Oprah Winfrey on the Internet from the past 24 hours. Every day. No small feat when your boss is a pop culture force of nature so famous, even undiscovered tribes living deep in the Amazon rainforest know who she is.
“There was a fireplace at the entrance to Oprah’s personal office. It didn’t matter if it was 100 degrees in the summer, or 20 below in the winter, If the fire was blazing, you knew she was in her office. If the fire was out, so was she.”
But don’t expect Meaghan to pen an Oprah tell-all any time soon.
“I’ll just say this. There were definitely certain unspoken ‘Oprah Rules’ you learned quickly. Always refer to her as Ms. Winfrey. Never Oprah. And if she stopped to talk to you in the hall, you better not be chewing gum.”
With Oprah ending her show to launch her OWN network, Meaghan’s internship also ended.
But it helped her land a full-time PR job at Fleishman Hilliard in Chicago.
After cutting her teeth working on blue chip accounts like Sleep Number, AT&T U-Verse and Monsanto, Meaghan returned to her hometown to work in Fleishman’s St. Louis office.
“I loved Chicago. I have great memories of our time there. It’s where Anthony proposed to me. But St. Louis has a way of drawing you home.”
Lucky for us, in 2015, Meaghan found her way to Paradowski, where she segued into an Account Manager role on the digital side of the Monsanto business. Just back from maternity leave, she’s finding her balance between work and a more hectic, but rewarding home life.
So, Connor, if you’re reading this as a teenager, here’s hoping this profile of your Mom serves as a time capsule of sorts. A snapshot of her life as a new Mom— and the joy and happiness your birth brought both your parents.
Just one quick question before you get back to washing and waxing your flying saucer, or whatever teens do in the future:
Are you still a Harry Belafonte fan?