After years of building her career in the advertising and digital marketing space, Meg Hall landed her dream job at LEGO. Yep, you read that right — LEGO! Today, the mom-of-one is the Senior Director for Digital Marketing for the Americas at the beloved toy company and collaborates with other LEGO employees around the world to work on brand marketing and digital strategy.
When she’s not at work — wait until you see her daily routine, it’s jam-packed! — Meg is busy raising an adorable little girl named Nell with her husband, Chris, in New England. From struggling to conceive and turning to IVF to battling postpartum depression, Meg always keeps it real when talking about her motherhood journey and our interview with her was no exception.
Scroll down to learn more about Meg’s super-cool career, find out how she and Chris divide parenting roles at home, and check out this working mama’s best motherhood hacks!
Name: Meg Hall, Senior Director for Digital Marketing at LEGO
Education: University of Connecticut, BS in Communication Sciences
Location: West Hartford, CT
Children: Nell, 19 months
You work at LEGO! Tell us about how you got to this point in your career.
At one time, I wanted to be a dermatologist… until I got a D in chemistry in high school, so that dream was short-lived. After that, I knew wanted to be in advertising. I think digital has become a lot more prevalent over the years, and my personality was really attracted to the digital space. In my office, we call ourselves ambidextrous thinkers because we use the right and left sides of our brains equally. Advertising and marketing within digital and with the onset of social have really been a great opportunity to allow me to use that skill set.
After starting out in the PR world, I met a friend through my Tumblr blog. She lived in New York City, worked in advertising, and was super passionate about beauty. I was really hoping to get into fashion, and, at the time, she was working for two digital social media only agencies in New York. She got me in for an interview, and I ended up being her coworker. There, I managed brands like Banana Republic, Calvin Klein, and Target Canada.
When I was in high school, I’d dreamed of working for Target and vineyard vines, and I later left NYC and accepted a position leading social media in-house at vineyard vines. I was in the first recruiting class of individuals working on their social media who had true professional experience — social media was really starting to turn into a true profession. After setting up social, I moved up to overseeing marketing overall. It was a good time working with really great people as the brand grew exponentially fast.
Next, I ended up at LEGO! My husband and I were looking to relocate closer to family in Connecticut, and a great role happened to open up at LEGO’s US headquarters leading content marketing. A month before I had my first baby, Nell, I stepped into a role overseeing digital marketing overall for the Americas. We oversee our influencer marketing programs, and we do holistic digital strategy to support our brand marketing teams like LEGO Star Wars, LEGO City, LEGO Friends, etc. We oversee search marketing for the Americas and also support our colleagues in Canada and Mexico from a social media and digital perspective. Lastly, we create our unboxing series, and we have a YouTube First show. I’ve been very lucky to follow my own path.
You also have your own blog! How did you start blogging?
I have no idea! I started blogging when Tumblr was a thing. Initially, it was a really awesome community. A lot of women my age starting their professional careers were drawn to this platform and became friends. I think that Tumblr started to die out after Yahoo acquired them and, for some reason, I still had this interest in sharing my life. I’ve worked with a lot of bloggers in my professional career and eventually my blogger-turned-friend Julia convinced me to start up again. My husband loves to tell me it’s because I seek validation which is sad but probably 100 percent true! I think it’s also my way of connecting with other people. Someone messaged me once and said, “You’re up feeding your baby when I’m feeding my baby, you’re rushing to work when I’m rushing to work, you’re trying to figure out how to make something healthy for dinner, and I’m trying to figure out how to make something healthy for dinner, and you’re stressed about the same things that I’m stressed about.” I thought, “Oh, my God, that’s so funny!” That’s a lot of what I get out of this platform — camaraderie.
Influencers have continuously gotten a lot more curated and have turned into their own advertising platform, and that’s not a bad thing. It takes a tremendous amount of work to build a brand off of yourself, but I’ve always been a little more rooted in the shareability and relatability of blogging. It’s really a good way to connect with people similar to yourself or very different from yourself all across the world. There’s really no other platform that provides that level of transparency. I don’t blog that often. I tend to blog only when I have something interesting to say.
Can you walk us through your typical daily routine?
My husband and I naturally fell into a routine. He’s super hands-on and supportive of my career. I’ve always been someone who is extremely career-oriented and that comes with sacrifices. I travel more, and I can’t always get home when I want to get home. Thankfully, I work for a company that supports balance, but the reality of being a working mom is that there are always sacrifices. My husband wakes up at 6am and jumps in the shower. I wake up at 6:15am, and I start to get ready. He goes downstairs and makes my daughter’s lunch, makes the coffee, and heads to work. He’s a counselor at a middle school, so he has to get to work much earlier than I do. I handle drop off.
After he leaves, I bring my coffee upstairs and I’ll try my hardest to get completely ready for the day. If I don’t, the morning tends to be chaos! I go downstairs and pack the car so as soon as Nell wakes up, my only focus is getting her dressed, having a quick breakfast, enjoying my time with her, and getting out the door. She wakes up around 7:15am. My secret for having her not freak out in the morning when I’m trying to change her diaper and get her dressed is to have her lay out all of her clothes — pre-selected by mom, of course — and put her own diaper on the changing table. We read a book, head downstairs for a waffle or two, and then we’re on our way to daycare by 7:30am. I put her lunch in the her cubby and then try to quietly escape without her seeing me so she doesn’t get upset.
I drive to work and have a 45-minute commute to get to my office. I have global colleagues so, a lot of the time, I’ll take 8:30am conference calls in the car. I’m in meetings for most of the day. If I’m not in meetings, I’m spending time with my team face-to-face to make some decisions and make sure we’re keeping things moving. Everyone at LEGO tends to take a lunch break around noon which was one of my favorite parts about the culture here. I used to be really productive in the afternoons before I became a mom. Now, I’ve had to really make a mental shift to be more productive in the mornings because my husband coaches soccer and track, and sometimes, I have to do pick up if he has after school sports.
In the afternoon, I have more meetings, and I usually have an hour of office hours blocked off at 2pm so that I’m available to my team if they need anything from me. If they don’t need me, I use it as focused work time which has really helped my productivity. I try to wrap my workday up around 4:30pm if I have to do pickup with Nell or 5 pm at the latest. On an average day, my husband will pick her up, feeds her dinner, they play, go to the playground, or go for a walk. It takes me about an hour to get home with traffic.
When I get home, it’s straight to bathtime which, can be really hard for me. I do bedtime. Nell picks out a book, and I read it to her — we really enjoy that time together. We get her settled for bed, and she’s in bed by 7:15pm. My husband will make dinner for us. I’ll do a load of laundry and pick up around the house. Then, we eat together and hang out or we’ll both have our alone time. I’ll read a book in the living room, and he’ll watch TV. I think alone time is so important for our sanity. I go to bed at 9:30pm.
How did you and your husband decide on childcare for Nell? How do you see that situation changing as she grows?
I thought it would be a more difficult decision than it was to choose daycare. If there’s one piece of advice that more women should give each other, it’s that every baby is different. I had Nell, and from the second she was born, she was loud, wide-eyed, and interactive.
Daycare works for us right now, but we’re so close to needing more help. During the school year, mornings are really tough when I’m traveling. Thankfully, we have family close by and they help us a ton. We’re lucky that my husband has the summer off, so Nell was home with him most of the time. It was an awesome break from the daycare grind. She still went two days a week to keep some sort of routine and to see her friends. I’m sure we’ll look into an as-needed morning nanny to help when I’m traveling. I know our family doesn’t mind watching her, but I don’t want to ask too much.
You often travel for work — is that a difficult change to your daily routine with Nell?
I used to travel quite a bit when I worked for vineyard vines, but at that time, it was just my husband and me, so it was a lot easier. I’ve traveled a lot at LEGO earlier this year — I have colleagues that are doing what I’m doing all over the globe. When we can get together in person, we always really appreciate our time together. I’ve prioritized travel more in this role than in my previous role at LEGO. It’s just a matter of logistics. We have to call in family. Our in-laws are very supportive of our work schedules and careers. My husband’s brothers and their significant others also help out a lot too. While some people say, “it takes a village,” we say, “it takes a city” because of all the moving pieces that are involved.
At the end of the day, I look back at my trip and am happy at how much I’ve learned and grown from it. It also has helped Nell to be more independent. I think part of that comes from being at daycare and also from learning, loving, and appreciating support from other strong individuals in her life. Having been raised by a very strong, successful woman myself, I like to think it will help her continue to be a confident woman in the future too. It’s not easy but it’s been more of a positive than a negative experience.
What did your maternity leave look like after Nell was born?
It was tough! Nell was colicky and we were really overwhelmed. We ended ups taying at my in-laws most of that first month which really helped. My mom was there the first week and we were home and she came back after a few weeks to help again. Eventually, we figured out that Nell didn’t like sleeping in our room and did much better when she had her own space. She’s still like that now! We started sleeping in shifts at night and that allowed us both to get at least six hours of uninterrupted sleep at a time. That was a game-changer along with getting her on a schedule. She responded really well to structure and it allowed us to leave the house. Little by little, we found our groove and things got a lot easier around three months. I really enjoyed my last two months of leave!
LEGO is, thankfully, very supportive of families. I was fortunate to take five months off, and at the end of that time, I was ready to go back to work. They are great about helping new parents transition back to the office. We were also really lucky that when I went back to work, my husband was off for the summer so it was easier going back knowing Nell was with him before she started daycare. She went to school once she was sitting up, started solids, and was developmentally ready. We were really fortunate in that way.
She always had a ton of personality. She was a handful as a newborn. I had an extended maternity leave and I swear she was bored with me by the end! I knew she would so well with stimulation from peers. We could see the benefit when she was with other kids her age, and we knew she would thrive in a daycare environment. That was a huge relief because it felt like it was her choice. Once she started school, she was happier. Seeing the sociability and how much she’s learning has made it a really good solution for us. Don’t get me wrong, there are downsides to daycare. She’s been sick a ton which has been really tough for us, but I think developmentally, daycare has been a great choice for her.
You’ve also been open about your battle with postpartum depression following Nell’s birth. Can you tell us about that experience?
After Nell was born, I had pretty severe postpartum depression. We ended up having a postpartum doula which most women don’t know about. They care for the whole family, not just the baby. She helped with Nell, but she also helped with meal prep and helped around the house. We had several doulas come to help us when we were learning how to work through that challenge. We really became close to one in particular, and she’s literally known Nell since she was 4 weeks old. We’ve been able to keep up a good relationship with her, and she’ll step in to babysit at times and will help us to get our lives together.
What was it like transitioning back to work after maternity leave?
My biggest fear returning to work was how much things had changed while I was gone. I definitely had a little bit of guilt because I started a brand new role a month before maternity leave and then was gone for an extended amount of time. My team was very supportive. From a leadership team level, I’m also really fortunate to work with people from a lot of different cultures and backgrounds, and it’s been really refreshing to hear their different perspectives on motherhood. I was very lucky that I didn’t really feel as much mom guilt that a lot of moms do. I feel bad saying that because I love my daughter very much. I think I’m a better mom when I’m working because I have a passion for this too, and my work makes me feel whole as a person and a mom.
I definitely tried to do everything at once when I got back. I wanted to be exactly the way that I was before I left work. My colleague, who always tells it like it is, told me, “You need to acknowledge that you became a mom just five short months ago, and you need to give yourself grace and understand that it’s going to take time to adjust to this new season of life.” As much as I fought her on it, she was right in that it took me about a year to adjust back. I feel like once I hit the year mark, I felt like I was reentering my professional groove. It’s a different mental prioritization.
Was there ever a time after Nell was born when you considered not returning to work?
Honestly, no. I’ve always been very passionate about my career, and that didn’t change for me after having Nell. It almost made me more thankful that I felt so confident in knowing that I love what I do because I didn’t have this ominous cloud hanging over my head of returning to a job that I wasn’t energized by. My career isn’t just a job to me, it’s part of my life. On the other hand, motherhood has helped me come to terms with it not being my life, but I’m very fortunate to have that passion. Being a mom and experiencing postpartum depression has definitely changed my perspective and shaped the way that I give my teammates trust and support outside of work if they need time or grace in their responsibilities.
You and your husband faced a few challenges while trying to get pregnant — can you tell us about that experience?
We were pretty caught off guard when we ended up struggling to get pregnant. What we thought might take a few months ended up being a year-and-a-half-long journey and aggressive endometriosis diagnoses. When we decided to go through IVF, it confirmed for us that we wanted to be parents. When I had Nell, knowing how badly I wanted it and how prepared I felt from an emotional perspective, I was really bowled over by having postpartum depression. I didn’t know a ton about it. I knew it could happen. Thankfully, it’s becoming much less taboo now. I just couldn’t comprehend how I felt so bad when I had everything that I ever wanted. That was really challenging for me. I’m very Type A, and I take a lot of pride in the things I’m passionate about. To finally get to a point when you have what you want and to still feel insecurity, defeat, sadness, and fear was overwhelming. I didn’t understand it.
At three weeks postpartum, I felt like I was drowning. I prepared, I did everything I was supposed to do. How could I feel like this? I got help right away, and I had a wonderful support network to help me get through it, and I learned it’s not something you can control and that it’s chemical. I learned from that, but I think, in terms of motherhood, wanting to be a mom and then struggling to know how to be a mom right away was a huge hurdle for me. I will say, not that there are positives to PPD, but once I got better, I deeply cherish everything. Anytime she wakes up in the night, I just feel so lucky that I get to cuddle her, love her, and be there with her. Even when she’s crying or upset, I just feel so fortunate to spend any time with her.
My appreciation for feeling good as a mom is through the roof because I’m so grateful to be on the other side of that experience. I’m so grateful to have this bond with Nell. When I was first diagnosed, I said to my doctor, “I feel like such a bad mom because everyone’s having to help, and I can’t do anything.” She said, “Meg, you have your whole life to be an amazing mom, you don’t have to fit it all in during her first week of life.” And she was right.
The most rewarding part of motherhood is seeing my child happy, thriving, and confident in an environment we were able to provide to her.
When it comes to being a mom, what are you most insecure about? And what are you most confident about?
The first [thing I’m insecure about] is being a working mom and feeling like I’m in this place where I’m not exactly sure how to find other women in the same position as me. Everyone has a different experience. Some women prefer not to go to work but feel like they have to. Some women would rather be home. Some women have to stay home because it doesn’t make sense financially even if they want to work. I think, culturally, a lot of those feelings are taboo. I think the internet allows everyone to share their story, but I think it can also make people feel isolated. You don’t want to post in a mom Facebook group saying “Hey, any other working moms that travel a ton want to connect?” I don’t want to give the impression that I don’t support moms who work at home because I think it’s the hardest job in the world. It can be challenging for me to find my people. I have a few friends here and there, but I think it’s something that can be challenging to talk about.
The second thing I’m insecure about is discipline. Our generation is having children later; we’re more established in our careers. Our children are very fortunate. We’ve done all of this work, and our kids are growing up in a different way that I grew up when my parents had me at 22. My husband and I are trying to be conscious of how we can give her the best life but also make sure she learns how to be humble, learns about hard work, and learns that she can’t always have her way. That’s a harder job than I anticipated.
We’re getting better as she gets older. Her grandparents have really leaned into helping with that, and instead of gifting her with toys for every occasion, they help us save for her college. From a discipline perspective, I didn’t realize how much of a no man’s land it is. When she doesn’t get her way, she’ll hit or act out. Some people say to ignore it, some people say to tell her “no,” others will say to give her a hug. I’m used to following my gut, and I don’t have my gut with me in those moments. I lean on my mom friends to see how they would manage situations or how they are teaching manners. I keep telling her school, “I know she’ll learn the alphabet, but my biggest concern is that I want her to learn manners and to become a good person.” Anything that we can do to work together to help her be a good person is where my head’s at now!
I’m most confident in my partnership with my husband. He has a great sense of humor, and we have a lot of fun. We were together for 12 years before having kids and married for three, so we know each other very well. I feel like we are the most confident in the fact that we’re enjoying this which is harder than you’d think. We’re having fun being parents, and I can see a sense of humor in her too.
Can you share with us five mom hacks you rely on to make things work in your day-to-day life?
1. Make your bed! My days are so chaotic that starting and ending my day with a crisply made bed somehow gives me a sense of accomplishment.
2. Borrow everything. We’ve bought virtually no big toys aside from a play kitchen and Little Nomad mat because we just rotate with friends. They play with things for such a short time, and it keeps our more home tidy.
3. Leave your phone at the door when you get home until the kiddos are in bed. That one to two hours (for me) of quality time with no distractions is my favorite part of my day.
4. Wake up before your babies. This can be tough, but if I can get myself ready and Nell’s daycare bag packed and in the car before she’s up, my whole day goes more smoothly!
5. Invest in a capsule wardrobe! It’s so worth it to have your whole wardrobe work together. Simple but quality pieces like my Yearly Co. bangles, favorite button-downs, and Chloe flats help me feel pulled together every day with little effort.
Meg Hall is The Everymom…
Favorite family tradition? Sunday dinner! Three generations of my husband’s family live in town, and we end up at my in-laws almost every Sunday for dinner. It’s so special because everyone just loves to spend time together. It’s by choice, not by obligation, and I think that’s pretty cool. Nell is super close with everyone, and as a military kid that never lived near family, it means a lot to me!
Easy go-to family meal to prepare? Taco night never gets old
Your dream vacation? A few weeks meandering through Europe with our family. Planned by someone else. Facilitated by private planes and other modes of transportation that allow you to NOT worry about your toddler’s travel behavior 😉
Last home item you splurged on? A vintage Turkish rug for our dining room
Guilty pleasure? 90-day Fiancé on TLC
Most embarrassing mom moment? Any time my daughter sees a wine glass, she points and yells, “MAMA!”
Proudest career achievement? The first time I got to promote someone on my team. It felt like such an achievement to successfully help someone grow and find their own path.
Favorite date night activity? Dinner out on the town! We usually bring our daughter everywhere so a whole meal with two hands and no tipping wine glasses is such a treat.
Best mom advice you’ve been given? Everything (literally. EVERYTHING.) is a stage!