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How Mom & CEO Heather Emmanuel Ormand Navigates Her Tuesday

balancing two very important roles

Heather Emmanuel Ormand is CEO of Nexus Recovery Center—a women’s addiction treatment facility in East Dallas. The Rockwall mom is an inspiration to those she serves, in recovery herself for nearly a decade. Ormand and husband Jason—a stay-at-home dad taking real estate appraisal classes—live in Rockwall with their children Hannah, 4, and Levi, 18 months. Their dog Gatsby rounds out the family.

6AM Jason and I are up. We chug a cup of coffee each, then Jason leaves to walk Gatsby, our elderly Wheaten terrier. Meanwhile, I spend some quiet time showering and getting ready for the day.

7:15AM Time to wake up Hannah and Levi, right after chugging our second cups of coffee. Hannah is notoriously slow to wake up and loves to spend time cuddling with Mommy while she does so. She’s a beast to get dressed in the morning.

Since she was 2, Hannah has resisted the uniform she wears to her Montessori school—khaki jumpers or pants. At least 15 minutes is spent choosing some sort of flashy leggings to wear under her “boring” jumper to reflect her personal style. Also, Hannah has beautiful, naturally curly hair, so I have to spend time detangling it. We accessorize with a headband or quickly do a braid.

7:30AM Levi wakes up happy. The first words out of his mouth are usually either “car” or “ball.” He’s ready to play the minute his little feet hit the floor! Both kids eat breakfast, typically yogurt and cinnamon rolls. We get Levi dressed and they are all out the door.

Jason takes the kids to their school, less than a mile away, while I head off to work for the day. Everyone is out of the house by 8am—on a good day!

8AM My commute is only 25 minutes long and it’s spent either talking on the phone to my mom or girlfriends or listening to a podcast. I’m currently listening to Brené Brown’s Dare to Lead podcast on Spotify. I worship at the altar of Brené. If she told me to step into traffic because I’d be a better human as a result, I’d do it immediately. She’s my north star when it comes to showing up for those I love, and she helps me lead in a brave way.

8:30AM I have the best time walking into work because I get to pass our clients, say good morning and tell them to have a great day. I also run into a lot of staff members and get to strike up quick conversations. I am often late for whatever is on my calendar first thing for the day because of it—but I love these interactions, so it’s worth it.

9AM The workday is mostly filled with Zoom meetings, phone calls and strategizing on how we make the company even better. I recently shifted my desk to face my door, which is almost always open. I try as best I can to catch people in the hall and say hi. Relationships with our staff are so important to me while I’m still building trust and accountability with them. I’ve only been with the company since the summer, so it’s a work in progress.

On my best days, I’m able to walk around the center’s main campus and learn about any treatment modalities or programs that I haven’t dug into yet. I get to witness clients interacting with one another and their counselors. I usually get stopped several times to talk through questions or maintenance issues that pop up daily on the aging campus.

I love that people are comfortable coming to me and trust that I’ll do my best to fix whatever it is that’s concerning them.

4:30PM I try to plan out the next day before I head home at 5pm.

5PM My drive home is also spent on phone calls, but these are usually finishing up things from the day at Nexus. I made a commitment to Jason before accepting the role that I would do my best to be home and present as many nights as possible and leave work at work. It’s an ongoing process, but it’s worth it for my family.

6PM I’m home! The kids and I usually play outside for half an hour (weather permitting) while Jason finishes cooking dinner. Today we settle for the playroom and head upstairs.

6:30PM Dinner is served.

7:30PM Bath and bedtime is my favorite time with the kids. Levi is still small enough that he enjoys being rocked and read to before bed. I get to hold him, read Goodnight Moon for the 10,000th time and put him down to sleep.

Hannah likes to read to us versus the other way around. At 4 years old, she’s not quite able to read storybooks but has a very active imagination. Her “reading to us” is just her coming up with stories to match the pictures in her favorite books. Ideally, both kids are asleep by 8:30pm.

8:30PM Jason and I clean the kitchen together. One of us will walk the dog before bed, and then it’s lights out pretty early. Everything in our family is a team effort—it’s just how we roll. We try to end the day by talking about three things we’re both grateful for. It makes falling asleep that much better.

Fast Facts

What she’s watching Ted Lasso on Apple + (because Brené Brown said to, and it’s amazing)
Favorite indulgence Any and all skincare products. Currently loving Naturopathica.
First celebrity crush Jordan Knight from New Kids on the Block
Favorite date night spot Alamo Drafthouse (I’m missing movies!)
Guaranteed to make her laugh My husband
Guaranteed to make her cry My husband
Beverage of choice Coffee, coffee and more coffee
Go-to recipe Jason does the cooking, and I love him for it.
Favorite app My calendar app
Favorite podcast It’s a tie between Dare to Lead and Armchair Experts
Beauty product she can’t live without Grand Lash Serum
Favorite scent Tom Ford Café Rose
Best purchase ever Hatch sound machine for better sleep
No. 1 item on her bucket list To take Hannah to Paris
Words she lives by Not my pig, not my farm.

Photo courtesy of Natalie Barrett.