Debra Lopez-Spence always knew she wanted to be a mother, but she was also very focused on her career. She started having children in her mid-thirties, a little later than she anticipated, but nevertheless has been enjoying the journey, teaching her children valuable lessons in love, empowerment, compassion, and humanity.
“I have two young children and they are extremely active. They are both athletes, into swimming, golf and football. My days are spent really trying to ensure that I strike a balance between meeting their needs, and leading Scotia Insurance,” Lopez-Spence said.
As president of Scotia Jamaica Life Insurance Company (SJLIC), she is a seasoned career banker, with responsibility for developing and executing strategic and business plans, dealing with operational risk management as well as talent management and retention. In the financial sector, Lopez-Spence is well known as a facilitator for her team members to deliver extraordinary results.
Most mothers feel stretched beyond their human capacities, but when you are living your best life, and adding to your family’s essential well-being and the world, your life can feel more fulfilling.
“My days typically start very early. To maintain sanity, there are many things that have to be in place. I am a big fan of utilising schedules and making sure everything is organised using structure and systems. I am also a big believer that you cannot pour from an empty cup, so I must ensure I make time for me,” she said.
Being a mom can be tough. As the saying goes, if you don’t find it hard sometimes, you may not be paying attention. “I can remember everything about the day that they (her children) were both born and how I felt hearing them, seeing them and holding them, the first time. It is such an overwhelming emotion that comes over you, that I think immediately changes you forever. Every time that there is an illness, every fall, joy and success or every success that they have, I feel like I go through [it] with them.”
Lopez-Spence says it is also important to have the right partner, who will be present and share in the responsibilities of caring for the children. However, the number-one thing you need is to be happy in the process.
“I consider myself extremely blessed that the children have a dad who is truly hands-on. The children also have a devoted grandmother, as well as a close network of friends, making it all possible.”
The world is forever changing, and every parent wishes their children will have all of their dreams come true. Lopez-Spence wants her children to pursue meaningful goals that reflect their purpose, which plays an important role in developing and maintaining a happy life.
“I think sometimes we try to live out our own dreams through our children. My husband and I, we are very intentional about not doing that. Our role is to help them to tap into their hearts’ desires, and then to really create and facilitate, giving them the environment for them to pursue their dreams,” Lopez-Spence said.