Lately, I’ve been thinking about my very first Mother’s Day back in 2011. Maybe it’s nostalgia (my girls are now 6 and 5, and time is passing faster than before) or maybe it’s because I’ve been reliving my days as a new mother (thanks to interviews and features promoting my brand new book for first-time moms). Regardless the reason, I think back to how hard I worked that first Mother’s Day as a mom.
When I say work, I mean work. That day consisted of a 4 a.m. wake-up time to get to one of my local Los Angeles news stations to do a segment about last-minute Mother’s Day gifts. That came with an unexpected beeping of my husband’s pager (requiring him to check on a patient at the hospital.)
That left me to quickly pack a diaper bag and whisk my still-sleeping 8-month-old to my mother in law’s house. I loaded up my product haul of “fabulous Mother’s Day gift ideas” into my car to show and gab about on live TV.
I look back on that day now and want to slap myself.
After that morning fiasco, I pit-stopped at my in-laws and then I was off to my next job at 11 a.m., a media event for that reality/talent show “X-Factor.” I was at that job until almost 4 p.m.
It was a long, 12-hour day’s work. I picked up my daughter from my in-laws’. They tried to convince me to join the rest of the family for dinner that night, but I declined. I was beyond exhausted, and my husband was still at the hospital tending to his patient. All I wanted to do was go home and lie on the couch in a stupor with my baby.
I look back on that day now and want to slap myself. How dare I forfeit the one day we mothers have to kick back and relax! But, I remember exactly how I felt that day: Happy. Truly happy. The kind of day I had on Mother’s Day 2011 was exactly the kind of day I needed back then.
My whole first year of motherhood, I was petrified that my media career was over on account of becoming a parent and the ongoing complications of balancing family life with early call-times and late-night assignments. All that didn’t exactly cater to motherhood. Every random job I got as a reporter/host/writer that first year of becoming a mom, I said yes to no matter what, even if those gigs fell on Mother’s Day.
I wanted to work that Mother’s Day. (This year, mind you, this hard-working gal is dreaming of a day at the beach or something.) But back then, working on Mother’s Day proved to myself that I was still me, that I could set my own rules.
I knew my baby girl wouldn’t remember it, so I toiled my tail off with a big fat smile on my face from 4 a.m. to 4 p.m. I remember my in-laws’ confused expressions about my choices, but I remember how satisfied I felt on the inside. Because, as twisted as it sounds, working a job that I loved was what made me happy back in 2011. (Still does, I guess.)
And isn’t that what Mother’s Day is all about – making mom happy? Each year, I’m very conscious about what I opt for doing on this most fleeting holiday. I dig deep to think, “What do I really need this year, for me?” (Again, this year I’m thinking beach.) I dare us all to do something that makes us happy, no matter if others think it’s offbeat. This Mother’s Day and any other day we might really need it.
Jill Simonian was born and raised in Fresno and graduated from Sanger High School. Founder of the TheFabMom.com, Jill is the on-air Parenting Lifestyle Contributor for CBS Los Angeles. Her new book for first-time moms is called “The FAB Mom’s Guide: How to Get Over the Bump & Bounce Back Fast After Baby.” Connect with her on Twitter @JillSimonian.
Meet Jill Simonian
What: Book-signing for her new book for first-time moms, “The FAB Mom’s Guide: How to Get Over the Bump & Bounce Back Fast After Baby.”
When: Saturday, May 6, noon
Where: Barnes & Noble, Villagio Center in Fresno