Personal & Professional Fulfillment with Jill Simonian
It's time for another #MomBossMonday feature, and I just love how these spotlights bring us all closer together. I can talk to and share the stories of moms from all walks of life and all types of careers—and we all seem to face similar challenges and struggles. We all have our own gifts, and sharing them with each other is just one way Land of Mom celebrates moms.
Today, I'm talking to Jill Simonian, television host, author, former parenting contributor for KCBS & KCAL Los Angeles News and mom to two daughters (7 and 6).
Jill has a lifelong passion for the creative side of life. From the age of 3 until her college years at UCLA, she performed on-stage in numerous dance, theater, singing and musical productions. A few years after college, she realized she missed performing and started taking a few on-camera classes to brush up on her skills.
In 2005, she entered an on-air contest at KTLA Morning News to find the next weather person and landed first runner up! A few months later, she scored a full-time position at cable network ReelzChannel doing entertainment news.
Around the time she found out she was expecting her first daughter, that job ended… so she started The Fab Mom as a way to 'stay relevant' in media/TV as a new mom. She blogged and promoted her work while her daughter napped (who can relate?) and the rest is history!
Today, she’s a parenting lifestyle writer/blogger and author of The Fab Mom's Guide: How to Get Over the Bump & Bounce Back Fast After Baby, a book for first-time pregnant moms. She's also appeared in over 200+ parenting segments appearing on productions like The TODAY Show, Hallmark Channel's "Home & Family," Travel Channel & ReelzChannel, and more.
How Jill Balances her career and motherhood
With so many mamas struggling to balance work and life after having children, I asked Jill to tell me about how motherhood has impacted her career as a TV Host and Entertainment Reporter.
Jill says that motherhood has helped her get better about saying “no” to jobs that she’s not very interested in, that she can’t pull off because of the time requirements, or that simply don’t pay her enough for her time.
“My daughters are at an age now where their development, their school work, their activities are more important for me to pay attention and tend to. Of course I still have goals, and pursue them, but my kids' goals and me raising them to be go-getters who have their acts together is much more important.
I will sacrifice some of my aspirations if I see my kids struggling with something that needs my attention more —and I know it's okay because that's what being a mom is about.”
On the day-to-day, Jill says she picks and chooses her battles so she can better balance work and life.
"Every day cannot be balanced... but weeks can be," she shared.
For her, that means that some days are focused on work (when her kids are school or with a sitter) and some days are focused on family (with her shelving something that's on her entrepreneur 'work' list in the name of being present with her kids).
Jill also mentioned the importance of writing down her goals so she can cross them off. Before kids, she would get antsy or frustrated when she wasn't making progress on her career goals. Now, she's learned to make them smarter goals, so she can still feel like she's progressing while also reminding herself that her career is not the most important thing in her life right now, her young kids are.
Life as a new mom
Becoming a mother involves a huge lifestyle change that not everything realizes until it's actually happening.
"My pregnancy was a total surprise and I was petrified to become a mom. I was scared I'd lose my edge, my drive, and my motivation to continue working in media (an industry I'd worked so hard to make a dent in before having kids).
Working in TV takes hustle and often upwards of normal working hours per week... I didn't want to live the kind of work schedule I was on before kids, with kids, and I wasn't ready to shelve my career yet.
On top of all of that, I'd never been a 'baby person' and had never held a baby in my life! I was scared I wouldn't know what to do. I cried for most of my pregnancy, mourning the life change that was coming. But you know what? I was wrong.
As soon as my baby girl was born, I fell in love with her and thought... "This is THE job now, suck it up, figure it out, cut the drama... I'm not the first person to have a baby."
I was determined to stay FOCUSED AFTER BABY (F-A-B).
Given her feelings during and post-pregnancy, one of the most important things for Jill in those postpartum days was to feel comfortable and confident in her new role as 'mom'.
During those first months with baby, she did things like: hanging a mirror in the kitchen, keeping lip gloss in the drawer, displaying photos around the house of her girlfriends and pre-kid vacations.
You can read more of Jill's new mama tips (including the story of how she put herself on a 30-day lockdown after baby arrived, wearing only her underwear around the house to get used to her post-baby body!) in her book for first-time moms, The FAB Mom's Guide: How to Get Over the Bump & Bounce Back Fast After Baby.
Jill's self-care routine
Jill shared that she goes to bed pretty much right after she puts the girls to sleep around 8pm. She also loves to watch TV to unwind (and doesn't apologize for it). Lately, she's been trying to hit the gym at least 3 days a week, but her biggest self-care goal for the year is to focus on her friendships.
"Over the last 3 years, I've poured all of my excess time and energy into my work—writing and publishing a book, creating content, my TV segments, etc.—and now it's time to feed the other parts of life."
The ups and downs of motherhood
I asked Jill to share the #1 thing that drives her a little crazy as a mom, and she didn’t hesitate when she told me that coordinating the family schedule gets on her nerves the most.
“It takes so much time to get everyone’s (including the sitters’!) schedules straight. If you ask my husband what’s happening on any given day, he’ll have no idea who is going where or when.”
When asked about her favorite part of motherhood, Jill shared that—while it may not be politically correct to say—her girls are her best friends.
“I love taking them out to lunch, listening to their conversations, watching them develop their own thoughts and opinions, laughing at their funny comments about life around them, helping them with friend trouble, giving them lines and talking points to say to someone that's not being nice to them, collecting their drawings.... everything. I love pretty much everything about being a mom.”
But if you keep scrolling down, I have a special announcement below!
I'm SO excited to share that Jill Simonian will be joining us on stage on Sunday, May 6th in Los Angeles for the Happy Mom Conference!
This event is a place for moms to get inspired, get empowered, and connect with moms who aspire to be more than just a mom. It’s a day for new (and not-so-new) mothers to find connection, community and business know-how.
The Happy Mom Conference is the ultimate self-care experience
This daylong event features topics on women’s health as well as entrepreneurship and career topics, including keynote speakers, panel discussions, and workshops.
Throughout the day, attendees will be invited to sample food, fashion, beauty in the Happy Mom Marketplace, with over 50 participating vendors and sponsors, including: KIND, Penta Water, Suja Juice, Flybrow, Fridababy, Frances Austen, Wundabar, and more.
Get support as you are faced with a transition back to work after maternity leave, or as you consider a brand new career path as an entrepreneur.
Join us on Sunday, May 6th for the Happy Mom Conference!
Meet JILL SIMONIAN
Known as 'The FAB Mom' on-air and online, Jill Simonian is author of the book for first-time pregnancy The FAB Mom's Guide: How to Get Over the Bump & Bounce Back Fast After Baby -- which spills her personal frank choices, expert tips and celebrity encounters to help any brand new mom stay 'focused after baby' (FAB).
Southern California television viewers may recognize Jill for her 175+ segments on KCBS-2 & KCAL-9 Los Angeles News (between 2016-18) discussing and offering solutions for today's most controversial parenting issues. She's appeared on NBC's TODAY Show & Access Hollywood LIVE, CBS' The Doctors, Hallmark Channel's Home & Family, HLN's Michaela and more. Jill is a top contributor for the lifestyle website Mom.me and has also written for Parents, Fit Pregnancy, Babble, Working Mother, First5LA, TODAY Parenting Team and more.
Jill will be joining us as the Health & Wellness Panel Moderator on Sunday, May 6th in Los Angeles for the Happy Mom Conference.