Home > Digital, Family, Guest Stars, Parenting, Work > PR Mama Guest Star: Valerie Simon

PR Mama Guest Star: Valerie Simon

September 1, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

It’s been a long-time goal of mine to include guest posts here on the outside chance that not everyone subscribes 100% to my particular worldview and wants to hear from other “PR mamas.”  There are certainly lots of them out there, women like me hustling to keep all the balls in the air while doing right by clients, colleagues, friends and family (and not losing their minds in the process.)

I can’t think of a better inaugural PR Mama Guest Star than Valerie Merahn Simon, Senior Vice President at BurrellesLuce and mother of two little ones (a seven-month old and three-year old). I first encountered Valerie on Twitter about four months ago while shamelessly offering free beer to whomever signed on as my 400th follower (and don’t ask why 400 was an important milestone because I just don’t remember. I blame the beer.) Valerie was the lucky winner and although she politely declined her prize (something ridiculous about not drinking while breastfeeding), she became a fast Twitter friend.  By her own description, Valerie is “a proud PR Mama who strives to learn something new (about both PR and motherhood) each day.”  She writes a national public relations column for examiner.com and is a co-founder and host of #PRStudChat, a monthly twitter chat between PR professionals and students moderated by fellow PR mom Deirdre Breakenridge. 



Lunches? Check. Extra clothes? Check. Computer? Check. Purse, Cell Phone, Keys? Check, Check, check. I put the key in the ignition, only to realize that I forgot diapers. Again. “Wait just one second,” I say to the sleepy faces in the back seat and run back inside.

“Mommy forgot,” the 3 year old tells his 7 month old sister. “What’d you forget ‘dis time mommy?”

Back in the car, pull out of the garage. 6:45 am. Whew. Still should be on schedule. “Mommy?” says the 3 yr old. “Where’s Daddy?”

“Daddy is in Miami” I explain for what seems like the millionth time. It has not been easy to explain to a 3 year old that Daddy got a new job and had to go to the company headquarters for 3 weeks of training.

“Your Ami?” asks the 3 year old. “Why’s Daddy in Your Ami?”

“Not Your Ami. Miami…” I start to explain. Then I stop. New approach. “Daddy got on a plane, just like in the story we read.”

“Daddy can’t go in ‘da plane mommy.”

“Yes, he can”

“No he can’t!” (repeats for 5 minutes before child starts to cry) “There are pirates on da plane. They’re bad guys! Daddy can’t go on da plane! ”

“Pirates?” Huh? “No… the Pilots go on the plane. Not pirates. The pilots are good guys.”

Silence. Acceptance. Just in time to realize the light is turning red. And there’s a police car on the corner.

“Red means stop mommy!”

Step on brakes. Hard. Antilock brakes kick in.

“What’s ‘dat noise mommy?”

“Don’t worry, mommy’s just having a little trouble with the brakes in the car.”

“Uh oh!” (turns to baby sister) “Oh no, mommy’s in trouble. She’s breaking the car!”

“Mommy’s not breaking the car. “

As for whether or not mommy’s in trouble… I glance at the clock. 7:05 am. We have arrived at “school” with plenty of time. The blackberry is quiet. All is well at the office. I look at the sweet faces in the rear view mirror. Happy faces quietly smiling back at me. No, I’m not in trouble. Not today.


You can find Valerie Simon on Twitter or LinkedIn.

  1. September 1, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    OMG! That’s awesome!
    No, well, not for you, obviously, but this witty piece made by terrible day about five times better by making be laugh!

    Thanks for sharing your adventure Valerie!!!

  2. September 1, 2009 at 10:02 pm


    apparently, my bad day has stopped by ability to spell check and spell.

    eh, whatever.

    Good post anyway 🙂

  3. Dangerous Dolly
    September 2, 2009 at 4:05 am

    Not being a mom sound pretty good right about now 😉

    On a more serious note – I think I need to read this blog more often – seems there is a lot to be learned about balancing both your time and your mind 🙂

    Thanks to @BethHarte for RTing the Tweet!

  4. September 2, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Thanks Sasha and Dolly, really appreciate hearing your comments! Funny that it is the non-moms, who are first to comment here, though Dolly is right- mom or not there is a lot to be learned about balance. Hope to hear some other stories/comments about the morning struggle… Please tell me I am not the only one who goes through this routine!

  5. September 2, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    So this is what I should look forward to in a few years 🙂

    This is a great post, Valerie! Definitely shines a new light of appreciation on everything that working moms go through and accomplish. It’s not an easy task, but I’m sure there’s never a dull moment in the journey!

  6. musicthatmovesme
    September 2, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    LOVED this story – reminds me of morning commute escapades with my 10 and 8-year-old sons. I got a speeding ticket while racing to get them to school one morning a few months ago & let me tell you: that’s a hard thing to live down with a 10-year-old. Big ups to us moms who get 3 people delivered safely to their morning destinations 5 days a week – before 8 am! We are like the Marines … we get more done before noon than most people do all day. 🙂

  7. September 2, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    Oh, Valerie – I can so relate. My son is 2.5 years old and has recently become quite the motor mouth. We don’t have a 2nd, and so he spills his guts and rambles on to everyone else he knows – our nanny, my mom, his friends’ parents and nannies. And I couldn’t wait for him to start talking! (You can complete this thought….)

    It’s hard balancing mommyhood and work – though personally, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Both sides together really fulfill me – I can’t imagine my life without either one. But it’s always an “act” as they say – and sometimes, I get in trouble, too 😉 Glad you skated by this time!

  8. September 2, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    Hanna,yes, definitely appreciate the freedom you have now, but Sherri really summed it up nicely. Both sides complete me and I am so grateful. It is a change for sure..my old commute was simply a walk across town to get to the office, but incredible. Everything is so exciting to them. They constantly inspire me in every aspect of my life…

  9. September 2, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Fantastic post Valerie (and great guest selection Stephanie)!

    It really is these special moments in the mornings and evenings that, while at the time slightly, ummm, infuriating, make me laugh a few hours later and make it possible to get through the day.

    Fantastic to hear another parent’s story 🙂

    A PR Daddy

  10. Jessica
    September 6, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    Holy CRAP. BurellesLuce is part of you too???

    I can’t even comment properly, I gave them a ration of shit last month, and it resulted in a 20 page contract that will give both of us a headache and no one any money.

    Can you make them not hate me?

  11. September 8, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Just sent you a DM w/ my direct dial and contact information. I am so sorry that you’ve had a bad experience and want to do anything I can to help change that. Hope you will give me the opportunity… Much appreciate your time.

  1. September 9, 2009 at 12:05 am

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