PR Mama Guest Star: Valerie Simon
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.
THE CAR RIDE
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.