The FAB Mom’s Guide by Jill Simonian: Book Review

In the seemingly endless pile of books about having a baby, there are a few that stand out as actually being worth your time and energy. The FAB Mom’s Guide: How to Get Over the Bump & Bounce Back Fast After Baby by Jill Simonian is worth the read for a few reasons.

The FAB Mom's Guide - book coverFirst, one look at Jill and you will think to yourself “How can I be like her?” Second, her down-to-earth voice and the nuggets of personal confession she shares in the book will make you laugh and remember that even glamorous women have their un-glamorous moments. Third, if you’re into this sort of thing, The FAB Mom’s Guide includes lots of up-close-and-personal advice and confessions from celebrity moms.

I’ll admit that celebrity moms are not my role models for anything, really. I don’t have fashion sense, I barely wear makeup, and I celebrate the long stretches of days when I don’t have to get dressed and leave the house. And my kids are 9 and 12 now! But I remember those days of new motherhood. I had no intention of bouncing back to anything. I just wanted a nap.

Not Jill. She is a force of nature, and if you’ve ever watched her on the local morning news show or on any of the online programs she has hosted over the last several years, you’ll see what I mean. She is warm, kind, funny, self-deprecating, and drop-dead gorgeous. (Sorry, Jill. It has to be said.) Her kids are adorable, she’s super successful at everything she tries, and she’s so nice and normal that you can’t even hate her for it all.

So, much like you’d look to self-made rich people to get advice about how to earn and save money, or fit people for how to get in shape, you can look to Jill Simonian for some advice about how to “bounce back” to your pre-mom self if you are facing new motherhood and you want to climb up out of the slump and get back to business. Whatever your business is. Because Jill did just that.

In The FAB Mom’s Guide, Jill shares some of the quirky tricks that worked for her as she prepared for the births of her daughters, and as she mothered them to toddlerhood. All along the way, she worked at getting more television hosting jobs and building up her blog. Celebrity moms were her role models, and she certainly knows plenty of them as you will read in the book. I would be intimidated by their beauty and ability to be put together out in public, but Jill took their poise as inspiration and used their examples to keep herself energetic and resilient, while cherishing her daughters and her new motherhood at the same time.

There are chapters about exercise and fashion tips, advice about necessary baby gear, how Jill kept herself connected to the world even though she had infants, and more. She is always careful to add disclaimers to her words—this book is her experience and not advice, “this is what worked for me maybe not for you,” etc. But I don’t think she needed as much of that qualification, because this is obviously one woman’s story. It certainly won’t work for everyone (stiletto heels to give you confidence? I would surely twist my ankle) but that’s okay. Not every parenting book is for every parent.

For a woman working in Hollywood, having and raising a baby is very difficult if you want to keep your career and not feel like you are neglecting your family. One thing I have learned from so many accomplished colleagues who are also mothers is that there is no need to apologize for wanting to do good work and be successful. Those are the moms who seem to be the happiest. And Jill is always the happiest of them all when I see her, so even for this not-new mom, The FAB Mom’s Guide was an inspiring book to read.

The FAB Mom’s Guide: How to Get Over the Bump & Bounce Back Fast After Baby
by Jill Simonian
Hardcover ($13.59 on Amazon) and Kindle

Expressing Motherhood Ticket Giveaway

Expressing Motherhood, the national hit play, returns to Santa Monica on October 23.

cropped-exmo-600-px-wide

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll nod vigorously and maybe you’ll even say out loud “Amen, sister!” You’ll bop along to the songs of Mommy Tonk and clap and stamp your feet.

You have to go.

Expressing Motherhood is the national hit play that consists of people sharing their stories about motherhood on stage. It was created by Los Angeles moms back in 2008 who were dying to get out of their houses and looking for other moms to hang with. What they have created is a thriving community of people who have either shared their own stories on stage or attended a show.

Trust Me

I appeared in this show twice – first in 2014 in an 8-show run which was terribly nerve-wracking but great for my confidence. I told the story about my long, slow transformation from cool person to PTA mom.

exmo 1

That piece is unpublished, but I think there is video of the performance somewhere on the internet. The experience was so wonderful and gave me the courage to share a much more vulnerable piece about the loneliness of motherhood in a show in the fall of 2015. That essay now appears in Notre Dame Magazine.

exmo 2

Every production of Expressing Motherhood features a different cast, and some performers have never appeared on stage before. Stories range from sad to funny and also include some musical acts! Definitely bring tissues, and be prepared to be entertained.

expressing motherhood cast
Co-Creator/Director Lindsay Kavet is bringing another show back to Santa Monica, October 23rd to the beautiful Moss Theatre. The grand, 350 person theatre was sold out in May when Kavet had a Mother’s Day show there. October’s show is already halfway sold out!

Make it a Mom’s Night Out and come early, the doors open at 6PM! Wine and water will be for sale. Bai Water is a sponsor and will be giving away samples as well as My Sweet Bites, a small business that specializes in Brazilian Chocolates.

Win Tickets

Tickets are $25 and well worth it for such a powerful, moving, and well-produced show. Good news for Agoura Hills Mom readers, I am giving away a pair of tickets! Please leave a comment on this post by 11:59 PM on Thursday, October 6 to be entered to win. Additional entry if you like Agoura Hills Mom on Facebook (mention that in your comment so it’s counted).

Winner will be drawn at random from qualified entries and notified on October 7. Tickets will be available at Will Call at the show under Agoura Hills Mom. I’ll be at the show too so let’s say hi!

expressing motherhood postcard

Expressing Motherhood
Sunday, October 23, 6PM
The Moss Theater (View)
3131 Olympic Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90045
expressingmotherhood.com

On Being a Stay at Home Mom

I was thinking of posting a “flashback Friday” picture today, something from back when we first moved to Agoura Hills, and the blooms were still on the rose bushes, so to speak. I’m still so grateful to live here. I still look out my office window every morning over the rooftop of my neighbor’s house to see what the view is like. This morning it was shrouded in welcome mist, reminding me that it rained last night, and can we have some more of that rain, please?

But before I turned to this site I actually published a post on my other blog, and used a photo of my little boys jumping in the leaves a few years ago. The moment is frozen in time – they are perfectly happy, without a care in the world. And I’m glad, because that is the kind of life my husband and I dreamed about when we moved here. Not that we couldn’t rake up a pile of leaves in Northridge, but you know what I mean.

Here’s the photo.

little boys jumping in leaves

And this is the post, in case you want to read it (just click on the excerpt). It’s an essay in reaction to some of the articles floating around the internet lately about what stay at home moms do all day – partially from my point of view, and partially from a working dad’s.

I urge readers not to take the bait. Parenting is hard no matter how you do it. The only people who are lounging around in “luxury” are the children, because that’s the whole point.