Today's bitch is one of my writing heroes. Soon after meeting Shannon, she wrote a book, which I purchased and LOVED called Awkward Moments With Men. Since writing that book, Shannon has produced three human beings and now writes beautiful, thoughtful articles for Nashville Moms Blog.
My introduction to Shannon came via her now husband, then boyfriend, Buckley, who is a long-time friend of my husband's. The first time I met Shannon, John and I had to run over to Buckley's to pick something up, and their dog had just eaten their stone fireplace. Shannon was like, "Come on in, sorry, the dog ate the fireplace. Are you hungry? I'm cooking." And this is what shines through with Shannon - a sense of being grounded, warm, and open. Also, she's really, really funny. Meet today's bitch, Shannon Miller!
You’re a stay-at-home mom. How many children do you have and what are their ages?
There are three of them! Wilder (4) and the twins, Everly and Hudson (16 months). Evy would like me to add that she is the elder twin by 19 minutes.
What did you do before you made the transition to stay-at-home mom?
I came to Nashville from Toronto nine and a half years ago when I was offered a music publishing deal -- quite an accomplishment for somebody who was never actually any good at writing songs. I burned out pretty quickly and fell into freelance copy writing. It seemed like it would be flexible and allow me the time to figure out what I really wanted to do. It turned out, that what I really wanted to do was freelance copy writing.
When did you first learn about that field of work?
People were always sending me their work to look over and eventually, somebody just offered to pay me for it. After that point, I made everybody pay me for it!
What was your path that led you to becoming a stay-at-home mom?
My husband, Buckley, is a sound engineer so he works pretty wacky, demanding hours. We really wanted to provide some consistency for the kiddos and make sure one of us was home for dinner and bedtime everyday.
Favorite piece of advice, parenting or otherwise?
"Make no proclamations."
My friend Ashley told me that was when I told her I was NEVER getting married and having kids. HA!
Failure you learned from, or that helped you improve?
But there are so many to choose from! I think trying to be an extrovert was a big mistake. I went through a phase in my early twenties where I felt like in order to be successful, I needed to be this vivacious, confident creature who was constantly out networking despite the fact that my natural inclination was to stay home and play Wii bowling and write. I worked really hard at being captivating and it was exhausting. I was hung over for about three years.
These days, if you want to pretend to be somebody else, you can just join Instagram and create a persona that is in no way, a reflection of your actual life and run the entire sham from the comfort of your own home! So much easier and just as misleading.
What is your greatest success (doesn’t have to be about parenting)?
I married the right person. Not to toot my own horn *pauses to polish bugle and fill lungs with air* but I managed to snare myself a really, really high quality human being. It’s a damn miracle. I can’t imagine there’s a greater victory in life than spending it with someone you absolutely adore.
What’s the first app or website you open in the morning?
The weather app. I check the weather in Nashville, Toronto, and Cupertino. Then I fantasize about moving our family to Cupertino where it appears to be 65 degrees all of the time.
How do you decompress at the end of the day?
I take my pants off.
I take my pants off, pour a generous glass of wine, and sit in my underwear. Ideally, this ritual occurs in complete silence.
Just so you know - I’m talking real underwear here, none of that half-panty pillow-fighting Victoria’s Secret model shit. Full coverage. I’m a grown woman.
What would you do with 2 more hours a day?
I would sit in my big underwear and drink for longer.
What’s the hardest thing about being a stay-at-home mom that isn’t obvious?
KID GERMS. Kid germs are like adult germs with warheads. Everybody knows parents don’t get sick days, but what they don’t realize is that parents are sick 85% of the time. I have contracted grisly, medieval illnesses from my preschooler that I didn’t even know existed, grisly, medieval looking stuff: Norovirus! Hand, Foot, & Mouth! Pinkeye! These viruses will take your weak, grown-up immune system and mow it the heck down.
What is one thing everyone gets wrong about stay-at-home moms?
That we’re all trying to sell you essential oils and body wraps. Kidding!
I think a big misconception is that people “can afford” to stay home. For us, having a stay at home parent was the economical choice. Quality full-time childcare for our kiddos was going to cost us over $40,000 a year. Spoiler alert: I made about $40,000 a year prior to having kids.
Lastly, and most important, what is your favorite TV show and what is your favorite snack?
A drive thru Smoothie King recently opened in our neighborhood and people are really mad about it. While they’re all out shaking their fists at the corporate giant and mourning the loss of small business in America, I’ve been drinking alllllllll the smoothies. It tastes like Orange Julius and I don’t have to get out of my car. There is nothing not to like here. My favorite snack is smoothies.
I’m into the kind of television that inspires very little brain activity. I really like the show on Bravo about the young people who work on the yacht and get frisky with each other. It is 95% jet skiing and sexual tension. The other 5% is pictures of Santorini. I love it. It’s called “Below Deck” but they should really get honest and just call it “Fancy Boat Sex.” Check it out.
All photos courtesy of Shannon Miller