Oscars, Stay at Home Moms & Jennifer Garner…

Dear Jennifer Garner,

Not sure if you remember me (probably not), but I interviewed you several years ago for a movie called Catch and Release. And then again for The Kingdom. Those were my ‘good old days’ of working and working and working and working. Now I’m in the (mostly) Stay at Home Moms Club. But watching you at the Oscars last night made me want to just reach out and say hi. So, hi!

Image courtesy AP/Luxpresso.com

Image courtesy AP/Luxpresso.com

Let me start by saying that you looked amazing – AMAZING – in your frilly violet gown (was the color a nod to your daughter’s name)?

But besides that – I’m compelled to tell you that you made this new mom weep into her macaroni-and-cheese right there during the telecast on my couch. The tears welled up and fell down my face in the best way possible. I know that Ben’s speech onstage was pretty noteworthy, but it came in second to the most-memorable-moments in my book. You kinda stole the show for me. I owe you big time, lady.

I guess really, what I’m trying to say is, THANK YOU. THANK YOU for reminding me to have confidence in my own choices as a mom… just by showing up.

THANK YOU for being a living example to women that, yes, taking some time off from a full-speed career while your kids are small is a positive thing.

THANK YOU for reminding me that just because a woman chooses to work a little less to be more present at home when her young family needs her most, it doesn’t make her any less incredible, accomplished, beautiful, smart, talented and just plain awesome. Nevermind that you were there to celebrate Ben’s impeccable work this year… surprise… there you waltzed out onstage [as a presenter]. When the announcer welcomed you, I swear almost started clapping (ok I may have been a little buzzed, but regardless…) Way to pull that off sister.

Because you see, Jennifer, I’ve always been obsessed with the Oscars… as a movie fan AND as part of my career. But watching them the last few years (since I’ve had my babies) has been bittersweet… because since I’ve had my babies I haven’t worked on Oscar Sunday. Sometimes that stings and makes me doubt my choices and question my path. (Welcome to being a woman, right?)

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But when it stings, I’m also often reminded of the benefits, joy and deep-down gratitude for my circumstance [of having the choice to be able to stay at home more and work less during these baby years] just by watching YOU walk a red carpet or seeing pictures of you dropping off your kids at school in some magazine. (Yeah, I know, those paparazzi pics aren’t exactly the most upstanding bits of information, but…) As a fan, I miss not seeing as many movies with you in them, but knowing that you’re putting your energy into THE most important thing ever (raising a fabulous little family) makes me want to clap for you even more, and gives me reassurance that I’m making the right choice for myself afterall.

If what you are quoted as saying on your IMDB page is true: “I have this internal battle between, I need to work, I need to work, I need to work and I need to be home with my kids. And the kids win,” then I’m right there with you. *CLAP*CLAP*CLAP*

You inspire me, Ms. Garner, and I will remember you in your violet dress, onstage at the Oscars, every time I have an “am I doing the right thing staying here at home more” moment.

So congratulations on Ben’s big wins this year as well as your growing family… and I hope that if I ever get to interview you again, you won’t run the other way on account of this letter. (Although I just might ask you about any hints to adjust my own attitude about potty-training.)

Jill Simonian (aka: that reporter chick who now has a mom-blog too)