Big decisions are scary and they’re scary for different reasons. In my case, I wondered if doing a morning radio show again would mean that I could still be the kind of mom my kids need and the kind of wife my husband wants.

Of course these are unprecedented times for all of us, and my husband has really been tested with this pandemic.  He works 65 hours or more per week at a food store and he’s overwhelmed with COVID concerns.  Frankly, he’s so exhausted, he just can’t help out around the house.  He simply has to recharge his batteries to do it again the next day at 5am.  We have three daughters, one of which is a teenager, but she’s not old enough to drive and you know what's expected of Mom's Taxi service.  Like so many of your kids, my three girls are remote learning right now too. Two of them have it on lock, but one of them struggles, a lot.  I kept wondering was I being selfish for considering this dream job when my family needs me now more than ever?

My first reaction was, I can do it all! I’ll just have to sleep less and I can fit it all in. I’ve woken up at 3am for work before, I know I can do it again.  That’s exactly when a doubtful little voice creeped into my head. The voice reminded me that I’m not as young as I used to be.  It told me that I haven’t done morning radio in years and that it would be hard to learn how to use all that new equipment. The voice also tapped into my worst fears when it warned me that marriages crumble when they’re not nourished and that kids get into trouble when you're not present.

Even with that voice nagging me, I decided to take the amazing opportunity to audition with Lou to see how it felt for the both of us.  I had to see if waking up at 3am felt harder than it used to now that I’m in my forties. Also, would I be able to balance all the things that come along with making a great show and still get home in time to help my kids with school so their educations don’t get lost in this COVID nightmare? It's a devious thing that little voice, it kept whispering, "Don't you think taking this job would make you a selfish mom?"

Well, those two shows I filled in for went great, like really great. Lou could not have been nicer or more fun to work with. The commute was smooth and the hours were doable. That voice was still working hard on me though, then something powerful happened.

When the show was over, I walked into the hallway and saw a giant chalkboard wall.  It's a place where the artists that we play, employees and clients could sign the wall to show that they’ve been there.  My eyes went directly to a spot on the wall that had a heart with my Mom’s initials inside. My Mom died when I was only 19, but I carry her with me every single day.  My happiest moments growing up were playing in the ocean with her at the Jersey Shore.  To me, that was a sign.  Of all the places radio has taken me (Florida, Atlanta, Minneapolis and NYC) she would have been most proud of her daughter getting on the Jersey Shore airwaves. The Jersey Shore was our happy place. My Mom was famous for saying “you can have it all!” and I believe her.

Shannon Holly

I know some people believe in signs and others don’t and I fully respect that but for me, I can’t help but think that I got some motherly advice exactly when I needed it, just from another place.  Thank you for letting me join you in the mornings, I’ll work my hardest to bring you my best every single day.  I hope I make her proud, and I hope I make you laugh!

xo Shannon

Watch: Shannon Recounts Her Personal Story With Lou: 

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Our Happy Place