Radio Host @ Mojo in the Morning
Mom to Lucy and Smith
Shannon is the Co-Host of "The Mojo in the Morning Show" on Detroit's #1 radio station, channel 95.5. One of our Co-Founders, Lauren is from Detroit and has been listening to her show for years. If you listen, you know that Shannon makes the show fun and entertaining every single day. But more importantly, she makes it authentic and is inspiring and passionate about what she does.
About a year ago, Shannon shared some of that authenticity when she opened up on Mojo in the Morning. She stated: “I struggled with my purpose, my identity, my role as a friend, sister and mom, and my marriage. I confessed that going to work was really tough on certain occasions. I've felt so inauthentic on the air lately because of this, and I'm so sick of "faking fine." I think there are A LOT of people who are doing the same, and I guess I want to be the one to tell you that you are not alone.
We're excited about our interview with Shannon so you can all learn a little more about her as well. Shannon, thank you for always being real and for sharing a piece of yourself.
The Returnity Project: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your beautiful family!
Shannon Murphy: Aww, thank you for the sweet compliment!
So let’s see, where should I start?! Hi, I’m Shannon and it’s so nice to “meet” you! I am currently the co-host of “The Mojo in the Morning” show on Channel 955 in Detroit. KISS 92.5 in Toledo, and 104.5 WSNX in Grand Rapids (we can also be heard worldwide 24/7 on the iHeart Radio app!)
When I’m not in the studio, I’m wife to a pretty cute dude named Andrew and mama to Lucy (4.5) and Smith (1.5). We have a toy parti poodle named Charlie to complete our little family.
I grew up in Michigan, specifically an island smack dab in the middle of the Detroit River called Grosse Ile. I graduated from Grosse Ile High School in 2001, moved down to Indianapolis to attend Butler University, and ended up getting a job on a morning radio show while completing my senior year there … THAT is how I walked into this crazy business! I’ve moved a few times since then, but somehow (thankfully) ended up back home in Detroit.
TRP: Tell us about yourself and about your experience returning to work after having your daughter Lucy and your son Smith? Were your experiences different for each child?
SM: It was very interesting to navigate what “maternity leave” was going to look like for me because of the public nature of my job. I included listeners in every step of trying to get pregnant, announcing both pregnancies, following along through the trimesters of cravings, fatigue, baby showers, ultrasounds and doctor visits. I was actually live on the air while in labor with Lucy!
What we decided as a show the first time around was that I would take five weeks off after delivering, and then return to the show via my basement.
Yup! I had a mini radio studio set up in my basement and I would sleepily do the entire show live from 5-10AM in my pajamas, nursing Lucy whenever necessary and changing a few diapers during that time frame, too! (Full disclosure: I had a nanny helping me out, so I wasn’t solo at home with a baby and millions of people listening to me trying desperately to survive.) After three weeks of that, I went back to work in our actual “Mojo in the Morning” studio, leaving the show twice during the broadcast to pump. I was exhausted, and I missed that little lady so much. But I realized it was REALLY important for me to have a routine, continue with work, take a few hours a day to do my thing and be away from her, and then by noon every weekday, I was back at home being a mom.
My return from maternity leave with Smith was a bit different. Actually, everything about my pregnancy, delivery and postpartum with him was different. I had been put on partial bed-rest at 27 weeks, and was just so frustrated with that. (I had to watch Netflix from my couch all day while my sweet husband cooked and grocery shopped. THAT WAS A DREAM! Why was I complaining?!)
My AMAZING nurses at Beaumont Royal Oak and close friends really encouraged me to take the time to rest, spend extra moments with Lucy and embrace the differences in their birth stories. I decided that I was going to take a full eight weeks of maternity leave, and not do any of the broadcasting from home. That was definitely a great decision on my part because it allowed me to focus on him, and not have to still worry about getting a few hours of sleep so that I was coherent enough to partake in a show - even from afar.
In fact, I wish I would have taken the full 12 weeks. It was really, really difficult returning to work that time. I was just not ready, in all honesty. I was in such a good routine and loving all of the time that I was spending with the baby, yes, but LUCY. I was driving her to school, getting to see her gymnastics and swimming classes, taking her out to lunch...All of the stuff I missed on a daily basis as a working mom. It was rough, but again, after a while, I welcomed the routine and was thankful for a workday that allowed me to be home by noon, if necessary.
TRP: Did you find that your views about work and career changed after having children?
SM: Not really! I’ve always done better with a full calendar of “stuff” to juggle; perhaps I’m simply used to it at this point. For me, adding children to the mix of a marriage and a career meant upping my time-management skills and really prioritizing what I was saying “yes” to - I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “When you’re saying ‘yes’ to something, you’re saying ‘no’ to something else.” My kids are my #1. I schedule everything around them, and if I’m asked to do something or be somewhere, I actually envision myself waking up that morning to THAT on my calendar; If I’m going to be in a bad mood and gripe about it all day, I turn it down immediately. It’s not worth the time away from my kiddos. INTENTION. That’s a big word in my life right now. I want almost everything I do to be very intentional. If it adds value to my life or my family’s life, or is directly related to something I enjoy, I’m all in.
TRP: In 2018, you started a segment on your radio show “Mojo in the Morning” called Motivational Monday. You talked about how the past 2 years of your life have been challenging—“I struggled with my purpose, my identity, my role as a friend, sister and mom, and my marriage. I confessed that going to work was really tough on certain occasions.” First of all, thank you for taking a moment to be real and for sharing a piece of yourself. With these challenges you’ve faced, what is it that inspires you to continue to follow your passions and what advice would you give to other working moms?
SM: WOW, those are two big questions!!! Since opening up that day, my life has been easier in a strange way. I FEEL more like myself; I don’t feel like I have to hide the anxiety or struggles that I face pretty much on a daily basis. The people-pleasing piece of me is slooooowly fading (AMEN!). Authenticity and vulnerability have become such a big part of who I am nowadays, and I truly love sharing and connecting with not just other moms, but other women about restoration, discovery, self-care … you get the idea. All of those fancy, feel-good words that make you feel excited and tingly inside. I’ve been given a platform. A really public one. So now, instead of using it to only to make people laugh or fill them in about who’s dating who in Hollywood, I’m trying to use that platform to empower. To motivate. Inspire. Contribute to my community. Be REAL and let people know they’re not alone with whatever it might be that’s going on in their life, whether positive or negative.
As far as advice goes for working moms: Be gentle with yourself. You’re doing the best you can. I have to say that aloud SO MANY TIMES.
TRP: What have been some of your biggest challenges as a working mom?
SM: Busyness. My goodness how I despise that word. Sometimes I feel like I’m just not getting enough quality time with them. Plain & simple. The majority of the people I work with are either single, don’t have kids, or have a spouse at home who doesn’t work and is around to dedicate ample amounts of time and energy to their little ones. So when I’m away from them AND Andrew is as well, the feelings of guilt are just enormous.
It’s also tough to not be jealous of my friends who are stay-at-home moms. They get to meet each other for coffee in the morning, and then head to the library with their littles after dropping off their older kids at school every morning (or walking them to the bus stop). I’m noticing now that with Lucy in preschool, I miss out on a lot of the school stuff. I can never be a “room mom” for any of her parties … because I work. That really gets to me.
SLEEP. Oh man, what is it like to sleep for more than five hours a night?! Someone please enlighten me! Admittedly, I could go to bed immediately after I get Lucy settled. (Smith goes to sleep first, around 7:15PM). But that would mean lights out at 8:30PM, and seriously … “The Bachelor” doesn’t even start until 9! I constantly feel like I’m in a fog. Constantly.
And then there’s this - Am I making my kids proud? If I’m going to be away from my children for a significant portion of their day, I want to make sure I’m doing something that they can look back on (or when they’re old enough, acknowledge in the present) and say, “Wow, my mom is pretty cool. She has somehow figured out a way to make all of these different aspects of her life work, and she’s making an IMPACT on people in a really beautiful way.”
TRP: What are you most proud of?
SM: A consistent evolution of myself.
I heard someone say one time that you should always be “shedding” and then re-inventing all of the layers that make up YOU. I love that picture. Or the one of a pile of dirt that you put through a sifter and only keep the pieces that are golden. All of the other junk gets tossed to the side.
When I look back on my life, I see many different versions of myself. I’ve talked before about merging all of those different versions of Shannon into one incredible version. I want her to always be learning, and growing, and stretching herself, and making messages out of her mistakes, and living joyfully and gracefully however she can.
Co-Host, Mojo in the Morning