Good morning fellow REAL mamas! I am so excited this morning because today we officially kick of our Dear Moms series. Once a month, The Real Me + 3 will feature one brave, authentic mama who’ll so graciously shed some light on what #momlife looks like from her perspective!
My goal with this project is to connect to mothers in all different walks of life, to give every one of us the opportunity to feel seen and heard, and to offer some insight into the many different rolls us mamas live out every day. Today’s post from Erin does exactly that! I know you will enjoy this beautiful peek into her life and be sure to leave her some love and support in the comments below!!!
Dear Military Mom,
I’m writing this to you after a tough few days back at work. This new year has already become just as demanding as the last, with no end in sight to the tasks, deadlines and changes. For a little background information, I am an Air Force Captain with 16 years of service. I currently work as a Physician Assistant at a busy clinic on Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. I have been married to my husband for 13 years. We have one 6 year old son and a baby girl due in March!
For many people with no military connection, our lives might seem very different, but I’d like to start by discussing our similarities.
The military includes Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard serving on active duty, guard or reserve. We are basically like a mini society with most occupations represented. Some of us are married to another military member, others to a non-military member (a civilian as we call them). There are same sex relationships, divorces, single parents, step-parents, I could go on and on. Just like our civilian counterparts, our jobs have different requirements for hours and workloads.
The biggest thing we have in common is a love for our kids!
Because of that, we worry just like every other mom. Is this the right decision for school, their health, my job, *insert worry of the month*?
Mom guilt is alive and well as we try to do the right thing for ourselves and our loved ones.
To give you an example, here’s my current dilemma. I have to be at work before 7:30 am to start seeing my clinic patients. The earlier I get there, the more time I have to get settled and ready for the day and huddle with my coworkers. I only have about a 5 minute commute to work which is great! My son has to be at school by 8 am so we get him up at 7 am. Every morning he is grumpy no matter what time he goes to bed. We try to prep at night for an easier morning but 9 out of 10 times, he changes his mind about what he wants to wear or have for lunch when he gets up. I wake him up and help him get dressed and get downstairs for breakfast but it always makes both of us grumpy. I’m trying to rush him, he’s trying to get going. Then I leave to go to work with all of us in a bad mood. So…Do I extricate myself from this process and just go to work before he gets up for school? Do I wake him up to tell him goodbye and let Dad finish the rest of the morning routine? If I do either of those, then I don’t see him until 4:30 or 5! Do we just find some way to not be grumpy to each other? Going to work later is just not an option right now!
I hope some of you can empathize. I don’t think this is an uncommon dilemma for most working moms.
There are, however, a few things about the being in the military that make our job as moms different.
Most typical families don’t expect to uproot their whole family and lives every few years to move somewhere unfamiliar to all of them. Most moms don’t have to worry about leaving their kids behind for weeks or months at a time in a potentially dangerous location half a world away. Most moms don’t become single parents while their spouse is in those dangerous locations for months at a time.
Hopefully this letter makes at least one person feel less alone, more understood and supported. I think the main take home point from this is that being a military mom brings some specific challenges with it but overall, we are much like any other mom working outside the home.
A Military Mom