An Ode to Pilot Wife Moms

Some #thepilotwifelife days are just like that.
Yeah, I have them too.
You know, where nothing seems to go right,
No matter what you do?

There’s red marker on his pilot shirt;
The dishes are stacked ceiling high;
Stepping on Legos really hurts!
“Don’t lasso the dog with daddy’s tie!”

She unintentionally broke grandma’s antique plate;
I unfortunately lost my cool.
“Get in the car we’re gonna be late!”
Who left the water running all night in the pool?

Blew my diet on chocolate (yes, an entire box!)
Ransacked the pantry for some more.
Have a hole in every single sock.
The dog puked [again] on the carpeted floor!

Forgot the wet laundry in the wash (again);
Burned the oldest kid’s grilled cheese.
Fight breaks out while I’m on the phone with the repairman.
Will someone pick up that Lego please!!

Our pilot called—plane’s delayed.
‘Sorry hon, I won’t be home.’
Tried not to cry (in front of them).
Looks like I’m doing yet another day on my own.

Still haven’t had a shower yet.
Five o’clock and dinner’s nigh.
No one fed the family pet (all week?)?
Managed to make every single kid cry.

Baseball game in an hour ten.
Their homework’s still not done.
I guess its Easy Mac for din.
Some days pilot wife mom life isn’t very fun!

The box exploded, sake’s alive!
Elbow noodles scattered on the floor.
Why can’t my man work 9 to 5?
My sanity can’t take very much more!!

Can’t believe we’re at Taco Bell again,
For the third (okay fourth) time this week.
This is seriously not what I had envisioned
When they said, “The pitter patter of little feet.”

Lost the game; lost his bat.
Someone starts to cough and sneeze.
There was bubble gum where I sat.
There goes my favorite jeans.

Between his flights, quick call from dad.
He sounds so stinking calm!
“Good night my loves. I miss you both.”
Now you be good for mom.

“Shower time (for them, not me).
Flooded bathroom floor.
Stories, hugs, and kisses.
Someone is coughing a whole lot more.

Finally! Time to tuck them in!
This day is done at last!!
But as soon as silence fills the house…
I miss their hugs, their smiles, their laughs.

Precious lambs, sound asleep.
In spite of myself, I grin.
As crazy as I know it sounds
I can’t wait to do it all again!

I love my kids and I love this life—
even when the chaos hits the fan.
I’m so proud to be a pilot’s wife.
I love my pilot fam!

To all of my pilot wife moms out there,
keep doing what you do!
This thing called pilot wife motherhood is not easy,
but is absolutely worth it! I promise, it’s true!

I love you, aviation family.

Tailwinds.

Angelia (a fellow pilot wife mom)

FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK

**photo courtesy Dreamstime

Perfect Chaos

Can I tell you a frank secret? Because you are, after all, my people…

I got up this morning and he was gone. I reached for him, but he wasn’t there, and my heart did a sad little flip.

Sooooo I checked my messages to cheer me up. Big mistake. The first one I received this morning was from an angry man harshly criticizing me for running this site and for being a pilot wife. ‘I should be ashamed of myself,’ or so he boldly declared. He is not even in the aviation field—not even remotely connected—but he felt entitled to his bitter words and unjustifiable anger toward a complete stranger. You know, toward me.

I grumpily slammed down my phone, crawled out of bed, opened the door, and was met by absolute chaos. I glared around at all the piles of dirty laundry, unwashed dishes, and enough dust bunnies to start a new farm piled around after an exhaustingly busy weekend.

And yeah, friends, I felt tired…and a little lot discouraged.

For a fleeting moment, I thought to myself that maybe, just maybe, I’m not the right one to do this for you—to be your encourager. Because today? I didn’t really want to be a pilot’s wife. I wanted my husband home in my arms, not jaunting around the country. I wanted mean people to stop saying mean things for the sake of meanness. And I wanted to not be forever and a day (or six) behind on life.

But then I realized that makes me the perfect person to do this for you—to be your encourager. Because I get it. This is #thepilotwifelife. It’s messy. Very! I have learned how to have lots of great days, but sometimes it’s still hard. Sometimes ‘those days’ creep in under the radar. I am, without a doubt, an imperfect, messed up, flaming hot mess.

And that makes me perfect for this, because I am real. I am perfect chaos.

I stopped and took a deep breath and realized something very important. Days like today help me help you better because my words? They’re not just empty words from an outside person but rather words of empathy from someone who has been there, done that. Recently. Like…right now, as we speak.

That gives me new perspective and makes me thankful for today. It makes me cherish the loneliness, the frustration, the real…because I know that it makes me a better advocate for you. It gives me real perspective. It helps me identify with you and your ‘those days.’

It makes me a real pilot’s wife. I love, love, love being a pilot’s wife and I love, love, love being able to encourage you. Because my chaos—your chaos—is perfectly beautiful.

I am convinced that we need this community. We need to know it’s okay to have ‘those’ days. We need to be able to lean on one another for encouragement and love and advice.

And we need to remind one another to keep F.L.Y.ing even when it’s hard or we don’t feel like it.

So I’m still here. And I still love you, aviation family. I’m not going anywhere, I promise. Well…except maybe to the grocery store because my kids are, apparently, not too keen on a(nother) dinner of lettuce and ketchup.

I love you, aviation family.

Tailwinds,

Angelia (a fellow pilot wife)

FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK

Unapologetically

Hey lady, you suck at being a wife and mom. Yeah, you.

You are a terrible mom. Your husband is probably having an affair. You should be ashamed of yourself as a human being. CPS should take your kids from you. Your husband should divorce you. You don’t deserve kids. You are a loser, a worthless piece of….

Except you are not; and I am not.

Not even remotely.

You see . . .

Every single one of the above comments have been personally directed toward me by complete strangers during my stint as a blogger. This was primarily on another site I author, and thankfully none of these particular comments were pilot wives. But man, you have to have some titanium skin to maintain an internet presence.

Those comments weren’t from pilot wives… But some have been. I received a message recently strongly admonishing me for suggesting that, as pilot wives, we should love and encourage our husbands. In short, she basically demanded that I apologize for loving a pilot.

But I won’t. Not today; not ever.

I love my pilot. Fiercely. Unapologetically. 

Look, it’s okay. I’m not mad, or hurt, or shocked, or even a teeny-tiny, itty-bitty, eensy-weensy bit upset.

Because with positivity, inevitably comes negativity. When you choose to trek knee-high into the muck of people’s brokenness, you will have to deal with their pain, hatred, misconceptions. You better wear armor. Brokenness begs for more brokenness because it does not want to wallow in the pit alone, so it seeks out positivity and tries to smother it in its suffocating folds—to destroy it.

But I am wholly convinced that love wins.

Unfortunately, bullying has become rampant in all aspects of life. There are some misinformed, hateful folks out in this self-entitled world that have the ridiculous notion that a flashbulb glance at a singular moment in a person’s life gives them the self-inflicted authority to judge, criticize, and stereotype the entirety of a person’s beliefs, values, and worth—that somehow 943 words of a blog or five minutes in a Wal-Mart aisle affords them an inalienable right to reign down harsh judgmentalism on a complete stranger.

But it doesn’t.

Don’t judge her entire life’s journey by the one leg of the flight that you happened to spend on her plane.

judge.jpg

Until you have flown a thousand miles in her shoes…

Until your wings and heart are dangerously iced over by the difficult journey through the winter storms she has endured…

Until every muscle in your body aches from the strain of trying to survive the life turbulence she has faced…

Until you have faced lonely holidays, car wrecks, birthdays, a loved one’s death, accomplishments, sickness, ER visits (and on and on) with your spouse 2000 miles away…

Don’t judge her; just love her.

Anonymity is a dangerous weapon. Oh, the things we can say and pain we can inflict from behind the safe little haven of our faux Gravatar as ‘flygirl’ or ‘anonymous.’

It is incredibly easy and safe to pour out brutal criticism on a momma in IAH from a comfy chair in Seattle without knowing all the facts.

It is incredibly easy to label a pilot wife in MDW as worthless when you have never met her and heard her cry tears of loneliness.

It is incredibly easy to lay down judgement upon an aviation marriage in EWR without understanding the difficulties of this lifestyle.

But do you know what? It’s just self-righteous folks being ugly for the sake of being ugly. You need to send negative people flying out of your life faster than an eject button on an F15.

You. Don’t. Need. It.

I’ve heard your stories, and I love you. I have seen you soar and stall, and I still believe in you. I have lived this life, and I know. 

The pilot wife life is hard enough without the naysayers. Don’t submerge yourself in their cesspool of stagnant negativity. Instead immerse yourself in a refreshing river of positivity.

Aviation friends, let me tell you a little something, something.

You don’t suck at being a mom. Or a pilot wife. Or an ANYthing. 

Are you going to make mistakes now and then? Of course! We all do. Yep, even me!

I know, right!? 

Anyone that tells you differently is either lying or has never navigated the jet streams of marriage and parenting. Let that perfect somebody throw that first stone. Seriously. Go ahead

The truth is this . . .

If you feed your kid only homegrown organic or if you feed your kid Taco Bell seven times in a friggin’ row because your pilot is gone and you are losing your ever-loving mind; if you go on date nights with your spouse regularly or if you can’t remember the last time you had a date; if your kid has a tantrum in Wal-Mart now and again or if your kid sits quietly at Wal-Mart every single time you shop (yeah, right); if you are married to a commercial pilot who is gone four days at a time or if you are married to a military pilot who is gone four months at a time, if you have never raised your voice to your child or if you have raised your voice to your child so many times [today] that you have lost count, if you have zero kids or if you have nine kids, if your house is Martha Stewart immaculate or Rosanne Barr chaos, if you are a working pilot wife or if you are a stay-at-home pilot wife…

It matters not.

If you love your family with all your heart, if your children are safe and cared for (yes, Easy Mac counts), if you make the decisions that are best suited to your family and your circumstances, you are a good mom and a good pilot wife.

Period.

You listen here, aviation friends! You keep making decisions that are right for your family. You keep on fighting the good fight. You keep surviving the best you know how. You keep loving your pilot fiercely.

Unapologetically. 

Soar confidently and unswayed upon the wings of your beliefs and decision, my dear friends. Do not be dismayed. Do not be moved by anonymous fools. Do not bend to the will of group conformity.

And do not apologize for loving your pilot. Ever.

EVER! Do you hear me?

Let me clarify. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. We all have different experiences, different situations, and different personalities which influence the direction from which we view a topic. That is not only okay, it is absolutely necessary. Respectful disagreement and discussion are the beautiful tools by which we learn and grow.

But those people—the naysayers, judges, and haters? Those who slander, slash, name throw, and stereotype randomly with wide open mouths and wide shut ears? Their words are nothing more than a bitter reflection of bitter hearts, and any shard of truth or useful advice that may have potentially existed is inevitably obscured and obliterated by hatred.

Sometimes in life, you just have to let folks roll off of you like rainwater on Turtle Wax. You cannot make them happy, so don’t dally with fools.


Pilot wives, those people are always going to exist in this world. From the eye roller in the grocery checkout line to the internet troller who just plain hates life as a pilot wife and wants you to join her in abject misery—they are nothing more than an unpleasant altitude drop on the flight of life.

Hit. The. Eject. Button. Now.

They will always hide behind the safety of anonymity and criticize you, this lifestyle, your choices, your husband from a safe distance. They are always going to claim the self-imposed right to judge you without flying a single skymile in your exhausted, busy, chaotic, overwhelmed pilot wife shoes. They are always going to have a poorly founded and loudly stated opinion about everything you do…or don’t do.

But frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.

And neither should you.

Now GO! Live your beautiful, crazy, amazing, chaotic aviation lives unapologetically.

love you, aviation family.

Tailwinds!

Angelia (a fellow pilot wife)

FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK

My Dirty, Tattered, Ugly Quilt

Real. Raw. Me.

I never wanted to be a mom.

There, I said it. That is the raw, unfiltered, painful truth. I am about to reveal to you some of the deepest, most painful truths of my life, things I have never told anyone else. Why? Because I think there is a beautiful woman somewhere out there who needs to know she is not alone—that her pain is real and justified, and that she is more than the culmination of her past circumstance.

My earliest memories are of huddling under the kitchen table with tears streaming down my cheeks, clinging desperately to a stuffed dog while my parents screamed profanity at each other and threw things. My childhood was not sugar and spice and everything nice. In fact, it was pretty much anything but. I grew up to a chorus of, “I wish you had never been born,” and, “having you ruined my life.”

Drugs, alcohol, tobacco, racism, sexual infidelity, and every type of abuse imaginable—physical, emotional, and sexual—these are the tattered, ugly patches that make up my childhood quilt, all bound securely together by threads of pain, hatred, and eventually outright rebellion. It is not pretty or frilly or very nice to look at; but nevertheless, it is mine to bear, and I wear it around my shoulders with humble pride.

It is a stark reminder of the adversity that I have overcome and the beautiful truth that even the dirtiest, ugliest, most threadbare pieces of our lives can be salvaged, dismantled, and lovingly and painstakingly used to recreate a stunning, priceless masterpiece.

By the time I was in college, I had constructed for myself unsurmountable walls utilizing the bricks of distrust and mortar of abandonment that life had so readily furnished. Love was a fraud, people were expendable, and God was a fairytale. So no, I never wanted to get married and I never wanted to be a mom. The circumstances of my life had left me completely and utterly jaded. Why in the world would anyone want to bring children into a world filled with pain? I certainly didn’t.

And that is where I was when I met him—my future husband and the father of my children. He was gentle and kind. He laughed easily, waited patiently, and loved fiercely, and expected nothing of me in return. He worked hard and spent his spare time helping people in need…for no apparent reason. He was like a lighthouse, firm and true, sending a brilliant, lifesaving beam of light that sliced through the destructive darkness of my raging storm.

Slowly, my walls began to crumble. He did not try to crush them with a sledgehammer of judgement; but rather, he slowly dissolved them with the steady outpouring of love. Two months after we started dating, he decided to take me to meet his family in New Mexico. On a stretch of lonely highway in pea-soup fog, the trajectory of my life would be forever changed. In the dusky hours just before dawn, I fell asleep driving and, at over 80 miles per hour, rolled the small pickup we were in at least six times. The debris from the accident littered the highway for a quarter mile, a perfect exemplification for the wreckage of my life.

We both should have died that morning; but we didn’t. Though I was wheelchair bound for three months, the chains on my heart had finally been broken, and I had been freed. God, in his unprecedented Grace, had allotted me a undeserved gift of a second chance, and I was determined to make the best of every single breath that entered my lungs. Just shy of two years later, I would become a willing bride. Though I was still not sure about children, I was certain about him. Two years later, I would bear our firstborn—a beautiful daughter.

If I told you I was as excited about being pregnant as my husband was, I would be lying. Frankly, more often than not, I was terrified. I wanted to be happy, but the ghosts of my past haunted me. I was afraid I couldn’t love my baby enough. I was afraid that the tendency toward anger and abuse had been passed on from my father and woven into my fibers. I was deathly afraid that I would be a reenactment of my parents.

And then she was born—perfect and flawless in every way—and my fears were assuaged. I instantly loved her in a way that is utterly inexpressible. In that moment, for the first time in my life, I understood love as it was truly meant to be—a love so pure and intense that you would willingly lay down your life for it. You see, I never wanted to be a mom, but being a mom saved me. It taught me that love is real and tangible; not a passing or faux emotion, but a genuine, deep-rooted, core desire to put someone else’s needs before your own.

Let me be clear. Being a mom was hard for me, especially in the beginning. I had to struggle against everything I was raised to be and find new and better ways to be a mom. I refused to become the very thing I despised, so I fought with all I was to be more—better—for my own children. I never had a great role model to show me the ropes. There was no one to call in the middle of the night when the baby was screaming and I felt like I was falling apart. I had to figure this thing called ‘motherhood’ out all by myself, working through the beautiful chaos one day at a time the best I knew how.

Even now there are some days when I hit the nail right on the head, and there are some days I fail—miserably. Sometimes I play too little and work too much. Sometimes I am too quick to judge, too quick to anger, and too slow to offer grace. Some days I cry myself to sleep and wonder . . . am I a good mom? Did I love them enough? Do I deserve them?

I have spent my entire life never knowing if my own mother ever, once in her life, actually loved me. I will not inflict the legacy of that pain upon my children. Do I make mistakes? Of course. That’s just life. But I love them fiercely, and they know it. In all my imperfect, struggling, broken glory, I am a good mom.

I have shared this story because it needs to be shared. There are more women than you can imagine walking around with some dirty, tattered patches in their own quilt that they do not talk about for fear of judgement and retribution. But we need to talk about it. You need to know that it’s okay—that you are okay. I know your pain; I lived your pain. And I want you to know that you can find healing. You are more than the culmination of your past circumstance. You can overcome the pain and break the cycle of abuse. I am living proof.

Though the dirty, ragged patches of my past are still part of my life’s quilt, I view them through a different lens now. Instead of seeing them as shameful and dirty, I see them as beautiful reminders of where I have been and how far I have come—that I not only survived, but overcame and thrived. Though they are still an integral part of my past, they do not define my future. My value is not defined by the circumstance or mistakes of my past; but rather by the direction of my future.

Not only am I okay with the tattered patches of my quilt, I am extremely grateful for them. I now understand that without the dingiest, ugliest, most threadbare patches of my life, I could not fully appreciate the beauty of the new, pretty, frilly ones that are added daily and bound securely together by the threads of love—the love for my husband and children. I never wanted to have children, but I am glad I did.

Ladies, my quilt in all its dirty, broken, tattered glory is not ugly; it is unequivocally beautiful. And so is yours.

~A Fellow Pilot Wife

(FOLLOW @THEPILOTWIFELIFE ON FACEBOOK)

**This story was originally written as my contribution to a beautiful book called The Mom Quilt. It is a compilation of encouragement by moms for moms. All proceeds from sales of the book go to support a pregnancy center called The Mercy House in Kenya. Check it out at: THE MOM QUILT