Being a pilot wife is…well, unique.
It’s feeling like you live two completely separate, unrelated lives – the one when your husband is home and the one when he’s not – and trying to find some kind of balance between the chaos of the two.
It’s watching your husband pack everything he owns into his crew bag and head out to partake of a life you don’t know anything about with people you’ve never met in cities you’ve never visited and trusting, hoping, praying he comes home safely.
It’s dreading holidays because you know you’ll more than likely spend them alone and avoiding Facebook on Christmas so you don’t have to see all the happy smiley families opening gifts together while you hope maaaaaaybe to Skype him later. Maybe.
It’s wishing he’d hurry up and cone home from a trip…and then wishing he’d hurry up and leave for a trip. It’s thoroughly enjoying your ‘me time’ while simultaneously missing him like crazy and the suspicious looks you get when you say you have no idea where he is at this exact moment.
It’s a lot of things, but the one thing I will never try to sell you about the pilot wife life is that it’s easy because it’s anything but. However, I am intent upon encouraging you to find your rhythm as well as exploring different ways we can each accept the circumstances we have been given and live exceedingly joyful lives resulting in strong, beautiful marriages.
One of those ways is by tapping into the pilot wife community in a positive way.
There is no one who can completely understand the ups and downs of this lifestyle unless they too have experienced them. That’s why it is so important for us to live in community with one another, encouraging and lifting up our fellow aviation sisters as we journey through this life together.
In order to survive the hard days, we need people who understand where we are coming from to cheer us on and, when necessary, give us a good old fashioned kick in the tail. We need safe places to discuss our feelings and circumstances and positive people who are willing to pour hope and encouragement into our hearts.
Most of all, we need one-on-one relationships – women we can meet for coffee (to laugh and cry with) and women we can call to help us when we’re alone and our child (or heaven forbid you) has suddenly come down sick. We need women who have been there, done that, and get it. No judgement; just love.
Building upon these foundations and intentionally nurturing these relationships will help us to have richer, happier, more fulfilling lives when our husbands are away, which will make us happier, better wives when he’s home–and a happier wife means a happier pilot.
Great! But how do we accomplish it? Here are a few ways for you to get plugged in.
PILOT WIFE GROUPS: Social media is rife with Pilot Wife groups who support and love on one another. There are general aviation groups, locally based groups, special interest groups, and groups for specific airlines. You name it, it pretty much exists. These are fantastic places to ‘meet’ other women who are living this life, get advice, ask questions, and perhaps even vent about the nuances of day-to-day life. Choose positive groups that seem to focus on encouraging and pouring into the women and their pilots and avoid overly gossipy or negative groups that will (I promise it’s true) eventually damage your relationship or negatively altar your feelings toward your spouse. Check out my connect page to plug into a group today!
PILOT WIFE PAGES: Following a pilot wife page such as The Pilot Wife Life which is devoted to pouring encouragement into the aviation community is a great way of receiving daily, positive reminders about the good side of life. Participating in the discussions may also help you think outside the fuselage and see things from a fresh altitude! It is also a good place to ‘meet’ other women who are looking to live an encouraging and positive version of the pilot wife life. If you haven’t yet followed my page, I encourage you to do so. However, there are lots of other wonderful blogs and pages ran by aviation friends to follow as well! As always, just be sure they are positive, uplifting, and filling you with the right stuff.
GROUP MEETUPS: Oftentimes wives from the local pilot wife groups will plan girls’ nights out or holiday gatherings. Join them! You cannot soar if your feet never leave the ground. They will welcome you with open arms. It is nothing short of amazing to sit in the midst of other aviation sisters, listen to their stories, and realize…”I’m not alone!” This is a fantastic way to get out of the house, meet new people, and build lasting, personal relationships with other women living the same kind of life.
VOLUNTEER TOGETHER: The picture above is of three pilot wives (Megan, Angelia, and Kathyrn) volunteering together at an aviation event for special needs children known as ChallengeAir for Kids. Volunteering together for community causes and events is an especially strong bonding experience and also serves to give us new perspective about our own circumstances. I highly recommend it if you get the chance. Don’t know any aviation families? Volunteering at aviation centered organizations or at airport events in your area is sure to help you cross paths with some!
PILOT WIFE FRIENDSHIPS: Some of my best friends in the world are Pilot Wives. Why? Because they get me and I get them. Holidays, birthdays, failures, successes, laughter, and even tears have all been shared regularly and freely with my sisters of aviation…and understood. I can’t count the times we have exchanged kids for appointments or dropped off medicine and soup at each other’s doors. Use the groups and meetups you participate in to find like-minded pilot wives in your community and then intentionally pursue friendships with them. Invite them to dinner. Get together for a play date or coffee. Get to know each other over a text or two. Making friends within the pilot wife community will be one of the most rewarding things you will do and will provide a whole new level of emotional support for both of you.
OTHER TRAVELING FAMILIES: Don’t have any pilot wives in your area (though I bet you do and don’t know it)? No worries! Wives of other traveling professions, military, firefighters, oil field, truck drivers, etc. live very similar lives and are amazing people to have in your life. They may not speak the same brand of lingo, but I promise they are all too familiar with the same brand of alone. Having one or two people who get it in your life changes everything.
START YOUR OWN: No Pilot Wife groups in your immediate area? No Pilot Wives sharing holidays or girls’ nights out together? Start it yourself! It only takes a couple of minutes to create a Pilot Wife group for your city or to suggest/create an event for a preexisting Pilot Wife group you are already in. If everyone waits for someone else, it will never happen. Take the initiative and start helping connect other Pilot Wives in your community today so we can continue to strengthen each other (and subsequently our spouses)!
In short, having someone that gets it is oh-so-important to living this life well. The number one thing I hear from the ladies I mentor is that they feel alone – but it doesn’t have to be that way! There are women all around the world just like you who are dying for a friend to share this life with. Maybe you are her friend! To help connect our beautiful aviation sisters, I now have a database of Pilot Wife social media groups all in one place at my website! Check it out today. Your best Pilot Wife friend is out there just waiting for you to find her. What are you waiting for?
I love you, aviation sisters. Now let’s get connected!
~Angelia (a fellow Pilot Wife)