Hey lady, you suck at being a wife and mom. Yeah, you.
You are a terrible mom. You should be ashamed of yourself as a human being. CPS should take your kids from you. Your husband should divorce you. I hope you die. 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. Man, you have to have some titanium skin to maintain an internet presence…even when you’re only trying to make a positive difference in a community.
Those particular comments weren’t from pilots’ wives, but some have been.
I received a message recently strongly admonishing me for suggesting that, as pilots’ wives, we should love and encourage our husbands. Despite never having met either my husband nor myself, she gave me the long [stereotypical] list of reasons I should loathe him. In short, she basically demanded that I apologize for loving my pilot.
But I won’t. Not today; not ever.
I love my pilot. Fiercely. Unapologetically. And I love this aviation community and will continue to fight for it.
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, judgement. 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. It’s a destructive circle, and somebody has to be courageous enough to boldly step out and break the cycle.
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 the plane.
Until you have flown a thousand miles in her wornout 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 and nuances of the 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–I’m waiting.
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 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.
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 seeking joy and positivity in your life. You keep loving your pilot fiercely.
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.
I love you, aviation family.
Angelia (a fellow unapologetic pilot wife)