There are so many amazing military spouses out there kicking butt on a daily basis that deserve to be recognized and I’m excited to feature one of them each month with my Military Spouse Profile series. If you’re interested in sharing your story (or know someone who might), please send me an email!
Introduce yourself to my readers! Tell us a little bit about who you are.
I’m Amanda, former Air Force member and now military spouse and stay at home mom. I have two boys, ages 3 and 1. We currently live in Southern California, enjoying the beautiful weather and frequent trips to Disneyland. I blog about thriving in the transition from military to motherhood. I love finding way to inspire others through the transition.
What inspired you to start blogging?
The transition from military to motherhood was rough. My husband had to go to 8 weeks of training about 8 weeks after my first son was born. Those eight weeks were so hard and I was so lonely and pretty sure I was failing at motherhood. Through it I found blogs, the most influential being Lisa Jo Baker’s blog. I ended up joining her launch team for her first book, Surprised by Motherhood and by the time her book was released I joined the blogging world and started sharing my story. I wanted to encourage other moms.
What’s the main message you hope your blog shares with your readers?
You can do it. It doesn’t matter what you have done or what you are going through now. You can do it and you can thrive in the transition. It is going to be hard and you may fail a few times, but when you come out the other end you will be stronger from what you have gone through.
What is your favorite part of being a military spouse?
Getting to live in so many different places. Moving is a good and bad thing because you don’t really get to put down roots and when you do you have to move again. But I have made some amazing friends and I have loved learning and traveling this great nation of ours. I am dreading the next move, since we will be leaving my home state, but excited about what new friends and experience we will have for the rest of our military life adventure.
Tell us a little bit about your journey as a military spouse-the ups and downs, lessons learned, etc.
I started out as military spouse who was also serving in the military. I had a hard time finding my way between being a spouse and being in the service. Luckily my first base had a great spouse club and they loved me just the way I was. My second assignment I transitioned from military to motherhood and it was a really hard experience. I was so lonely. I knew people, but most of them knew me as military Amanda and not mom Amanda. And apparently the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. When we moved to LA, I was determined to make friends and fill the void I had felt. I got lucky and found friends quickly and have had so many amazing experiences at this assignment. It will be hard to leave and go on to the next adventure, but that’s the military way.
It has been hard to be on the other side of the military, when you are in your job is easy and you know a lot of the why and so you just do what you have to do. But I have realized how much harder it is to be a spouse to support your spouse when you don’t know the why and often have a harder job being left behind to take care of little humans who sometimes can suck the life right out of you. There isn’t a lot of hoopla for the spouses and they deserve so much gratitude and respect.
What’s the number one piece of advice you would give a new military spouse?
Be ready for the adventure and try to enjoy it. My husband keeps asking me where he should try to get the military to send us next, but I have realized it doesn’t matter where we go, but that we are together, which is one of the main reasons I didn’t stay in. Each base, small or big, in the middle of nowhere or in a big city all have things you can learn and see. I have made friends and seen so much at each assignment.
What or who has been the biggest help or source of support to you in your role as a military spouse?
One of my friends who served with me in Afghanistan got out a few years before me. Her husband was also in the military so she was similar to me. I feel like she paved the way and gave me the confidence to actually get out. I have enjoyed talking to her now that we are both moms and have gone through so many similar experiences.
Do you have a favorite place the military has taken you? What is it and why?
When I was deployed to Afghanistan I got a mid-tour break and my husband decided to meet me in New Zealand instead of having me go back stateside. It was an amazing vacation and one I hope we can do again with the boys when they are older.
Just for fun:
- Favorite Netflix binge-worthy watch? I don’t watch a lot of tv, but I do currently like Scorpion and I used to watch Agents of Shield until it got a little weird.
- What’s your favorite hobby? I love to run. I have run a handful of half marathons the past few years. I’m planning on doing three in 2017. I completed the first one in January at Disneyland.
- Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate for sure!!
- Tell us a random fact about yourself. Man, I used up all my go to facts in the interview. I normally say I was in the military. But I guess I will go with the fact I have been converted to a crazy Disney person since we moved to LA. Last month we went every weekend so we could get special buttons. Only crazy people do that and I am one of them.
Many thanks to Amanda for sharing her story! People often forget that you can be a military spouse and a member of the military at the same time. I’m glad folks like Amanda are sharing their stories. You can find Amanda on her blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.