I remember when I had my first daughter being completely consumed with an immeasurable amount of love, but also sheer panic.
This was all new. I was just one person, and this was a lot of responsibility. I remember feeling like I was starting from square one. I had so much to learn and navigate.
One morning my newborn daughter and I sat in our townhouse nestled outside of Washington D.C. It was a long, brutal February with more snow and less sunshine. I was far from family, had not yet met many friends, and had left the workforce. Literally everything about my life had changed. Until I had a spark of resilience and sense of familiarity in this challenge of being a new mom. While I had not been on this journey before, I had endured similar encounters. At that point, I had been a military spouse for five years, moved four times, and changed jobs three times. I had navigated through unexpected moves, cultivated lasting relationships, and established a new normal while zigzagging across the country.
So, while so much of being a mom was new to me, the empowerment and confidence necessary was not. I am a military spouse, resilience and resourcefulness are weaved to every fiber of my life.
It took me a minute to understand military life and motherhood had many parallels: adventure, uncertainty, difficulty and pride. Nothing can prepare you for becoming a mom. And it’s laughable, at first, to think military life can give you a glimpse into what is headed your way as you enter motherhood, but it can.
Military life can shake you to your core, it can give you grit and determination, it can push you to reach higher and achieve greater, and it can show you love and support from a vast community. This is exactly what a new mom needs, too.
As military spouses, may we feel empowered to endure and thrive when things are new and unfamiliar. As a military community, may we help others as they navigate, adjust, and find footing in their own journeys. And as a unique sect of mothers, may we use our confidence and passion to build strong families.
Photo: Morgan Slade Photography
About the Author:
Tomi has spent the better part of a decade zigzagging the country, following a boy in a military uniform she fell head over heels in love with almost 16 years ago. The Army life has been adventurous and challenging, but she has learned to embrace the journey.
Tomi is from western Kansas and is currently a Political Science instructor for Fort Hays State University and a senior contributor for Wichita Mom.
Tomi boasts at least one overdue book, one audiobook, and a hefty stack of children’s books in daily rotation. She loves a good nonfiction book recommendation and sharing the love of reading with her children and husband.
Her first children’s book, How to Make a Monster Smile, was published in 2019 by Storybook Genius Publishing. It was released in New York City at BookExpo.