Motherhood Wasn’t What I Expected

My journey from military to motherhood didn’t go quite like I expected.

Go and have children they said…

You can stay at home with the kids and life will be easy…

So…I took the bait, but they were wrong. So very wrong.

Before I left the military behind to become a stay at home mom I thought that my accolades and accomplishments were pretty impressive. Not only was in the military, but I was an officer. I had completed my degree in Civil Engineering alongside my Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program and became a second lieutenant. I had met my husband while in college and we were both military officers.

Life was as great as it could be with both of us serving in the military. A lot of separation, a lot of sacrifices, a deployment.

I was so very proud of all I had accomplished. While deployed I received a Combat Action Medal and a Bronze Star. I was doing work to help rebuild the country of Afghanistan. I came home to continue working this time diving deep in Energy Management.

And then we decided maybe we should see what life would be like as a family. I went back and forth on staying in or leaving the military, but in the end, it made the most sense to leave the military to be a stay at home mom. I had surely proven my ability to do all the things. Motherhood would be so easy.

But motherhood was the farthest thing from easy. I was knee-deep in parenting books that made logical sense, but trying to get our son to follow these magic books wasn’t going so well. Once I would figure out some sense of routine or schedule he would drop a nap or change something. I felt like I was on a road to failure after failure.

Failure, something I hadn’t experienced in my military career, but almost immediately felt after my sons birth on a daily basis.

Why did I leave the military behind to become a mom? This question haunted me. Here I was doing this thing that was supposed to be so amazing and I was hating myself almost every minute of it. Feeling as if I just couldn’t measure up to the impossible standards I had for myself. And to add to the pain of feeling as if I was failing at life, I also felt so alone.

In the shift from military to motherhood I had completely missed out on creating a tribe of people. I had people I knew. But my closest friends still had jobs and my mom friends still hadn’t adjusted to me actually being free during the day and able to hang out. And I was definitely not bold enough to reach out in the midst of my struggle.

But then the Air Force moved us. It was a fresh start, a place to start over and leave the past behind. My loneliness intensified for the first few weeks, but as I got out of the house and started exploring I found a group of friends.

Friends who changed everything I knew about motherhood. They actually enjoyed being moms, even though it was the hardest thing they had ever done. We shared our struggles and did life together.

It completely changed my perspective on motherhood and made me realize I wasn’t a failure, just a mom.

It made my second son’s birth a different experience. I had learned to give myself grace. And even though there were still some really hard days when I wanted to quit. I had a new look on life.

Now my boys are 5 and 2. Life is starting to change.

We are leaving behind the baby stage and quickly running into a new phase where we get to have a lot of fun. I’m ready for time to slow down and enjoy the days that seem to be flying by.

Becoming a mom and going through the change from military to motherhood was a painful process. It required work not only on the daily tasks but inner work to help me grow into the person God wanted me to be.

Looking back, I know the hard work was worth it. And I am even happy with the choice to leave the military behind. Motherhood was the hardest work I ever had to do, but it was worth the pain and hard work to be where I am at today.

Are you leaving the military? Are you unsure what comes next? Struggling with what do next? I can help. I served in Air Force for six years before becoming a military spouse, mom and blogger. The transition from military to mom was a hard one for me and the one thing that helped me was finding purpose again. I want to help you navigate the transition of life after the military and help you thrive. I created a workbook with the tools I have learned the past four years. Leading me from lost, lonely mom to momprenuer. #militarylife

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