As adults, it can be hard to make new friends. As a pilot’s wife, it can feel almost impossible at times. Why? Because with kids, a full schedule (whether you work or stay at home), and a husband who’s gone for work, there’s little time left over for ourselves, let alone for making friends. (Or cleaning. Ha!) But I’m here to tell you that making friends is so important – especially as the wife of a pilot.
Whether you have one of each type or just a few friends who are a combination of these, let’s go through them and see why each is important to have in our lives, shall we?
Other Pilot Wives
This starts off our list because it’s important. No one gets it like other pilot wives, which is why it’s good to have them as friends. We need each other to share the ups and downs of aviation life, as it comes with its own stressors and unique circumstances. It doesn’t matter which airline you’re with, or whether you’re regional or mainline; having a friend who understands bidding, schedules, domiciles, non-revving, being alone, and commuting is priceless. (Psst… Look online. The Pilots’ Wives group on Facebook is a great place to start – you can also find groups for wives of each airline, pilot wives with kids, and other groups specified by city/state.)
This friend can be absolutely indispensable to a pilot’s wife. I’ve had neighbors help me with child care, after school care, dead car batteries, and other small crises that are part of being home alone part-time. You don’t get to choose your neighbors obviously, but it really helps to try and get to know them. (Also check out any neighborhood gatherings or meet-ups; you can find friends more than one house away!)
The Online Girlfriend
You know her, she’s the one whose points you agree with in online groups, who’s had your back on certain topics, and who made you take the leap and hit that friend request button.
You’ve shared private messages, supported each other behind-the-scenes, and chatted away an entire evening because you just click. You would love to meet her in person if, you know, your benefits actually worked and you didn’t have 3 kids to watch by yourself. Until then, thank goodness for the Internet.
The Used-To-Be-Internet-Only-But-Now-You’ve-Met-In-Person Friend
Sometimes you DO get lucky enough to meet someone in person you’ve only ever met online – and it can be magical. I had the opportunity to go to a pilot wife meet-up in Sedona recently and I can’t tell you how awesome it was! We all drank together, laughed together, hiked together, and became instant friends. One of the best trips of my life so far. If you ever get the chance to meet another pilot wife in person – do it! You never know where that friendship could take you.
The Veteran Pilot Wife
Oh, yes. This friend is like a gold mine. She’s been there and back and will help you through it, too. She knows how tough your life is right now, and she totally feels for you. The best part? She gives you hope. Because one day, you too will be done with diapers and vomit and, “Mom! Moooooooooom!!! I neeeeeeed you!!”
You’ll be able to shower. And not show up somewhere with Cheerios and spit-up in places you didn’t know they could be. You’ll get sleep. SLEEP, people!! And not the kind that’s interrupted every couple hours. That’s right, I’m talking about 8 hours of solid silence with no body parts digging into your ribs. That day will come. And this friend will keep you going because she represents the light at the end of the tunnel. Good pay AND a good schedule?! That’s what I’m talkin’ about.
This is the friend you’ve had since before high school. You’ve gone through bad hairstyles, bad outfits, and bad boyfriends together. You may not live in the same state, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pick up the phone and pick right back up where you left off. Now instead of boyfriends you talk about your marriages, and instead of homeroom gossip you talk about raising kids. You still laugh together, and you still cry together. And you can look back with amazement on a solid friendship that has lasted for years. It’s the friendship you can always count on to still be there no matter what happens, and especially when stuff happens. She will always be there for you, and you will do the same.
The Other Bestie
This is the friend you have that lives nearby that knows all about the day-to-day stuff that happens. She’s there to meet you for coffee or playdates, and is always ready to go shopping or just hang out at your house or hers for some much-needed wine and girl time. If your two besties ever meet, they become insta-friends as well. Because let’s face it, your taste in friends is awesome.
This is the friend who is always there to listen to your problems and empathize with you. She understands you and has the best advice. She’s never judgmental or critical; she simply listens and is there for you. Whether you need to complain, vent, or cry, this is your girl.
The Fun One
She’s the one who plans themed parties, who jumps at the chance to cheer you up if you need it by taking you out for drinks, and who knows the best places around town to entertain the kiddos. Don’t have plans? She’s happy to make them for you, as she’s always coming up with new ideas and ways to enjoy life. Her happiness rubs off and her laugh is contagious; you always feel better after spending time together.
She’s your support and your number one fan. She believes in you and makes you believe in yourself, too. She is the one who’s there for you, cheering you on even when you feel like you have nothing left. She reminds you what a great mom you are when you’re at the end of your rope, and she’s there to tell you that you can handle anything. (Remember when your husband was gone for training and you handled it all? And the kids were alive and fed AND happy? You’ve got this.) She is a great comfort when you get too down on yourself, and that’s what makes her a great friend to have.
Stay happy, friends! Surround yourself with supportive people and grow your tribe. It’s important to have a good circle to help you survive and thrive in this crazy lifestyle.
The Flight Wife