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  • Julie Hafen

How To: Be a Mom and a Pilot

I was a pilot for 13 years (4 years as an airline pilot) before I became a mother. It was a decision my husband and I did not take lightly, but one that we looked forward to immensely. We now have a 5-year-old boy, a 3-year-old boy, and are pregnant with our third boy, due later this year. Kids bring smiles and so much happiness and joy, but also tears, stress, and challenging days. And I wouldn’t change it for anything.

Julie describes, in depth, her personal journey to make it work in this video.

Being a mother and an airline pilot has given me the best of both worlds. I get to continue doing what I love, but when I come home, I have a family to share my life with. I am a more patient mom when I am home, and because I get to miss my kiddos at some point nearly every week, I don’t take the time we have together for granted. Yes, it is hard to leave for work sometimes, but the hugs and kisses I get from my boys when I leave and then return are priceless. I have learned so much from my kids, but the main lesson sticking out in my mind today is selfless love, which my 3-year-old shows me on a daily basis. This past Friday I got called to fly a 1-day trip; I flew from Salt Lake City to St. Louis and then back. I was gone for most of the day. My son gave me a million kisses before I left, and had a hard time saying goodbye. He made me feel like I was the most amazing person in the world, even though he was mad that I wouldn’t let him have Easter candy for breakfast. I said “no” to his request, and what did I get in return? Love. I returned home just after dinner, and when he heard the garage door open he came running out and said, “Mom, you came back!” I was greeted with his little arms wrapped around my neck and kisses smothered on my cheek. I am so imperfect. Sometimes I get mad at him, sometimes I lose my patience, sometimes I need a moment. And what do I get in return from him every single time? Love. It’s incredible. He shows me the kind of person that I need to become; that we all need to become. So, if there’s one lesson I can take from my 3-year-old, it’s to give and show love, no matter what.

You can learn more about Julie on her website:

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