Doulas Northwest | Parenting: “Is That A Tundra Tire In Your Kitchen?”
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16 Sep Parenting: “Is That A Tundra Tire In Your Kitchen?”

 

Haha, errrm…yes. Yes it is. (Doesn’t everyone have fat airplane tires in their kitchens?)

 

Folks, I was actually asked this the other day. 

 

A Facebook friend spied part of the tire in a photo I posted and commented with, “Is that a tundra tire in your kitchen??” And I had to laugh because while it’s not usually in the kitchen, I don’t think twice about it. (I also have a spare {real} propeller in my living room!  -Cool conversation starter, no?)

 

But how does a single mom/doula/entrepreneur wind up with airplane parts in her house? I’ll tell ya. It’s a thing, for sure. 

 

Before I became a parent, I became a pilot. I flew all over the US and Canada, flying everything from small training airplanes up to corporate jets. I also taught others to fly. I lived and breathed airplanes; it was the largest single piece of my identity. 

 

And then, when I stepped into parenthood, things began to change. My life shifted and I found it difficult to hold on to all of who I was before becoming a parent, while also embracing who I was becoming, as a parent.

 

It was hard. It was hard to be so overcome with my new role as Mama and still feel like I could be exactly who I was before that. To feel like it was OK to be exactly who I was before that. 

 

And it was a weird kind of hard, because as much as I missed who I was before, I was also compelled to keep stepping farther into my new self. It didn’t, and still doesn’t really make sense. And it often felt conflicting, confusing, or overwhelming. 

 

For a long time, I struggled to keep ahold of my former sense of self and dabbled “just enough” in aviation to keep myself missing it, but not enough to feel like I still belonged there. Eventually, confidence began to fade and the dabbling fell away too. 

 

It fell far enough away that I didn’t fly for 12 years. 12 years! To this day, I kick myself for letting it go that far, for turning away from that part of my truth, and for denying my own self care… flying.

 

For me, it took until I had spent 16 years as a parent, 10+ years as a business owner, doula & doula trainer…giving and giving and giving OF myself before I finally came to the place of deciding that it was time to give TO myself. 

 

It was time to acknowledge my roots and say yes to taking back ownership of that piece of my identity. 

 

Since making that decision, I’ve become an active member of the general aviation community again, have set specific goals for myself for furthering my education in aviation and the marketing value of my credentials & experience as a commercial pilot. 

 

I’ve purchased my first airplane and have built purposeful time into my days, dedicated to this part of my life.  

 

I’ve done all of this, not because I want to stop being Mama, and not because I want to stop being a doula or running my doula agency. I’ve done it because it’s part of who I am and it’s important that I be all of who I am. 

 

Figuring out how to embrace the new, while remaining the old, is a tricky balance. But an important one. One that’s taken me a really long time with lots of tweaking along the way, but that is worth the effort. 

 

If you’re curious about what a doula-pilot looks like, check out the Instagram page dedicated to my aviation adventures: @scrappyairplanepilot. It’s a fun ride! 

 

Seattle | Tacoma | JBLM | Olympia

 

 

Kristyn
info@doulasnorthwest.com
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