My best friend Dorie has many roles.  She’s a flight attendant, friend, wife, creative designer, writer, traveler, and the list goes on.  She also happens to be a Mom.  A couple of days ago, she posted the blog below to her website.  After reading it, I realized that there was so much that I didn’t understand about her life, and the criticism she encounters on a daily basis.  Honestly written, and straight to the point, I felt like it was something that is absolutely relevant to readers of The Flight Attendant Life.  Dorie was kind enough to let me republish it here.  So, before you go and judge a flight attendant mom, find out what it’s like to actually be a flight attendant mom.

How To Be A Flight Attendant Mom

By Dorie 

I get it all the time. The look. The look from other parents, the look from my kids’ teachers at school, the look from my coworkers; I even get the look from some of my own family members. You know, the look that says, “How can you possibly choose to be a flight attendant mother, and still look at yourself in the mirror every day?”I am a flight attendant. My career choice often takes me away from my family for days, sometimes even weeks at a time. And it can be devastating. I have struggled for years over feeling immense guilt each time I walk out the door and onto a plane.I have spent too many hours being angry at myself for not being able to adequately express the necessity of working and angry at anyone who suggested that I simply didn’t want to be home badly enough.
I can hear it in their voices:”I just don’t know how you do it! I can barely stand to be away from junior for a few hours, much less days.””Wow, so you fly to Hawaii?? That’s a rough life.” (Insert sarcasm here).”When I decided to have children, I knew it was my responsibility to stop working and stay home with them.””I can’t imagine letting everyone else raise my kids.”And on and on…

The judgement from others doesn’t even begin to compare to the crushing guilt I have brought upon myself. I have been hard on myself. There have been plenty of times when I have thought I must be a terrible mother for working. I have spent countless nights crying myself to sleep in lonely hotel rooms across the country. I have missed birthday parties and holidays so the flying public could make it to theirs. I have missed school presentations and soccer games and a few first moments too…and I have tried to gracefully disregard the looks that say, “If you’d only make a few sacrifices and stop being so selfish, you could be at home too.”

Fact: I am jealous of moms that can stay at home every day with their kids. And I admire them.


I carry this photograph with me everywhere I go.
You may ask me then, “Dorie, why do you keep flying?”Flying is my career, not my job. It provides half of our family’s household income as well as insurance benefits for my family. It is financially and medically beneficial for me to work. Cutting the cable is not enough to afford to keep me home (we don’t watch cable, anyway). My husband and I are preparing for our children’s futures: investing in their future education, and our retirement.My flight attendant career allows me to be home all day, every day for several days in a row. My time with my children is qualitative if not quantitative. My time and my energy is on them while I am home. We wake up together, we plan our day together, we do homework together, we read together, we play together and I tuck them into bed at night. I have the experience of a stay-at-home mom as well as the pride of being a professional in the workplace.I have the opportunity to teach my daughter’s what it means to have an independent, professional career, and to show them the importance of find a loving man that will support them in the pursuit of their dreams; whatever they may be.

Kaylie wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up.


For anyone of you that have met my children, you can not deny the fact that they are happy children. Some of the happiest I have ever known, in fact. I am immensely proud of them. They go to an amazing school, where their father and I take an active role in their education. This includes teaching them that the world extends beyond the state they live in; and even their country.

This football has been all around the world.
I have recently reached an epiphany: that by loving my job and the company I work for, and by pursuing my personal ambitions, I am fulfilling myself. I am creating within myself a better culture and in doing so, I am teaching my children to follow their dreams, even if it means doing something that isn’t necessarily socially accepted, understood or the norm. I have the opportunity to teach them to constantly better themselves, to consistently chase their dreams and to see those pursuits come into fruition.I thank my loving and adoring husband, for encouraging me to do what I love. He is the epitome of selflessness and I pray every day my daughters find a man like him one day.

My view from the office
There is so much pressure on moms today to get it right; to get it all right, all of the time. To read to their children 20 minutes a day and make sure they pass that math test, and to be sure they always eat their fruits and vegetables; to have a clean house and have the taxes done too. Moms, please do not succumb to the pressure but simply remember to love your children. Do the best you can. Do this, and you will succeed.

At the end of the day, I am just a mom, doing the very best I can, trying my hardest to raise my children to become respectable people, trying to create a wonderful life for them, and to support them the best I know how. So the next time you see me pick my kids up from school in my flight attendant uniform, remember to keep your judgement in check and know that I love them more than life and rest assured, they know it too.
  • Grandma25

    Keep up enjoying your career and your family, Dorie.

    February 8th, 2014 18:52
  • ayunda

    i can relate to your story Dorie. despite all the negative judgements, we are hardworking mom working for the future of our child. never stop flying and inspire all FA moms out there. #supermom

    May 13th, 2014 13:30
  • Motherof4

    Your story is straight to the point, and is a mirror of what I am about to embark on. I too am a mother of 4, stay at home mom for 12 years, and it’s now my time to pursue my career goals and dreams. I have been given the opportunity to train and fly with a major airline. I cannot be more excited, scared, sleepless, sad to leave my family… and on and on. I am a mess every other day. I think to myself I cannot do this, and then I say “YES i can.” This opportunity will mean income to help provide for our children, insurance medical and dental. Retirement for myself and my husband. Things we currently do not have. Thank you for sharing your story, I will re-read it for support and motivation.

    June 20th, 2014 12:01
  • Raquel millray

    I loved reading this! I’m going thru the hiring process right now and my mom is making me feel soo soo guilty and saying I’m selfish etc. My husband is amazing and supportive and we have talked and talked and he wants me to b happy and the kids r excited too! This has been my dream job since I was a kid… Great read and thank you:)

    November 15th, 2014 2:54
  • Lynne

    Enjoy your career. The same mom’s that say “How could you?..” soon will say, “How lucky you are!”. Believe me. I’m there. 2 teenager’s at home and I’ve been flying for 16.5 years. My kids know when I get home that they do have all of me. A great husband is essential. You got it right girl. Enjoy.

    May 14th, 2015 17:13
  • Sheila Boehlke

    the most annoying remark I kept hearing was “Are you still flying?” I flew for 45 years. By the way, my children grew into great people, who are creative, independent, and they are good travelers.

    May 14th, 2015 23:15

    My daughter and son-in-law are both flight attendants and super-devoted parents. They also sacrifice time with each other to pursue their careers. I am so proud of them. No babysitters! They arrange their schedules so the kids are with Mom or Dad. When I retired, I encouraged them to fly out together once in awhile so they could have some time to themselves. Big bonus! I get to stay one-on-one with my precious granddaughters for a couple of nights. My relationship with them is deeper than I could have hoped for. Because my ‘kids’ are flight attendants, our family has stepped up to lend support and show the love we have for each other.

    May 15th, 2015 5:12
  • Niki Gordon

    hello, I saw your blog and thought you might be able to answer a question I have. I’m considering a career as a flight attendant and have two children. I’m a single mom, but have amazing support from my family. I was wondering if I have to leave for training, and I heard that was upbron8 weeks, would I have to be away from the kids that whole time? Thanks for any info you can give me!!


    June 7th, 2015 15:21
  • molly choma

    A friend just pointed this out to me. I’m a photographer and the photo of the legs is mine! May I ask that you please add a credit or remove it? Apologies I can’t seem to find a email address or any other contact information on this site other than the message feed.

    Thank you kindly,

    June 19th, 2015 4:03
  • jazz

    i just became a flight attendant and was afraid about becoming one with my babies. after reading your post it inspires me to not be guilty and pursue my career.
    thank you so much dorie for reminding me that being a flight attendant does mean im a selfish mother!!
    this means a lot to me

    god bless!

    September 18th, 2015 20:15
  • Hopeful

    Your blog and the comments by other mom flight attendants are super inspiring to me right now. I just recently applied for a flight attendant position with a major airline, and Im getting more and more excited about the possibility of this every single day that passes! I have a 13 year old, so obviously I have some concerns. But reading this has given me hope that it can work for us! Thank you so much! <3

    September 27th, 2015 6:36
  • Yadi

    I definitely relate to the article being a flight attendant mom myself. And we’re extremely lucky to have supportive and amazing husbands in our lives.

    December 24th, 2015 2:35
  • Clara

    It feels unbalanced that mainly moms get these questions… after all, kids need both parents!

    January 20th, 2016 12:37

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