This month Franklin Goose is featuring women who have inspired us. For various reasons, we see them as Supermoms, and we wanted to introduce them to you.
There are a lot of different women you will meet here on our blog this May, but the person I’m going to introduce to you today is a woman I personally admire.
Ofelia Warren is married to my cousin Chad. They met when they were both serving on active duty in the United States Air Force. Since then they have married and have 2 daughters. Ofelia is no longer on active duty, but Chad is currently stationed in Afghanistan. Ofelia and the girls are in Germany and preparing for his return.
Having grown up myself overseas, I empathize with the girls, and I admire their parents for why they are overseas. I recently interviewed Ofelia about her life in Germany, and I’m pleased to share with you about this Supermom.
This month, we are focusing on supermoms. Having been in the air force and now raising two daughters in Germany with your husband serving in Afghanistan, do you think of yourself as a supermom?
I don't think of myself as a supermom. I see myself as a mom who does what needs to be done with what we have at hand.
You and Chad met in the air force. Before you retired, was it a possibility that you would be assigned overseas? Does the air force take into consideration families in which both parents are enlisted? How did you and Chad approach such a scenario?
Yes, both Chad and I were active duty when we met and the possibility of being assigned overseas always existed. The military does its best to keep families together, but it doesn't always happen. The mission always comes first and we as soldiers to have a family plan to keep us ready for whatever the military needs us to do.
Chad and I had always agreed, even before we had kids, that should the both of us needed to be away, our kids would got to one of my sisters to be taken care of. To this day, most of them are stay home moms and would have the time and ability to take care of little ones since they had kids of their own.
When you first had your daughters, you were living in the US and had family around. Was that helpful?
Yes, when I had both girls we were living in San Antonio, and my family was only 4 hours away. It made a world of a difference having family nearby who could come on short notice. All I had to do was call, and they would do what needed to be done to be there.
Do you have a strong relationship with your mother? Would you say she is a supermom?
I do have a strong relationship with my mother. She has always been there for us. Both my parents always put us kids first, and we did everything together. There was never a time where they left us behind. I truly believe my mom is a supermom. Even with her limited knowledge of the English language, she has been invited to the White House numerous times and have gotten several awards for her hard work with the community.
She had been a great example not only for my family, but for other people as well.
Is it difficult raising two daughters with Chad in Afghanistan? Is it difficult for your daughters? How do compensate for his absence?
Yes, at times it is difficult raising two daughters while Chad is gone. Especially when one gets sick, or I have to be in two different places at the same time and I need help with the girls. It's very difficult for the girls, especially at night. During the day I try to keep then busy, but at the end of the day it really hits them that Daddy is not home. It just breaks my heart. I try to keep them thinking of all the fun things they will be able to share with Daddy when he comes home. We write letters to him and make it a point to Skype with him whenever possible.
Your girls are young, and this is their first time living overseas. Has the transition been smooth?
Yes, this is their first time for us living overseas. The transition has been fun, yet it has proven to be difficult at times. The language barrier has been an issue at times. It can get somewhat frustrating when you can't communicate. Living on a military base does help to make the move somewhat smoother, but we do miss the States, especially when it comes to the little things. At the end of the day we work with what we have and make the best out of it.
What’s the best thing about being a mom? What’s the best thing about being an air force mom?
The best thing about being a mom is seeing your children grow before your eyes and becoming this special individual they are meant to be. They remind me to keep a light heart and have fun always. I love to hear them talk about how they see the world.
The best thing about being an Air Force mom is being able to show my kids a world that most kids miss out on. The opportunity to travel the world is worth every long day at work, every recall and sacrifice I've made. The military has help expose them to see that family is not only those bound by blood, but those bound by duty as well.
What’s the hardest thing?
The hardest thing about being a mom is knowing that one they will spread their wings and fly into the sky on their own. You just hope and pray that everything you taught them will be enough to help them accomplish their dreams.
Is the community you’re in supportive and encouraging?
The current community we are in is very supportive and encouraging. I feel so blessed we have met and made friends with people who have become like family to us. They have made a difference, that's for sure.
As a mother, do you have goals for your daughters? How do you plan to reach them? Does your lifestyle affect your achievement of these goals?
As a mother I do have goals for my girls. I want them to follow their heart and always stay true to themselves. I plan to keep them grounded by reminding them where they came from and helping them establish a relationship with God who will always be for them. I believe our life style will help me achieve what I want for my girls. Having the opportunity to travel and meet different places and people will help me show them that the world is a neat place to explore.
Is there a legacy that you would like to leave for your daughters?
The legacy I would like to leave my daughters is that in order to be eternal you must share your knowledge with others. Show your love of life, family, friends, work, etc. If you teach something to someone and they teach it to someone else, then you will live longer than you ever thought you would. Also, to always be proud of everything you do, no matter how humble the work might be. ALWAYS do something that you will not be ashamed of. Take pride in everything you do.
What advice would you give to mothers who are in a similar situation as you?
My advice for mothers in similar situation as me would be to put yourself out there. Make friends everywhere you go because they will, at one point or another, be the only ones you'll have to be there for you. Always remember to be there for them too. Everyone needs a friend to smile with.
Thank you so much for sharing with us, Ofelia, and for the sacrifices you and your family have made. We hope Chad gets home soon, too!