Being a mom is one of the most challenging yet rewarding jobs in the world. However, being a mom who works in the aviation industry comes with its own set of challenges. These challenges are compounded when the mom is a pilot who flies at an altitude of 30,000 feet or more. Such moms are popularly known as “Mile High Moms.” In this blog, we’ll explore what it’s like to be a Mile High Mom, the challenges they face, and how they balance their career and family.
Who is a Mile High Mom?
A Mile High Mom is a term used to describe a mother who is a commercial pilot and flies at an altitude of 30,000 feet or more. The term is not gender-specific, and it can also refer to a dad who is a pilot. However, it’s worth noting that the aviation industry is still male-dominated, and women pilots are still a minority. According to the International Society of Women Airline Pilots, only 5.18% of commercial pilots are women.
The Challenges of Being a Mile High Mom
Being a Mile High Mom comes with its own set of unique challenges. One of the biggest challenges is being away from their families for long periods. Commercial pilots work on a rotational basis, meaning that they spend a few days away from home, followed by a few days off. However, when they’re away, they’re away for an extended period, and they may miss important family events like birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays.
Another challenge is dealing with jet lag. Commercial pilots often cross multiple time zones, which can cause jet lag. Jet lag can disrupt a pilot’s sleep patterns, appetite, and mood, making it challenging to perform well on the job. Jet lag can also impact a pilot’s family life, as they may be too tired to spend quality time with their loved ones when they’re home.
The physical demands of the job can also be challenging. Piloting an aircraft requires a lot of physical and mental stamina. Pilots need to be alert, focused, and quick to react to any situation that arises. They also need to be in good physical health, as flying can be physically taxing on the body.
Balancing Work and Family Life
One of the most significant challenges for Mile High Moms is balancing their work and family life. As mentioned earlier, the rotational work schedule can make it difficult for them to be present for important family events. However, many Mile High Moms have found ways to balance their careers and their families successfully.
One way they do this is by communicating with their families regularly. Modern technology has made it easier for pilots to stay in touch with their families, even when they’re thousands of miles away. Many pilots use video conferencing apps like Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime to stay connected with their families. This helps them stay up-to-date with what’s happening at home and helps their families feel more connected to them.
Another way Mile High’ Moms balance their work and family life is by prioritizing their time. When they’re home, they make sure to spend quality time with their families. They may plan fun activities, go on vacations, or simply enjoy a meal together. By prioritizing their time, they can make the most of the time they have with their loved ones.
Career Progression for Mile High Moms
In the past, women pilots faced a lot of discrimination in the aviation industry. However, things have changed in recent years, and many airlines have implemented policies to encourage more women to pursue careers in aviation. Many airlines have also introduced programs to support the career progression of female pilots.
For example, some airlines offer mentorship programs that pair female pilots with experienced mentors who can provide guidance and support. Other airlines have introduced flexible work arrangements that allow pilots to work part-time or take time off to care for their families. These policies and programs have helped to make the aviation industry more inclusive and have opened up new opportunities for Mile High’ Moms.
Being a Mile High Mom is a challenging but rewarding job. These women have to balance their careers and families while dealing with jet lag, long hours, and the physical demands of the job. However, many Mile High’ Moms have found ways to successfully balance their work and family life. They stay connected with their families through modern technology, prioritize their time when they’re home, and take advantage of the career progression opportunities offered by airlines. As more women pursue careers in aviation, we can expect to see more Mile High’ Moms and more diversity in the industry as a whole.