Honoring military moms

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Adam R. Shanks
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Motherhood comes with many struggles; mothers can never clock out or hang up the towel and call it a day. Likewise, the military operates the same way; service members are on-call 24/7 to serve their nation at a moment’s notice.

Every second Sunday in May, mothers around the world are recognized for their influence and the sacrifices they make for their children, during Mother’s Day.

But what does Mother’s Day mean for a service member?

For Staff Sgt. Tracy Sims, the NCO in charge of readiness and training assigned to the 6th Air Mobility Wing chaplain corps, Mother’s Day means a day of relaxation.

“It’s the one day of the year, where I can stay in bed and let everyone else do the chores,” laughed Sims. “To me, Mother’s Day is where you get shown appreciation, because normally, being a mother is expected, it’s a full-time job.”

During the day, Sims works at the MacDill Air Force Base chapel, with a smile on her face and full of energy say her coworkers. After work, she picks up her six-year-old daughter and does something she says is very important.

“When I pick Melody up from school, I unplug my mind from work and focus 30 minutes on her and ask her, ‘how was school?’ or ‘what did you do today?’ while I’m with her,” explained Sims. “This one-on-one time is priceless, because I know as soon as we get home I have to put on the ‘mommy hat’ and cook, clean and put her to bed.

Once I have that hat on, it’s difficult to focus on her and do what needs to be done around the house at the same time.”

As for being a military mother, Sims explains it’s very difficult.

“It can be tough balancing work and life, especially with a child,” said Sims. “Mothers not in the military get stressed, so imagine being in the service with the possibility of deployment; it just adds another level of things you have to think about.”

Sims even made the choice to temporarily expand her family.

“A good friend of mine is deployed, and I agreed to take in her two teenage sons while she’s away,” explained Sims. “However, it’s removed a good deal of stress for my friend, because she knows her boys are being taken care of.”

When she’s not sharing smiles at the chapel, Sims is out volunteering in the community or trying new things.

“She tends to stay out of her home on weekends to go out and experience things,” said Master Sgt. Tabitha Harris, the superintendent of chapel operations with the 6th AMW chaplain corps. “She’s such a great mother, and so full of energy; I have no idea how she does it.

“Every single day she comes to work and gets right in to it, no coffee, nothing.”

Although fellow Airmen say she’s very outgoing and always upbeat, she explains that it’s not always the case for every military mother.

“You can never plan enough for a child, there’s always something that comes up that you’re no prepared for,” said Sims. “But if I could give one piece of advice, it’s to ask for help if you need it, there is absolutely no issue in asking for assistance.”

Sims can’t speak on behalf of all military mothers; however, she encourages everyone to show their appreciation on Mother’s Day.

 Sims said, “Throughout the year, we do our maternal duty, but for one day, hearing my daughter thank me for what I do means the world to me.”