Interview with Michelle Bowler

Tell us about you!
I’m an almost 27 year Army wife and mom to 3 1/2 girls. I grew up in Carlsbad California with 7 brothers and sisters and will always consider the beach my happy place! I earned a Bachelors degree in Clothing Construction and worked from home as a seamstress for a few years but recently have started a business that helps military and first responder loved ones find ways to thrive. We currently live in Fort Campbell,KY

What is your favorite aspect of Motherhood?
Watching their little minds grow and develop! It’s so crazy to me how they can be speaking little words one day and then sentences the next. Or all of a sudden something clicks in their five year old brain and they have this deep thought about how God wants us to treat everyone nicely so they should do x,y,z for their classmates.

Defining moment in motherhood?
The summer after my 3rd was born my husband had to be gone the entire summer for an army training. That left me home alone with a 1,3, and 4 year old. He had only been gone a month but my oldest was really struggling and I couldn’t figure out how to help her. Long story short, after a VERY LONG temper tantrum, me crying in my room with my younger two clinging to me, I called my husband and he suggested a very simple thing: call a friend who had been in a similar position multiple times. It may sound so silly and simple to others, but reaching out and admitting that I had no clue how to help my family was excruciatingly painful and humbling. It made me realize that not only couldn’t I do this on my own, but I didn’t have to. I didn’t have to toughen it out and take everything on myself. While I still believe that as their mother I know what’s best and will take advice with a grain of salt, but that one grain of salt might be the key to making everything really thrive for our family!

Your biggest struggle from motherhood? And how did you or are you overcoming it?
Oh this is a hard one. But right now I think I’d have to say my biggest struggle from motherhood has been shifting my perspective on what a productive day is. I’m a big planner and list person, so when things don’t get checked off I struggle. But I’ve been overcoming this by realizing that I am here on this earth for people, not for a to do list. This has helped me be very intentional about what I put on my list and what I prioritize. I try not to fill my days with things that I can’t see the benefit in it for myself or my family. It’s hard sometimes because a lot of cultural or traditional things have fallen to the way side, which can cause others to form their own lovely opinions, but I have to stick to my guns and remember that I know myself and my family a lot better than they do.

How/where do you find joy outside of motherhood?
I find a lot of joy in connecting and working with other military and first responder loved ones, or Waiting Warriors as I like to call them. I get to connect with amazing people and find ways to benefit their lives, which is very fulfilling for me!

Any challenge or insight you feel like you can offer a momma in any similar positions you are/we’re in?
Be intentional. Take some time to observe and think about what you and your family need, and how you can get to where you want everyone to be. Then if something doesn’t fall under that umbrella, have the courage to let it go.

Any thing extra that comes to your heart you want to share?
You don’t have to do this alone! There are communities for every sort and type of family and mom. Even if you can’t find someone with your exact story, you can still draw so much strength and comfort from connecting with others.