Pros and Cons of Being a Flight Attendant Mom

flight attendant mom

Becoming a flight attendant is not just a career choice, but also a lifestyle choice!

With that said, it’s natural for there to be lots of questions and even concerns about whether opting for a career as a flight attendant can work for people of different ages and in different stages of life, specifically those who are in the process or thinking of starting families.

Fortunately for those with questions, I’m going to jump to my main point that one most beautiful aspect of a career in the sky is the inclusivity of most lifestyle choices!

In this article, I’ll talk specifically about the pros and cons of managing a successful career as a flight attendant mom. 

Pro #1 – Flexible Schedule

I’m probably stating the obvious when I say that a career as an airline cabin crew member does not include a typical 9am-5pm workday.

There are a few ways that this can be beneficial to moms who are raising kids.

Considering that the typical flight attendant schedule includes being gone only 2-3 about nights a week (depending on the airline), mom doesn’t have to be 5 days a week for work.

This can increase quality time spent with their children while also cutting back on after school care time and costs.

For example: Instead of mom working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, mom can work Mon – Wed or Thurs, Thurs – Sat, maybe only two-day trips, etc. and have the rest of the days completely off.

💙 Bonus: Because of scheduling flexibility, it doesn’t have to be the same every week! Some (more senior) flight attendants, particularly those who are single moms or have young children, will even just work day trips where they leave and come back the same day without working layovers. This is an option that comes with more years of service, but it is possible a little later down the line.

Con #1 – Seniority

Yes, scheduling flexibility is a perk of being a flight attendant.

However, there are situations that make the job more restrictive. As a mom just starting out in the biz, it’s not going to be nearly as flexible as someone who has been around for a while.

Schedules are seniority-based, which means senior mamas have their first pick of the litter when it comes to days off.

While it’s possible to trade with other flight attendants (I’ll cover that in just a sec), it generally means that newer flight attendants will be subject to working weekends and even most holidays until they start to build more seniority with years of service.

Junior flight attendants are typically on call, sometimes month to month or every other month, the frequency being mostly on the airline.

Having an on-call schedule can make booking doctors appointments a bit of a hassle and missing games/school functions once in a while just comes with the territory, resulting in newer flight attendants missing valuable time with family and friends. 

However, there’s hope! ⛅️

Even if you don’t manage to land the schedule you wanted on the first try, there is a good chance another flight attendant would be willing to trade.

For example, some people do prefer to work weekends over weekdays.

Some hate getting up early and prefer evenings (I’ll never understand you 4am-ers.)

Everyone wants different things for different reasons, and that can really lighten the load of receiving a less than ideal assigned schedule!

Con #2 – Stability

Mom’s schedule, especially if she is a new flight attendant, won’t offer very much in the way of consistency.

Mom might be on call, sometimes working weekends/holidays, or may work days month to month. While some of us (guilty 🙋🏽‍♀️) thrive on the spontaneity of the industry, children need more stability in their schedules than that, so it can get tricky! 

The key is establishing routine for the children in other ways.

Both mom and her partner can work together to make sure children are following their daily rituals (brushing your teeth after meals, homework after dinner, only X amount of video game time, etc.) as well as encouraging them to be involved in sports and activities in order to create stability and order outside of the mild chaos of mom’s flight attendant schedule.

Pro #2 – Health Benefits

Airlines, even smaller ones, are known for offering extensive health benefits packages, which are a significant benefit for flight attendants and their families.

These benefits can include: maternity leave, preventative care, check-up visits, mental health assistance, diagnostics, life insurance, HSA/FSA and more. 

As much as we don’t want to go to the dark place and think about all the scary things that can happen to us or our children or what happens after we’re gone, it’s necessary to have peace of mind in knowing that you and your children are set up for life!

Con #3 – Time Away

How often are flight attendants away from home?

Even when mom has a partner, time away can be stressful and emotional for moms.

Sometimes children get sick, injure themselves, or get into typical teenager trouble.

Depending on flight availability, if mom is away on a trip, she might not be able to get back to her home base city within the day. 

Another stressful situation can be weather/maintenance delays.

All flight attendants get stranded once in a while due to snow storms, thunderstorms, aircraft maintenance, etc.

It’s absolutely essential that parents are prepared for these situations where mom can’t come home when she was originally scheduled.

It CAN be done, but it takes a lot of trust, teamwork, and mutual consideration for each others’ emotional and mental needs during this time.

Pro #3 – Time Away

Yes, this is not just a negative, but also a benefit!

While you may not listen to every part of the flight attendant’s safety announcement (I know, snore 😴) you may remember the flight attendants telling you that if masks fall, to put your oxygen mask on first before you help your children.

Well, this can be applied to life too!

Part of being a parent means taking care of #1 (that’s you, mama) so that you can be the best version of yourself for your children.

I’ve had quite a few flight attendant moms tell me that their work trips are their sacred personal time for themselves. 

They use those few days for rest, recovery, exercise, quiet reading, and general self-care. 🧘🏽‍♀️ 

Final Thoughts

People decide to become flight attendants during many different stages of life!

It’s not unheard of for moms (whether they already have kids or are planning to start a family) to consider a career as a flight attendant.

No one said it would be easy, as there are many factors to be considered, such as time away from the family and scheduling mishaps, but with the right amount of support and planning, it can be done, very successfully.

Not only that, but the rewards of a flexible career, along with exciting travel opportunities for the family, make it a unique opportunity for moms who want to provide a higher quality of life for themselves and their children. Hope to catch you out there in the sky, mama! ✈️

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