You’ve been married for 18 years to your military spouse, Damion, and moved across the country seven times. How has being separated throughout deployments made you a stronger mom?
You learn that you are much stronger than you think. Because in the real world of life, I have three small children who depend on me to get it done. When Damion leaves, I know it’s just me, and I am the one that the kids look to for all things. I am no Superwoman, but I try to be the best mom and spouse I can be.
What are some mom hacks to keep you organized with your three children—Elias (13), Elisa (10), and Elena (7) as they all attend school and are active in extracurricular activities?
Being prepared early is a big help in navigating with the children. I have learned to cook dinner early after my morning runs and errands. I typically have it prepared by 11 a.m. This allows me to have dinners packed and in the car. My girls can eat after gymnastics practice which ends at 8 p.m. And I try my best to prep for school the night before.
Understandably, being a military wife comes with rewards, but also change and challenges. How do you navigate being a “single parent” when your husband is on duty assignments?
I’ve felt like a single parent since my oldest was born. Deployments are hard for any military family, but we also have to navigate temporary duty assignments where the military spouse leaves for days or weeks and often late-night shifts or flights. So essentially, you are doing the bulk of parenting alone. I have learned over the years that asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but strength.
Currently, your husband is on deployment for one year. Since he’s not home right now, is there one thing you wish you could delegate in your home and why?
I am not sure. I want to say everything. But I think the biggest thing may be traveling to and from all of the kids’ activities. I joke about living in my vehicle. I spend more time in my truck than I do at home.
Being a military mom and wife is not for the faint of heart. How do you adjust to finding the right neighborhood and schools for your children?
Well said. It’s not, but this is my reality for our family. We try to do as much research as possible regarding the areas and schools. Safety and education have always been paramount and at the forefront of our minds for our family, and it appears we have been fortunate and blessed to have found a good fit for us. Our children are thriving, and we’ve developed some good neighborhood relationships.
You’re a fitness guru, and so much so that you started a fitness club with a circle of friends. How has that impacted your self-care as a mom?
Wow! Where to begin? I realized that I was losing focus in that area. Fortunately, I reunited with what centered me. Like most people who are physically active, you find that not only does it aid you physically, but mentally.
You and your husband are natives of Georgia. How has it been living near family for the first time?
It has been a blessing to have grandparents involved in our children’s lives. As both sets of grandparents grow older, it has a way of reminding you that time is shifting, and you are becoming an instrumental part of providing for them as well. I’m so happy to have them near, to help them as much as they help me.
What is one aspiration you have for yourself in the future?
To keep exploring and finding ways to be the best version of Wase. I’ve spent many years catering to the needs of everyone else. My future goal is to work on myself in every aspect of life and make myself proud. I am open to figuring out what’s the next thing I want to accomplish.
Where does your source of strength come from to endure the military lifestyle?
My strength comes from God. I am on my knees daily praying for wisdom and guidance. As mothers, we always have that little voice telling us we could be better, but I know that I am how God wants me to be.
To all of the new military moms and wives, what piece of advice would you like to offer?
Always stay true to yourself and follow your dreams. I would tell anyone to always keep in mind that you are just as important as everyone else in your family. Find yourself a great group of supportive people willing to help, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. I want military moms to remember to support themselves the same way they support their husbands.
Wase Holtzclaw has been married to her husband, Damion, for 18 years, and they have three children: Elias (13), Elisa (10), and Elena (7). Although they have busy lives, they enjoy focusing on their family and adjusting to military life.