Easygoing Military Mom on the Street Elaine Barnes is just jumping into motherhood. Read on to hear how she is handling being a new boy mom all the curveballs of military spouse life!
I am a new mom to the sweetest 10-month-old boy, Jacob, and a proud wife of a Naval aviator. Although we've called many states home because of the military, I was born and raised in southern Virginia - give me the Blue Ridge Mountains any day over the beach! I work professionally in marketing and as a writer, specifically in higher education. My joys in life are my family, exploring the outdoors, and unwinding at the end of the day with a good book & a good drink!
What is it like being a new mom to an adorable baby boy?
It’s simultaneously the greatest, yet most challenging role of my life. Seeing the world through a child’s eyes is truly the most amazing thing, and he brings so much joy into my life every day! I feel blessed every day that I was given the opportunity to be a mom!
How have you adjusted to life as a military mom?
Being a military spouse is so rewarding but definitely teaches you so much about yourself! It has taught me how to adapt to any situation at the drop of a hat (usually after voicing my complaints and grabbing a bottle of wine first), but it has also provided me some of the most unique experiences!
I’ve been able to travel to Europe to visit my husband during deployment and travel to so many places I never would’ve had the chance to see before. But it can also be an isolating experience – especially during the pandemic! You really learn to become independent and strong not just for yourself, but for your family.
My husband and I are about to face our second deployment soon, but our first with a child. So this will definitely be a new experience for all of us!
What are your tips for new moms?
Give yourself grace! Don’t pressure yourself to fill any mold of what you think being a mother is. Learn yourself each day – because trust me, you’re going to be a totally changed person from your pre-parent life.
Also – don’t plug into social media too much. There’s a very fine line between social media being a helpful platform for new mothers and a scary, shameful one. Don’t compare yourself or your child to anyone else. Trust your instincts – mama always knows best!
What are your tips for military spouses or new military moms?
Always remember that your husband doesn’t have a choice in most situations – so whether you are stationed somewhere you didn’t want to be, are forced to be without communication with your spouse for weeks on end, or any of the other million situations the military throws at you – remember that you and your husband are a team.
Being a mom, reach out to your fellow military mom friends and stick together. Playdates are great, not just for the children, but also for the moms!
What’s your favorite way to spend time with your family?
We love exploring new places and seeing new things – like museums, breweries, sporting events, etc. We love being outdoors!
What’s been your best family/couple vacation?
I was able to fly to Paris to meet up with my husband on his deployment several years ago. It was right at Christmas time, and seeing the city lit up for the holidays and exploring the Christmas markets was a dream come true!
Best parenting advice:
Set a routine and try your best to stick to it! My son thrives on a schedule – we’ve been consistent with his nighttime routine since the day we brought him home from the hospital. But also don’t be too strict with yourself on this, you have to bend it now and then, and that’s OK.
What’s your go-to family dinner?
Pasta! So quick & easy, can add all sorts of meats and veggies to it, and can be done in an Instant Pot.
What’s your favorite family restaurant/cafe?
I’m going to be unconventional here and say breweries. We personally love visiting Back Bay’s Farmhouse in VA Beach because you can safely social distance, but there’s tons of outdoor space for my son to enjoy!
What’s your favorite show to binge-watch?
Gilmore Girls or The Office are my OG binge shows. Recently, I loved watching The Queens Gambit & Bridgerton.
What’s your favorite beach read?
Currently loving all books by K.A. Tucker.
What’s at the top of your travel bucket list?
Switzerland, Germany, and Lake Louise in Banff! I’d also love to re-visit France but explore the countryside instead of the city of Paris.
What’s your favorite way to unwind at the end of a long day?
Taking a spin class on my at-home exercise bike, reading my Bible, or drinking a glass of wine while scrolling through Tik Tok DIY videos.
Which three words best describe your style?
Leggings, tee-shirts, and sneakers! Because they're literally all I wear.
What are your favorite places to shop?
Lululemon has been a god-send for clothes that fit before, during, and post-pregnancy! And of course, Target!
Who’s your favorite style icon?
I’ve always thought that Megan Fox had the best blend of casual and chic, and her style always seems attainable & realistic.
Stilettos or flats?
What’s your best style advice?
Wear what you feel beautiful and comfortable in! Don’t worry about trends – wear what you love. Fashion has no rules.
What article of clothing/accessory would you not want to live without?
Leggings, hands down!
What fashion/style did you love at the time but now cringe when you see old photos?
Oh, I have so many. Cropped leggings under denim mini skirts. Layering multiple tank tops and shirts together. I am so stoked about 90s fashion being back in style, though!
What’s your best style secret?
Investing in great skincare is a must. This is a place I really don’t mind splurging because pregnancy has left my skin an absolute wreck – hyperpigmentation, acne, the works!
Also, eyelash serum! Don’t waste your hard-earned money on expensive lash extensions that damage your natural lashes – also, as a mom, I don’t have the time to go to a lash appointment every couple of weeks! Lash serum really works and will make you fall in love with your natural lashes!
We love Elaine's relaxed and positive attitude toward life and style as a new mom. Her easygoing military mom style and outlook inspire us to seize any adventure with grace and trust. You can follow her and see more of her military spouse and mom life journey on her Instagram. And for more fun and stylish moms, be sure to check out FamilyApp's Moms on the Street!