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EP 196: A Village for Moms with Michelle Bowler of The Waiting Warriors

EP 196: A Village for Moms with Michelle Bowler of The Waiting Warriors

Michelle is the founder of  The Waiting Warriors podcast, blog, and social media which help military and first responder loved one’s know how to thrive in their life of supporting service. Michelle interviews women who are waiting warriors to share their stories with her audience, so they can all grow together and connect through this common thread.

She expresses that there’s a fine line between self care and laziness. She references that we talk a lot about how we deserve a Netflix binge, or the pan of brownies, or whatever, but that doesn’t really get us anywhere we actually want to be. We deserve a life. The lazy way is rarely the way that leads to actual happiness.

Her biggest challenge has been getting “unstuck”. As a young mom of three littles, with a husband gone all the time and then on the other side of the country, she was really unhappy.

“I just felt like I couldn’t do anything because the kids were too little, or we were too poor, Austin couldn’t help, etc. “

“They were all ‘valid’, but my life completely changed when I realized that I still had all the power. I just had to be willing to be more resourceful and not fall into the mentality that I deserved to relax/veg out on tv, or other lazy habits. I deserved a life.

Michelle has certainly turned her suffering into joy as she has reached out to lift other women in her shoes- and has become a light in some dark and turbulent times. Listen in to her episode to hear more of her story!

Behind the Service Men, navigating motherhood when your husband is a first responderSolo Parenting- How to survive and thrive as a mom when your husband is in the military

Download and listen to the Marvelous Moms Club Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio!

Kirsten Tyrrel: Hey everybody, welcome to today’s episode of Marvelous Mom’s Club. I’m so excited to have my guess that I have today. I don’t know how long I’ve known her, I wanna say a year and a half-ish, somewhere in there, maybe a little longer, maybe a little less, but she is such… She really truly is a marvelous mom, she has a light that emanates from her. And it’s very rare that I get to say that I know these guests in person, a lot of my guests have come in virtually and I don’t ever get to actually see them or meet them. But I do know Michelle, and she is coming at us from Waiting Warriors, which is such an amazing platform, we’re gonna talk all about it. But I just wanna welcome you here to Marvelous Moms today. Thank you for being here, Michelle.

Michelle Bowler: Thank you. It’s funny being on the interviewee side, normally I’m the one interviewing.

[chuckle]

Kirsten Tyrrel: I agree, and it actually kind of is a little nerve-racking ’cause you have more control as the host. There’s a different level of responsibility, you gotta think fast, you gotta be prepared for the next question. But as the interviewee you just… It’s kind of like a lot of trust is involved with like, “Hey, where are you gonna take me? Hey, you’re the passenger, I’m the driver.” Right?

Michelle Bowler: Yeah. It’s a good thing I trust you.

Kirsten Tyrrel: Right, thankfully.

[chuckle]

Kirsten Tyrrel: Okay, so let’s give a little bit of background. How many kids do you have, total? And what’s your mommy situation like currently?

Michelle Bowler: So my mommy situation is, I have an almost six year old, a four and a half, a two and a half year old, and then a about to come out baby. We’re expecting, and they’re all girls.

Kirsten Tyrrel: Oh my gosh.

Michelle Bowler: So baby girl number four could come any day. So it is… I’m a young mom. We’ve got a whole lot of craziness and a whole lot of emotion, but it’s really, really cute all the time.

Kirsten Tyrrel: I love it. A lot of cuteness is happening at your house.

Michelle Bowler: A lot of cuteness.

Kirsten Tyrrel: Oh my goodness. So is it too soon to ask… This is the most horrible question when somebody’s either just had a baby or they’re like 39 weeks pregnant like you are. Do you guys think you’ll try for a boy or is this it?

Michelle Bowler: We… Our family is not complete yet, whether that’s a boy or not, we’re not quite sure, but we know that this baby isn’t the last baby. So it’s not necessarily that we’d be trying for a boy, it’d be fun to do the boy thing.

Kirsten Tyrrel: Yeah.

Michelle Bowler: I especially think it’s funny that I got all girls ’cause I was a really big Tom Boy growing up. My mom… If you guys could see pictures from me growing up, my mom had to chop my hair off super short, because I would never let her do anything with it, so she just chopped it off, so she didn’t have to do with a rat’s nest.

Kirsten Tyrrel: Oh my gosh.

Michelle Bowler: I played all sorts of sports. There’s way too many pictures of me and my sisters just being super muddy, ’cause we would be playing football in the mud or whatever. I hated pink up until my oldest daughter was like three years old, and then I finally gave in to accepting it as a pretty color. So it’d be fun to do the boy thing, but at the same time, all of our girls that are very, very different. And we have one that is like a super frilly, rough… Like she will not wear a shirt unless it has some sort of ruffles or sparkles on it.

Kirsten Tyrrel: Oh my gosh, I have a daughter that does that too. And she calls them, “skirty side shirts”.

Michelle Bowler: Yeah.

Kirsten Tyrrel: Like they have to have a skirty end at the bottom. That is so funny.

Michelle Bowler: She has straight up at church said that certain women’s dresses aren’t pretty because they’re just plain. And she doesn’t mean it offensively, it’s just her style. But then our youngest is… She wears like four shirts, it’s an Incredible shirt, a Batman shirt, a family reunion shirt, and then her uncle Dylan’s shirt; we had one of her uncles passed away from cancer, so she’ll wear that shirt and then she wears two pants, and she will only wear Darth Vader or Spiderman socks, and that’s it.

Kirsten Tyrrel: Oh my goodness. You got it, you got it hard.

Michelle Bowler: Yeah.

Kirsten Tyrrel: You got the opposite coming your way, which is so adorable. Okay, so mommy of almost four girls, which is so fun and I love it and there’s so much pink and so much cuteness. And then, what else about your background? Where does Waiting Warriors… I guess we can just dive right into the background story of that, and how and why you created that. So if you wanna just dive in.

Michelle Bowler: Right? So, I am also a army wife. We got married in April 2012, and in July, my husband joined the army, and that’s a longer back story of how that all happened, but it wasn’t on his radar when we first got married, but kind of in the background, but kind of not. But then he joined shortly after, once we got married we really felt impressed that that’s what we were supposed to do. So he joined and then in like three weeks later we found out I was pregnant with our first daughter.

Kirsten Tyrrel: Oh my goodness.

Michelle Bowler: And so it’s just been six plus years now, of being in the military, but also being… He’s been a student for a lot of it as well, because he is a military chaplain, which required a big intensive Master’s degree. So we have had six years of him either being not even like full-time, but over full time in school, to be able to get stuff done.

Kirsten Tyrrel: Oh, man.

Michelle Bowler: Or he has been either not home at a different part of the state, or on the other side of the country for military training.

Kirsten Tyrrel: Wow.

Michelle Bowler: And that’s pretty much how the last six years have been. We counted it once, I remember after the first two years of our marriage, we counted up all the days with all the trainings and he had been gone for at least a third, almost a half of it.

Kirsten Tyrrel: Wow.

Michelle Bowler: And each year has just kind of fluctuated between that half to a fourth of it being gone. And then in last September, he went active duty, so he’s now an active duty army chaplain. We’re fully immersed in this life. He’s at the 101st Airborne Division, so it’s all… It says, they say, “As Hooah as you can get.” Just like a, just as intense as you can get. But so the Waiting Warriors came about because about two years ago, I found myself with three little girls. Our first three are just over three years apart.

Kirsten Tyrrel: Oh my gosh.

Michelle Bowler: Yeah, they were really close. And he had to be on the other side of the country for an entire summer. And I just, we couldn’t afford to ever go visit him. He wasn’t allowed to leave. We weren’t, because of the type of trainings. Sometimes the trainings you can go, sometimes you can’t. With this training, it was… They call it mandatory Batchelor status, so…

Kirsten Tyrrel: Wow.

Michelle Bowler: It just was me kind of riding it on my own, and I had kind of I think a lot of listeners can understand the like you’re a young mom, you kinda just get stuck in being a mom and you lose yourself. But I also just felt, stuck is the best word I can think of, because I didn’t feel like even logistically, I had any options to do anything other than stay at home with my kids. And I…

Kirsten Tyrrel: Literally no other way, there’s just no window, there’s no back door.

Michelle Bowler: Yeah.

Kirsten Tyrrel: This is now my life and this is what I have to do. Yeah, that stuff.

Michelle Bowler: And I 100% had to figure it out on my own, if I needed anything there wasn’t anything my husband could do. And that had been kind of how it had been the whole time we had had kids, just because he was always so busy, but this just really kind of threw it in my face even more. And I… But I also, I’m admittedly a very stubborn person, and I felt like I should be able to do it all on my own, and I should be able to do this mom military wife thing, and I should be strong enough to figure it out. Because I do have a strong faith background, I grew up right by Camp Pendleton, which is one of the biggest marine bases, and I grew up in a military community and I saw these other women do it, so I should be able to do it, and I should be able to figure out how to help my kids, and I should be able to figure out how to make this work with my family.

Kirsten Tyrrel: Yeah. Don’t you love that “should”? Where does that come from?

Michelle Bowler: Yeah.

Kirsten Tyrrel: Why? Why, just because you’ve done this or this or this, it’s like, “Oh, I watched swimming on the Olympics my whole life growing up, I should know how to swim.” I mean, I get that it’s not that extreme, but isn’t it funny what we tell ourselves? “You should be stronger than this, you’re more capable than this.” And it’s different than a pep talk, it’s like a shaming thing, right?

Michelle Bowler: Yeah.

Kirsten Tyrrel: I should be better at my life than I am, I shouldn’t be human, I should be superhuman, and I hate that. And it’s a fine line between striving to be a better version of yourself and feeling like you have to be a better version of yourself, or you’re failing at life, which is just not true. Because, I was telling my sister this the other day, sometimes showing up as a mom and succeeding is seriously, just getting out of bed. There are so many women who can’t even do that, and honestly for various reasons. So being able to do that, and show up, and be alive for your children, is sometimes the best you can do. So anyway, I digress, but go ahead.

Michelle Bowler: No, that’s a good point, ’cause that’s exactly what I was about to say. There was a day where my oldest daughter was struggling pretty hard with Dad being gone, but she was just manifesting it in ways that I hadn’t read about with military kids, or I just wasn’t expecting with her personality. So my husband would face time and she just wouldn’t even wanna be around or she’s just acting out in other ways. But I mean, she was also like three or four.

Michelle Bowler: But there was a day where she literally screamed at the top of her lungs for about an hour, just arguing with me. I can’t even remember exactly what we were arguing with. I remember she had found some sort of stick in the back yard and had used it to hit me, and I had told her she could play with that stick but if she hit me, then it was going away and that just turned into this big thing. And there was this moment where I was, she had gotten… I locked her in her room because that just had to be done, and then I was in my room with my back up against our closet.

Michelle Bowler: I had my little one year old baby and my other daughter. Both of them just crying because they could sense the craziness and I just lost it. And I called my husband and he just felt so helpless, because there was nothing he could do. And I just remember saying like I don’t know what to do. And I don’t know if I can do this anymore. And he said one of the best things ever, and he just said, “I love you, but I think you need to call my friend Erica,” who was also a military spouse, and she was a really good friend, but… And we would talk all the time, but he just said she might know something to say.

Michelle Bowler: And that was a really hard phone call to make, and I actually didn’t even make it. The next day she called me and I started crying the second that I saw her name on the phone. But after that conversation, I really realized that the phrase, “It takes a village” applies to the moms too. And it’s not… It takes a village to raise a kid, but it takes a village to keep a mom healthy, because of everything we do, and whether that is something as extreme as being a military spouse or any other mom situation, even if you “just have one child”, that’s still a whole lot of craziness that happens with one child.

Michelle Bowler: And from that point on, just the idea sparked in my head of, “I need to hear how other women are handling different situations with the military, and just this lifestyle that we live.” Not that it is… I don’t like to think that it’s harder than anything else. I think that hard is hard, and it’s not a competition to see if a deployment is worse than a police wife who’s husband is on a graveyard shift. I think they’re just both hard and they’re both unique situations. But I just needed to hear what other spouses and moms were going through and how they were handling it or not handling it, and I couldn’t find that resource anywhere like I wanted to.

Michelle Bowler: So I created it, and I started a podcast. You actually were a huge inspiration to me, because I just remember hearing a few times about how you wanted to hear from other moms and create this community, and you just did it. There was nothing that really qualifies a lot of people who start things.

Kirsten Tyrrel: Right.

Michelle Bowler: But you just start them, and so I started a podcast and I started interviewing other military and first responder loved ones, and it has been almost a year now and it has been life-changing.

Kirsten Tyrrel: Oh my gosh, I love it.

Michelle Bowler: If nothing else, it’s helped me hear all sorts of stories. And it’s just a place where we can talk with each other and learn from each other and grow together, because then we have a village and it just, it’s really, really awesome. I like it so much. [chuckle]

Kirsten Tyrrel: Oh, my gosh. I love it. I love it so much. It makes me so happy. It really is like the tale as old as time, when you need something and you’re searching for it, you realize it’s not there. And I’m sure there’s something out there. I’ve interviewed other military spouses. I know that there’s communities and support groups and stuff. But the way that you were searching for it, it wasn’t there. And so, that’s where miracles really are born from. And I literally was sitting here trying not to cry when you said your friend called you the next day, ’cause that’s such a spiritual, amazing experience, right?

Michelle Bowler: Yeah.

Kirsten Tyrrel: But it does take a village, and I’ve never heard anybody say that and I love that you said that. It doesn’t just take a village to raise the children, it takes a village for a mom to stay healthy while raising children. And we’re not talking eating her vegetables, we’re talking… I just came from Denver, my sister had a baby and then you witnessed all over again after you’re out of the phase of having babies, you kind of… Not that you forget, unfortunately, you never forget all the things because you wanna remember what you’ve done for your children so you like them even when they’re horrible, but like just seeing the recovery that has to happen after having a baby, and it was kind of hard to leave emotionally, because I just wish that I could live next door and take care of her as she goes through that.

Kirsten Tyrrel: But the cool thing is, I can hope and pray that there are women in her community who live nearby that can kind of come to her aid and support her when her family can’t be there or when her… You know what I mean? Like her husband is at work. So I love that you created a community where it’s specifically for these kind of women, because it’s such a need and you fill the need, and to say that it’s growing and that it’s been life changing even for you, I’m sure you’ll understand this now that you have your own podcast, is it always benefits you the very most.

Michelle Bowler: Yeah.

Kirsten Tyrrel: And then you’re like, “It’s cool and it’s helping all of you guys, but I’m actually sitting here in this chair getting to encounter every call.” And I’ve grown so much, and I learned something from every person who comes on my podcast, and then I just become stronger and stronger and have all these little tools in my arsenal now from women who have come and they’ve mastered different areas of life, and they’ve mastered parenting in certain aspects.

Kirsten Tyrrel: And so, I don’t know, I love that you created that and I love that your life has in turn become stronger and better, and the fact that you’re pregnant with a fourth just shows that you’re in such a better place and that you’re wanting more children. You chose to not be defeated by your circumstances, you chose to rise above them and find a way, and this is just proof, when you are serving others, you’re always served in return. Not in a selfish way, but it just… It always comes back. It’s like a boomerang effect, right?

Michelle Bowler: Yeah.

Kirsten Tyrrel: So I love it. I’m so happy for you.

Michelle Bowler: Yeah. And that really is a huge testament, because though I was honestly really scared to get pregnant with number four, especially knowing that we were going active duty, I knew where we were going and I knew what the tempo would be like.

Kirsten Tyrrel: Yeah.

Michelle Bowler: Just weeping in training and the constant deployments and yeah, just because the big ironic thing is my husband’s supposed to deploy within a month. We don’t have an exact date, but the babies do, and we don’t know exactly how long but he’s gonna be gone, and the last few weeks I have just found myself so anxious and stressed out, and… Because I’m just thinking like, “This is not your best plan Michelle, you’re having four little kids, six and under, and your husband is going to be on the other side of the country. You didn’t really think this through.” But it’s so, so funny because, like you said, I have those tools now, and it’s… The awesome thing about this is I’m not approaching it as I am the authority, but it’s just, let’s learn together.

Michelle Bowler: Because, it was so funny, because my husband, one day we were talking about it and I was just like, “I’m freaking out. I want you to go,” because I know he’s needed out there, “but at the same time, I don’t want you to go.” And he’s like, “Michelle, you need to listen to your own podcast.”

Kirsten Tyrrel: I love it.

Michelle Bowler: And I had actually just gotten published in an article, he’s like, “And you need to read your own article of this thing, and remind yourself of these things that you’ve learned.” And it was awesome because I just, it’s like where I wanted this resource for this very reason.

Kirsten Tyrrel: And you created it and you’re not even indulging in it.

[chuckle]

Michelle Bowler: And I haven’t been. And it’s… But it’s… That’s just the funny thing, is I think we learn things and we need to relearn things. But it’s also been really awesome because I started out with just the podcast, and the last few months I focused a lot more on providing more help online, just to make our lives easier. What are ways that I can… Things that I can help find or things that I’ve learned that helped make my life easier so we can focus more as Waiting Warriors to help our family thrive. And it’s just been really awesome because I’ve been intentional about expanding that. There’s been more feedback just from the community of, “This is amazing.” Or there’s women who’ve been doing this for 15 years and they’re like, “I wish I had had this when I was a brand new military wife. Or first… ”

Kirsten Tyrrel: Military mama. [chuckle]

Michelle Bowler: Yeah, or a police wife, we have a lot of first responders too. And it’s just awesome because we get to be there for each other. And I feel like I’ve had that feeling too of, what you said with your sister, of being on the other side of the country from your family and feeling helpless like you can’t do anything. But then I’ve had my sisters say that it’s 10 times worse for them because they can’t just fly out to wherever we are, and we move often so it’s not even a chance for them to keep up with us. But it’s providing those resources and showing that there is a way that we can take care of each other even from a big distance. And it’s just, I like it a whole lot because…

Kirsten Tyrrel: I bet.

[chuckle]

Michelle Bowler: I just like that we’re able to do things to make the world smaller and connect with each other, even though you move all the time or you are separated from family. I know you just moved away from your family and it’s hard but…

Kirsten Tyrrel: And we did it by choice and it’s still hard because it’s like, “What were we thinking?” in part of it. Like, “We just lost our whole support system, we have to rebuild it and we have to actually pay for it now.” But yeah, it is. I think it’s really cool that your husband gave you that directive of, go basically practice what you preach. “Go read your stuff.” I’ve done that before where… This actually recently happened after I did that glow event that you came to. I was sitting there and I was like, “I’m sitting here telling a room full of women to live their big dreams and I’m over here scared to do bigger things with my own life.”

Kirsten Tyrrel: And I need to listen to some of my own content, I need to listen back to my own keynote any time I get afraid, because I know all these things, it’s in my core, but it just proves that you need that personal reminder all the time, just like… Even bad things are consistent. Not studying things and listening to things that are inspiring are gonna tear you down just as fast as listening to them is gonna bring you up.

Kirsten Tyrrel: And I do love that you said it makes the world a little smaller. I’ve been blown away by how interconnected people are even across the globe, not just in the United States. And people I meet who know people in Utah or in California, but just global stuff. It’s just really, really bizarre and bonkers. And I love that you’ve created a space where you’re able to grow and flourish, and where so many other people are. So what would you say has been a highlight for you as far as opening up this community?

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Kirsten Tyrrel: I know you mentioned being able to really step into a space of serving and simplifying other people’s lives, but what would you say a big turning point was? I kinda wanna paint a picture too of, you started this about a year ago, and so where… People think that they’re gonna put something out there, it’s gonna be this instant success. What has kind of been your process in building this tribe of the Waiting Warriors?

Michelle Bowler: It’s been slower than I would like. I kind of thought, “Oh, I’m just gonna push “publish” and this resource will be available, and people will just flock to it.”

Kirsten Tyrrel: “I will change the world.” [chuckle]

Michelle Bowler: Yeah, I will change the world, especially since I knew this, a podcast like this for… There are very few military spouse or first responder spouse podcasts, but I knew that one like this didn’t exist. And I knew a ton of people wanted it because I talked to people about it for six years. And so I thought I would just hit publish and it would explode on its own, but the… I realized that the funny thing about things existing for the first time is that nobody knows it exists. So it’s been…

Kirsten Tyrrel: Weird, huh? [chuckle]

Michelle Bowler: Yeah. It has, it steadily grew, and it’s been growing at a good rate. But it’s been funny how the principles of life and business apply to everyone, like no matter how awesome your thing is or how much you think that you’ll be the overnight person. Nobody is the overnight person in anything in life, whether that’s making a lot of money or getting good at cooking. Overnight just doesn’t happen. But it’s been, like this almost at the year mark has been finally when it’s getting a lot of traction and people are finally talking about it more. So it’s, life just doesn’t happen overnight. And I’ve learned that the last year.

Kirsten Tyrrel: So annoying, isn’t it?

Michelle Bowler: I know.

Kirsten Tyrrel: But going into that, I know you kind of mentioned to me too… I was talking to Ben about this, this morning, on you look at people and sometimes you might feel sorry for them because of their life circumstances. And this is something I feel like I have to tread lightly with, because I know a lot of people have hardships. I’m not talking about cancer and deployment and stuff like that. I’m talking about things we do have control over. And how, if you heard that saying, “I would give anything to play piano like that,” or “I’d give anything to have a million dollars,” and I said, “But would they really?” I know you mentioned in your questionnaire to me, there’s a fine line between laziness and self-care, right? Like self-care was you starting a podcast. Self-care was not, “I’m gonna just take bubble baths for an hour a day, and call my friend over to watch my kids so I can be lazy.”

Kirsten Tyrrel: It was, “I have to solve this problem, not just for me, but for other people.” And I’m not even… I feel like, again, proceed with caution. This isn’t like, “Guys, go try and change the world every time you feel sad.” Sometimes self-care is a bubble bath, but I love that you kind of addressed that with, you wouldn’t even have had the success over the last year of putting something out there, had you not started with some kind of problem solving mentality instead of just like a, “Woe is me. I’m gonna eat brownies all day. I deserve this because I have three little kids at home, and my husband’s in the military.” You know what I mean? So I love that you have that perspective.

Michelle Bowler: Well, and that’s kind of been the biggest thing that’s been life-changing for me over the last two to three years. It’s been like I was stuck, and like I said before, logistically, everything made me stuck, and I think I had 10 reasons that I could give you where everybody would not, there hadn’t be like, “Yeah, you have every excuse in the world to binge on Netflix every night, and to cry yourself to sleep, and to not… ” I don’t know, I ran a 10K and that took a lot of work and extra planning, or to not open up a podcast or not even just not have any hobbies for myself. I had every single reason to not do that and to stay stuck.

Michelle Bowler: But what changes that, I realized that the lazy way isn’t really, normally at least in my perspective, and like you said, there are hard things, but the lazy way, I found isn’t normally the easy way of living. It’s not the enjoyable way of living. And I just had to realize that I could either stay in the miserable life that I really was living. I wasn’t super happy. It was really, really hard, or I could make a happier life for myself, and that did require a lot of work. It wasn’t just the podcast. The podcast took a lot of work, but just the work on myself and just getting out of that mentality of I can’t do this, because it just, just, it took me…

Kirsten Tyrrel: You take your power back, right?

Michelle Bowler: Yeah, yeah, ’cause I think…

Kirsten Tyrrel: You stop giving all the power to the circumstances, and you take, you find a way. You somehow found a way to squeeze some juice still out of the lemon, right?

Michelle Bowler: Right. And it’s like, I remember listening to… I started listening to a lot of Jody Moore and Rachel Hollis, and it just cracked me up every time, especially when Rachel Hollis would say something like “You don’t have any time, but how many of you can tell me what just happened with Games of Thrones?” Or whatever. And it was just like… When I was listening to that I didn’t even have, I wasn’t even watching a lot of TV, I was just cleaning my house at night, and then going to bed. But I found, “Wait, no. I’m cleaning my house, so while I’m cleaning my house, I can do, I can listen to something that will teach me.”

Michelle Bowler: I started listening to a lot of business and marketing podcasts, because I was Clothing Construction major in college, that’s what I got my Bachelor degree. I didn’t know how to run a business or how to start a podcast or to upload a podcast on to online, so other people could hear or anything like that. And I didn’t feel I had any time to learn that, but I took the control back, and said, “No, I can make 10 minutes up here.” And then the more I did that, the more I realized I can make this work, and I can… I just kind of realized what my priorities really, really were in life, and then I didn’t care if other people disagreed with the way I was doing things. It just…

Kirsten Tyrrel: Yeah, that’s where it has to start. It really does. I totally agree with you. And look at where you’ve come, and that doesn’t even mean look at where you’ve come with like, “No, you’ve just created a life changing product,” but you have, you have for many people, and now it’s just a matter of getting more and more people to use it, and take advantage of it, and help them. And that’s usually that… That process sometimes is the hardest one, to stick it through, but if you look at all successful people, they do the same thing for a really long time, they don’t hop to something else.

Kirsten Tyrrel: So I think you’re on the right track and I’m really excited to see where it continues to grow to, ’cause I think it’s a need that you’re filling, and I hope everybody listening who it’s relevant to, and even the people it’s not relevant to, I think every guest on here is an example of following your dreams, living your life in a way that’s gonna make you feel joy and make you feel fulfilled, and not accepting limitations as the directive for how you’re gonna live your life. So you’re a perfect example of that, and I just think you’re awesome.

Michelle Bowler: Oh, thank you.

Kirsten Tyrrel: You’re welcome.

Michelle Bowler: It’s just like, you just don’t have to accept the situation or what life hands you as the end-all be-all. You just have a lot more control, and if nothing else, kind of like I said, if nothing else, the Waiting Warriors has helped me realize that for myself. And I’m still nervous about the deployment coming, I’m still nervous about having four little kids, and I know there will be the craziest, most miserable days coming up, but I also know that by the time he comes home, my family will still be not only still together, but we will have still done something to progress during that point.

Michelle Bowler: And that’s what I love, that’s what gives me so much hope, and that’s what I hope that the Waiting Warriors helps convey to everybody else, that even though this thing that’s normally… For military, it’s normally the deployment, or for first responders it’s the really, the year long of having a really crappy shift and family being all sorts of… Just the schedule being all sorts of messed up, but even that hardest thing that everybody looking in always says, “I could never do that,” that you can find a way to still really thrive during that instead of just be the puppy with their head barely over the water. I just don’t accept that that has to be our reality for the whole time period.

Kirsten Tyrrel: I love it, I love it. And I just said this to Ben the other day, the reason I have been able to do what I’ve done is, I don’t accept the limitations, I don’t. People like to say, “Oh, you have to do this and this and this to have this result.” And I’m like, I don’t accept that, and I don’t accept that because these people are limited by this that I have to choose to accept that limitation, and that those really are forward thinking thought leaders and influencers that make the biggest difference. So I love what you’re doing, keep on doing it to finish up this episode, I wanna hear two things, number one, what you’re reading right now. And number two, what makes you a marvelous mom.

Michelle Bowler: What I’m reading right now is actually, Girl, Stop Apologizing. We got it, I got that package from GLOW.

Kirsten Tyrrel: Awesome.

Michelle Bowler: And that has been super… It’s been a really interesting read. It’s funny, because my husband did a Master’s program, so he can never read anything and just take it for as it is, he’s always gotta be like, “What’s the… ”

[overlapping conversation]

Michelle Bowler: Yeah, “What’s the bias in it? And what’s this?” So it’s been kind of funny to talk with him about it, but it’s… I’m not digging Rachel Hollis at all. It’s just been even more [35:03] ____ She makes you think, and a few… Everybody needs to think, all women need to think.

Kirsten Tyrrel: Yeah, right, they do. I agree.

Michelle Bowler: Yes. Sorry, just sort of like all those funny quotes from all the movies of like, “You know what happen when women start thinking, dangerous stuff… ”

[laughter]

Kirsten Tyrrel: “Danger. The world will change.” [chuckle]

Michelle Bowler: Danger. Yeah. Or like…

Kirsten Tyrrel: I love it.

Michelle Bowler: The new Beauty and the Beast, “She’s reading. Why does a girl need to read?”

Kirsten Tyrrel: Right.

[laughter]

Michelle Bowler: Sorry. I think of funny random quotes.

Kirsten Tyrrel: I love it.

Michelle Bowler: So that’s what I’m reading. And then the last question was?

Kirsten Tyrrel: What makes you marvelous?

Michelle Bowler: What makes you marvelous? What makes me a marvelous mom, is that I try. I used to put a lot of expectations on myself. I grew up in a big family, I’m one of eight, my dad’s one of 12. And I just always wanted a big family, and I baby sat all the kids and I would baby sit a lot of kids, and I do it for weekends and I was like, “I’ve got this as a mom.” And I thought that I was just gonna walk into motherhood and it was gonna be the easier part of life for me, and I realized that that’s not the case.

Michelle Bowler: But I had to let go of those expectations and just realize that the most important thing that I can do is just try. And I fail a lot of times, but I just keep on trying to ask for forgiveness for my kids and then try again the next day. And I think that’s what makes me a marvelous mom, is that if nothing else my kids will know that mom said sorry and then tried again the next day.

Kirsten Tyrrel: Yeah, I love it, I love it so much. There’s no right or wrong answer to that question, but I do love hearing the variety, and I love hearing just how different moms are approaching the grace they give themselves and like what really they consider to be their redeeming qualities in the hardest job in the whole world. So, I love your answer, and I love you and everybody go find Michelle. Tell them where they can find you on social media, and your blog address.

Michelle Bowler: So Facebook and Instagram, I’m honestly on Instagram more and then just push stuff to Facebook, ’cause it’s a little bit more fun, in my opinion. But it’s just “The Waiting Warrior” on both of those, and then the blog is “The Waiting Warriors” with an “S” dot com, and the podcast is the same. And you can find the podcast on iTunes and Stitcher and Google Play.

Kirsten Tyrrel: All the places.

Michelle Bowler: All those places.

Kirsten Tyrrel: Awesome, well thank you so much for sharing your heart and your story here. It’s appreciated, and everybody go follow Michelle. And if you have a friend that is a Waiting Warrior, make sure that you tag them and tell them all about her. I will post about this on Instagram as well, so go follow along on Marvelous Moms Club, and we will see you guys on the next episode. Thanks for tuning in, have a good day, Michelle.

Michelle Bowler: Bye, thank you.

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