Every Tuesday morning, Charlotte Inflight Supervisor Amanda Wilson says goodbye to her husband and three-year-old son to commute from her home in Charlottesville, Virginia to her job in Charlotte. As a mother who works away from home five days a week, Amanda finds success managing a balance between raising her son and working in a career she loves. Her secret: planning ahead, having a back-up plan for the unexpected and devoting all her time to her son when she is home.
“Being a mother and flight attendant is manageable if you have a strong support network at home,” says Amanda. She says she would never be able to work in Charlotte without the support of her husband and family. When Saturday rolls around, Amanda boards a flight back home. “Weekends are a special time for my son and I and something we both look forward to,” Amanda shares proudly. “I make my time at home special for us and we do things together that he enjoys. I am sad to leave him on Monday’s, but the time apart makes me appreciate my time with him even more.”
Amanda recognizes that she may not be there to see her son reach some of his milestones, but thanks to real-time video chatting, she doesn’t feel far away. To stay connected, she regularly talks to her son via phone or video and when she isn’t home to tuck him in, he sleeps with a Mommy pillow of her likeness at night.
Before becoming a flight attendant, Amanda worked in a hair salon and although she had never been on a plane, aspired to be able to travel the world. She had a chance conversation with a salon client who was a Piedmont flight attendant and joined Piedmont in January 2001. “The travel benefits that working for Piedmont provides allows me to travel with my son all over the world and visit places he may be learning about in school,” says Amanda. “He can experience first-hand, real world experiences that will benefit him in the long run. Most importantly, these are experiences and memories that we can share as a family.”
No stranger to setbacks and comebacks, Amanda has weathered some challenges. After flying for eight years, she suffered a broken leg and had to repeat new hire training after her recovery. While driving, she was hit by a drunk driver, worked through medical challenges, and later lost a son, Wyatt. Determined to move forward, Amanda joined the Inflight Training department as a part-time instructor while also flying the line. In 2018, she became a full-time instructor before joining the Inflight Management team three years later. “After I had my son, Easton, I was hesitant to return to commuting, but after some thought, I decided I could make it work. I was interested in becoming an Inflight Supervisor because it provided me the opportunity to have more daily contact with our flight attendants instead of just seeing them once a year at training.”
Sometimes referred to as the CLT crew room Mom, Amanda almost always has what our flight attendants and pilots need in a pinch from a sewing kit to band-aids. “Once you’re a mom, you’re always a mom,” Amanda says jokingly.
Amanda says the best advice she received from a friend is to take care of the things you can control and not stress about the things you can’t control. “When I’m home on weekends, my son has my undivided attention, which is something I can control. I want to show him that his mother can successfully manage a career while also being a great mother to him.”
This Mother’s Day, Piedmont salutes Amanda and all our Piedmont mothers. Happy Mother’s Day!