In celebration of Mother’s Day, we spoke with a fantastic couple regarding motherhood, raising kids during the pandemic and being an active-duty military family. Monica and Britney share the joys that having children brings and what they look forward to this coming Mother’s Day.
Please give our readers a little bit of history. How long have you been together?
Britney: Almost eight years, our inseparable journey began on May 12, 2013.
We had pretty similar profiles on POF (plentyoffish.com), looking for friends and we both say the other made the first move.
At the time, Monica was away in training, so we had a solid two weeks of 12-plus hours of facetime getting to know each other. The way we connected was organic, and the conversations between us… just flowed.
When Monica came back and we finally met in person, it was a very shy meeting. We went on scenic walks and ended up watching our first sunset together. The first time I asked to hold Britney’s hand, I literally felt lightening through my body. It changed me, the most prolific moment in my life; to finally physically connect.
How did you two meet and when did you decide you wanted to have kids?
Monica: We met on POF, oh so typical at that time. Neither of us knew that it was a hook-up site, but it explained a lot of the interactions we had individually with others!
Right away, we spoke of our desire to have children.
Britney made me three promises: we’re going to get married, have children and build forts together. We married November 2013 and had already begun plans to conceive at home. We had our first daughter in 2015, second in 2018 and son in 2020.
Britney: Monica is next to conceive at the end of this year!
How is it having three little ones, especially during the pandemic?
The journey of motherhood has been quite an awakening and adventure. From dreaming and conceiving, to being Mommy and Mama to three absolute forces of incredible nature. We are humbled to watch them grow and thrive daily, learning about them as much as we learn about ourselves.
Britney: Due to the pandemic, Monica mainly worked at home, so it’s been amazing for her to be present and interactive. Being present is extremely important to her, especially growing up in a military lifestyle.
Our biggest wins for the kids that make staying at home a breeze is arts and crafts and plenty of outdoor adventures. Our children are very sensory, so discovering new things for them and being creative has really helped ground us all during this time.
How long have you been in the military?
Monica: I have been in the U.S. Army for 13 years! I spent eight years as a reservist, two [years] mobilized and three [years] as a U.S. Army Recruiter.
Are there specific challenges your family faces related to being LGBTQ while serving in the military? Is it difficult?
Monica: I deal with individual mentalities concerning opposing views on Gays in the military. For the most part, I’ve been extremely grateful for the ability to impact hearts and minds by being my authentic self. By doing this, I allow others to see me and decipher that the mentality they were raised with does not dictate their individual mind.
Honestly, keeping in shape and changing lives is not difficult for me at all. I am honored to serve and continue to serve. Being active duty provides the utmost stability for my family.
Access to free medical care for the family has been crucial during these uncertain times. Instead of surviving paycheck to paycheck like we have all done, we are thriving.
What does Mother’s Day mean to you?
Now that we have these crafty, bright children, Mother’s Day has been pretty fun. We tell them stories about how our love brought us together and how deeply we dreamed of them.
We talk between ourselves about the babies we have lost and the extraordinary drive to motherhood that made us push on until we got our rainbow babies.
Motherhood humbles us. The ways in which we were raised is different from the other, and it pushes us to want and provide for our children in every best way we can find.
What is one thing you discovered about your family during the pandemic?
We have been fortunate to witness each individual child’s growing passions, capabilities and interests! Being able to be present and see them develop has been priceless. Also, we have discovered we really like plants.
Is it still difficult to be an LGBTQ parent in this day and age?
We often do get those people who have something to say, or a gesture to pass our way. It’s such a waste of energy to care, so we don’t.
We have had conversations with some who were raised a certain way and meeting us changed everything for them. I like it when difficult things become nothing once you shine a light on it.
What is the one lesson you try teaching your kids?
Be kind. Be kind to yourself, be kind to animals and be kind to others.
Any more children in the future?
One more in store for us!
What advice would you give to couples thinking about kids?
Be prepared to learn. Learn everyday about how to prepare yourself for every stage of parenthood. Get apps and don’t be afraid to join social groups to help decompress and begin your journey with others.
Expand your mind and release your doubt. Your children are your lineage.
You get to choose to put a kind amazing being on this earth.