01 Sep 2023

A Day In The Life Of | A Cabin Crew Mother

It is 0230hours. Ngina's alarm rings loudly. She silences it as soon as she can so that she does not wake her husband and her two boys (an infant and toddler). She has an early start today with KQ600 to Mombasa. She jumps out of bed. As she heads to the bathroom a lot of planning goes in her mind. 

A Day In The Life Of | A Cabin Crew Mother

What will we have for dinner? Is there enough milk for my baby? Will I make it back home before my last-born bath time? I hope to see him before he retires. It has been a week since she last tucked in her last-born baby and read for him a bible story before bed. 

 

She takes a quick shower and wears her makeup in a record 20 minutes. She is accustomed to fast preparation due to the tight work schedule where the motto goes "on time every time." Every minute counts and lateness is not accommodated.” 

 

As she waits for her transport to work, she puts the kettle on for a quick cup of tea. Everyone is asleep and she does everything quietly so that she does not wake her husband and her two baby boys. She arranges the living room cushions, then she remembers she hasn't left instructions for her house help. She removes one of the notepads in her handbag and pens off the menu for the day that is; what to eat, what to buy, medication for the toddler. 

 

No sooner has she sat down to enjoy her cup of tea than she hears the van hoot. Her transport to work has arrived. She grabs her suitcase and off she goes to start her very long day; a demanding 15-hour day shift. 

 

Ngina has signed on and she walks briskly to the briefing area. 

 

Despite being drowsy, she serves the guests enthusiastically. During a transit period she rushes to express milk. What a relief! She was uncomfortable. Her breasts were bulging with milk. She is a nursing mother. She asks for extra ice cubes from the caterers to keep her milk fresh. 

 

The cabin crew mother is a "unique" person. Unlike other mothers who are always present with their families she can be miles away or continents away from her family. Sometimes she can be in the same house but due to her erratic schedule she misses out on family interactions. She may wake up too early and sleep late. When the children are awake and energetic, she might be sleeping due to her night shift or managing jetlag. Christmas, New Year, Easter, and weekends are just ordinary workdays for her. 

 

The cabin crew mother must learn how to balance work and family. Sometimes this requires sacrificing sleep, travelling with family to spend time with them. 

 

We salute the cabin crew mother for her dedication to managing her home, keeping her relationships, and giving her best at work despite the pressure. 

 

Mmbone Masinde - Assistant Flight Purser.

#ACabinCrewMother 

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