We know just how incredibly difficult it can be to find the perfect aviator's Mother's Day gift idea for civilian and military moms alike! This year, we caught up with new Mom/ Aviatrix Ashley Brown to  discuss how she personally navigates motherhood and aviation. We also asked Ashley to help us select some great gift ideas for our Mother’s Day Gift Guide this year.

Cockpit USA: Hi Ashley! First of all, how are you? It has been far too long! Could you tell me about what it is like for you navigating both motherhood and aviation?

Ashley Brown: Tiring! But, I wouldn’t change it for the world. This journey has been so rewarding and humbling. As a corporate pilot, my schedule can vary dramatically week to week, so setting a routine can be very challenging. I’m extraordinarily lucky to work for an amazing company that has a wonderful Parental Leave policy. For the first few months, I was able to just focus on being a Mom. When I did return to flying, it took a little while to really sort out what was best for the baby, Mama, and our family. We've found a routine that seems to work for now, and we are thriving. We know as baby grows, our "routine" will need to evolve. Luckily, Mark and I are flexible and we thrive in spontaneity. It’s been a fun adventure!

Cockpit USA: Do you have any stories or “mom hacks” that our Pilot Moms could relate to?

Ashley Brown: Great question! First piece of advice, babies are a reflection of their surroundings. We are pretty easy going parents and we haven’t gone crazy with trying to keep a rigid schedule. We do our best to keep him well rested, well fed, and comfortable - but that might be in the back of a car, our Cessna 180, or on an airliner. He’s very adaptable and he’s been wonderful thus far. We like to be "ready for any adventure" so when it came time for Mom to organize all of Baby's travel items, I reached for my Helmet Bag (vs a traditional diaper bag). The durability of the material makes it easy to wipe clean and the pockets allow me to keep everything in place. Also, the Doona car seat/stroller is the best thing money can buy. It’s been a lifesaver for us. 

Cockpit USA: What are your favorite Cockpit USA products and why?

Ashley Brown: I have to pick only one? Impossible! Mark and I have been Cockpit fans for over a decade now and we’ve worn so many of the products. My G-1 is my go-to. It’s a classic look and the leather is so soft. It’s just a comfortable jacket to wear. I can’t wait for the “Mommy and me“ moment when we can wear our matching G-1 jackets!  Last Fall, I got a sheepskin B-3 and even though I didn’t have a ton of opportunities to wear it since Baby's arrival, the few times I did wear it, I'm absolutely in love with this jacket. It’s the most iconic type of bomber jacket, in my opinion. I just feel like I’m invincible in it! When I put it on, it’s like a jacket of confidence. It’s hard to describe, but sometimes you just have those pieces of clothing that you feel great wearing. My sheepskin is that for me. But, I have to say, on days when I need to race out of the house, I reach for my AT-6 Texan hat and my Flying Tigers 1941 tee and my flight jacket! Timeless and effortless, both needed, as a new Mom! 

Whether your mom is a military member, pilot, flight attendant or aviation enthusiast, our Mother’s Day Gift Guide is loaded with ideas for bags, gloves, vintage goggles and incredible jackets of course, and more - available in a range of sizes and prices. Our selection of proudly made in USA products are guaranteed to make mother proud!