Real Moms of the Metro—Meet Kandi Allred: Mom and Military Officer
United States Air Force Officer Captain Kandi S. Allred is a true patriot at heart. Passionate about serving her country, Kandi is also equally dedicated to her family: Jillian, age 2, and Brayden, 10 months. Married to husband Nate for four years, 29-year-old Kandi shares with us her philosophy of parenting, what kitchen gadget her family keeps destroying and why she thinks time with her kids is more always important than housework.
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
I am an animal lover and active supporter of wildlife preservation efforts.
What are you passionate about?
My country. One of my first vacations was to Washington, DC to see the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial (“The Wall”).
How has motherhood changed you?
The birth of a child will change many things, but for me I now know the value of a tiny life. I treasure my children, and I have learned how to love them unconditionally.
How do you banish stress?
Exercise. If I’m at the gym late at night, that is a good indicator that I’m really stressed.
What inspires you?
My husband, he is the glue that holds our family together. He is an amazing father and husband. He inspires me to be a better person on a daily basis.
Along with your job as a mom, what do you do?
I am an Active Duty Air Force Officer. I lead 43 personnel and am responsible for direct mobility and cargo processing for five units. I manage operations, maintenance and training for a $14M vehicle fleet and oversee mobility readiness for 718 Airmen.
What do you like most about your job?
I love the people in the military. I have met some of the most amazing people in this profession. They are ordinary people doing extraordinary things, and making sacrifices on a daily basis for the benefit of others.
What is on your wish list?
A new can opener. We have destroyed four in the last year.
What makes you the most proud?
Being a closely-knit family—the four of us do everything together.
What motivates you?
My children motivate me every day. They constantly challenge me in new ways and remind me that I am capable of doing more then I think I can.
How do you find balance in your life?
I try to remember to give my all to my family and my best to work. There is no other success that compensates for failure as a parent.
Advice for other moms?
Stop cleaning and start playing! I was holding my son one day when a lady approached me who was on a “date” with her 18 year old son. She said, “I sure do miss those days. Make sure you take time to hold your son. I spent so much time cleaning the house and doing laundry, if I could do it all over again, I would have spent less time cleaning and more time with my son.” I decided right then and there that no clean house was worth missing valuable time with my children.
Where are you from originally? What brought you to Oklahoma?
I am originally form Sebring Florida, a town heavily known for two things: “The 12 hours of Sebring” [an annual motorsport endurance race] and housing “snowbirds.” The military has brought us to Oklahoma. My husband is an Active Duty Captain as well and is participating in an Air Force Law School program. We have moved from Colorado Springs, to Beale Air Force Base in California, to Hill Air Force Base in Utah to Tinker Air Force Base...in less than 5 years!
What’s the biggest challenge in your life?
Balancing work and family. I feel an insurmountable amount of guilt when I have to drop my children off at daycare when they are having a bad day or not feeling well.
How do you help others?
We help out wherever an opportunity arises. We set family goals to give back to less-fortunate families. We try to teach our children the value of money and make them pick out things of their own they want to donate to another family.
What is your parenting style?
Non-compromising; either do what I say or go to time out. We do not tolerate temper tantrums, so if a meltdown happens we have a nice, comfortable “time out” chair.
Favorite quote or advice about motherhood?
“The greatest work we will ever do will be within the walls of our home.” – David O. McKay.
Quick Facts About Kandi
- What are five words that describe you? Compassionate, happy, energetic, feisty and adventurous
- What can’t you live without? Mascara
- What’s your favorite family outing? Going for a walk with my family and stopping at the park to play
- What’s your favorite indulgence? Anything chocolate
- What’s your favorite TV show? The Good Wife
Brooke Barnett is the Assistant Editor of MetroFamily Magazine.