Voices of the VaANG: Master Sgt. Joclyn Polhemus, 192nd Wing Equal Opportunity specialist

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Johnisa Jackson
  • 192nd Wing

With the aspects of life’s priorities, many may feel like they are juggling, and they struggle with achieving a healthy balance. Now, imagine attempting to balance the priorities of being a parent of two under two, working a full-time job, attending online school, and committing to a part-time military career – all while publishing a book.

Master Sgt. Joclyn Polhemus, an Equal Opportunity specialist with the 192nd Wing, Virginia Air National Guard, published her book, “42 Days Postpartum: A New Mom’s Candid Memories” in 2023, in which she documented her postpartum experience after the birth of her first child.

"I decided when I was pregnant with my first child that I was going to start documenting my experience, and it developed into becoming more of an informative piece in connection with other mothers going through the postpartum process," said Polhemus.

Medically, the typical postpartum period is six weeks, but Polhemus discovered that the reality is it takes more than six weeks for a woman to fully recover after giving birth. Polhemus’ motivation for writing the book stemmed from her experience with there being plenty of resources for expectant mothers, but not as much support after the birth of their children.

"For instance, when I was going through my postpartum depression period, I turned to my doctors for help and they gave me a list of providers," said Polhemus. "I called each one of [the providers] and they were either booked, didn’t answer their phones, or were not accepting patients, and that was supposed to be my avenue of receiving help."

"It just seemed like there weren't a lot of resources to close the gap between assistance during pregnancy and help after birth, and that was my main point of the book – I wanted to help facilitate the conversation," she said.

Polhemus stated that publishing a book while balancing both her civilian and military jobs, being a part-time Ph.D. student, a wife, and a mother of two children under age two was challenging, but having a good support system was important for her accomplishment. Her advice to those striving to achieve their goals amid daily responsibilities is to remember what’s important.

"Remembering what’s important is what drives everything into motion," said Polhemus. "I’m a big believer in not just saying what you’re going to do, but to walk in it…contributing a little every day and holding myself accountable helped me to set a date and achieve my goal."

As an EO specialist, Polhemus manages many office responsibilities including providing subject matter expertise to members, serving on the Community Action Team, teaching human relations education, and working closely with the other helping agencies within the wing. In addition to her VaANG position, Polhemus works in the facilities department for Jefferson Lab Associates. She stated while there are plans for another book, it will be a completely different genre, and the details of the project idea are classified for now.

"I do plan to spend more time writing as my life starts to settle down a little bit," said Polhemus. "My number one priority is my family and leaving a legacy for my children – that’s what drives me to pursue these projects because I want to teach them how to contribute."