Lisa Smith Molinari

Navy wife and columnist Lisa Smith Molinari wrote “Secrets of My Success” in Stories Around the Table: Laughter, Wisdom, and Strength in Military Life to help military spouses not feel guilty (like she did) about managing a military family rather than pursuing a career.

She says, “It took an argument with my fifteen-year-old son for me to realize that I was not a failure for not being able to manage my legal career while juggling the responsibilities of being a military wife and mother to three children, one of which had significant developmental delays. Military life is uniquely challenging with frequent moves, deployments, and constant change and unpredictability. Add a child with special needs to the situation, and it can seem downright impossible. Being a military spouse takes dedication, sacrifice, commitment, hard work, and a common sense of patriotism. But the rewards of being a military spouse are plentiful: honor, adventure, respect, and the knowledge that you are more resourceful, more intelligent, and stronger than you ever imagined.”

Lisa describes herself as being that “weird little small town kid who used to sing Captain & Tennille songs into the sewer pipe and stick blades of grass up my nose to elicit sneezes. But by high school, I had learned to channel my quirky nature into a good sense of humor, as evidenced by my prestigious appointment to Class Clown in 1984.” During more than twenty years as a military spouse, she has discovered that having a funny disposition helps her cope with the frequent challenges. She eventually decided to share her perspective with other military spouses through her blog and syndicated weekly newspaper column, The Meat & Potatoes of Life. She says, “Making my fellow milspouses laugh at our uncommon life has been a truly rewarding experience.”

Lisa’s work has also appeared in the book Miracles and Moments of Grace: Inspiring Stories from Moms by Nancy Kennedy, and in numerous newspapers and magazines, including: The Washington PostNavy DispatchFort Bliss BugleHawaii Army Weekly, Stuttgart Citizen, Quantico Sentry, Military Spouse, Arizona Parent, Northwest Kids, and Houston Woman.

She is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, Pennsylvania Bar Association, and District of Columbia Bar Association. She brings humor to her military spouse speaking engagements and has been a conference speaker at the annual National Society of Newspaper Columnists Conference.

She currently lives with her family in Newport, Rhode Island.

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