Back in May, before I put the podcast series on Apple podcasts I wrote this…

It’s May, and I am editing the trailer for a podcast series. I’ve never done this before – what am I thinking?!

I have serious doubts whether it’s worth all this extra work creating a podcast series. Maybe I should be putting my efforts into my actual business, you know, the one that makes the money, rather than spending my time, efforts and income on a free podcast!? Surely no one will want to listen to it? Will anyone even want to be interviewed on it? There’ll be no subscriptions on apple podcasts and even if people do subscribe why should I have an opinion that they’d want to listen to. Why am I doing this to myself? I am just Jess, hiding away in my magnolia married quarter, happily safe and boring.

I’ve spent so many years feeling like the ‘added-extra’ to the military community, the plus-one you might say. And of course, no one is to blame. This is not due to my husband, or even to the UK military, it’s just that I’ve let myself be forgotten. I have settled into this life where I follow my husband’s job, and just sort of get on with it. I have taken on the role as the ‘plus one’ and not really questioned it. I seem to have chosen not to have a place at the table. However I know that as a business owner, struggling through another boring Thursday, that perhaps, listening to a story from someone not too different to me might actually inspire me. It might give me the little boost I need to know that I can do it too.

There’s a lot of talk about policy changes around partner employment, and retainment of the family being as important as the service member but I’m worried that those who are doing all this talking don’t really live in this same magnolia world that I live in. Do they really know the reality of being a spouse? Am I letting others say what I think and am experiencing? Have I let it happen while I’ve been distracted by military life? Apart from the wonderful Military Wives Choirs and Recruit for Spouses who have stormed the mainstream conscious, it’s starting to feel like us spouses are a little hidden away.

As I’ve said before there is no ‘cookie-cutter’ of the ‘military spouse’. In the 9 years since I first met my husband I have met hundreds of spouses and, not surprisingly we are all different. There are those who sing, those who travel, those who have six children, those who have none, there are even boys. There are those that live on base, off base, in other countries. We are all so very different, with only one similarity – where are we? I can’t hear us!

It’s time we had a voice, our own voice. Not one created by the media, not one dreamt up by consultants to the MoD, a voice that is truly ours, and one that is listened to. For too long we have been the plus-one, it’s time for something that is truly ours. It’s probably about time that I spoke up, to say the things that need to be said by ‘Military Spouses’. A voice that is heard. A voice that is part of a whole, rather than just an individual.

So, like today when the doubt sets in, and the deadlines for the design work are distracting me, I know that it’ll be ok. I know that there is a whole load of us who are achieving amazing things, and it’s time we shouted about it. It’s time for The InDependent Spouse, a microphone for OUR lost voices.

The other day I received a message from a stranger on Facebook…

‘Jess, I hope you don’t mind me messaging you. I have been married to my RAF husband for 13 years and spent this summer moving from one side of the country to another, for my husband’s posting. I’ve also been training for a half marathon and have been listening to your highly motivational podcasts on InDependent Spouse™. Today I launched my new business and I wanted to message you to say thank you for inspiring me to jump into this new chapter of my life and just ‘give it a go’’

The InDependent Spouse™ Series One has had over 750 individual downloads since it launched in July 2018. So if you’re living this crazy ‘magnolia wall life’ and running your own business, interested in the behind the scenes of a military spouse business owner, or even training for a half-marathon then InDependent Spouse™ is just for you!

But I need your help! The wonderful people at the Aviva Community have put The InDependent Spouse forward for some funding, money that will mean series two gets the go ahead. If you’ve enjoyed the podcast series, are in the military community, or just a nice person PLEASE vote for me. It’s very quick, you just need to register and vote. Thank you x