The Giggles are an Army family in Wiltshire. Jules’ husband, Steve, is currently working at a different base and is only home at weekends, so she decided to make videos each week so he doesn’t miss out…
A&Y: What prompted you to begin your blogs?
Jules: Firstly, I had a health scare at the end of last year. It made me realise how life can change so suddenly and I wanted my son, Josh, to have a record of his relationship with me. I feel video gives a much stronger view of this than writing. Secondly, Steve was often away for weeks at a time and the new posting meant he would only be home at weekends. We had a hard journey becoming a family, so for him to miss out on Josh growing up meant even more. Making a video diary each week was a way of stopping him from missing out completely.
What reaction have you had?
I put them on YouTube for family and friends to see. Not long after subscribers came along and messages started coming in from other mums saying it helped them to see a glimpse of down-to-earth family life. The videos have made subscribers smile and given them a new opinion of the military community rather than just the stereotype. Amazingly, I now have more than 1,000 subscribers.
How has it helped you?
It was especially helpful for me when we moved. I didn’t know the area or anyone here, but YouTube was such a supportive community. Steve hasn’t missed out on any important moments in Josh’s life – and he sees I don’t sit on the sofa all week.
What do you hope to achieve?
My main focus will continue to be a diary for Josh and Steve. I would like to add in videos specifically about parenting or military spouse issues too.
What advice would you give other Army families living away from their soldier?
Keep busy, record the memories, talk as often as you can and, when together, book days out to make the most of it. We book a date night out each month as well as family activities. It doesn’t have to be costly – there are lots of free things around.