Columnist @mynamessarah3 on scented candles, sweet treats and selling undies
My name is Sarah and my husband is a senior Lance Corporal in the British Army.
Being an army spouse is a tough gig, but thousands of us do it. We must need our bumps felt, which ironically is how some of us became army spouses in the first place. Moving home, schools, pets, kit and caboodle every few years is a breeze compared to the holy grail – finding a job.
Finding work once you’ve unpacked your last MFO, got your kids into a suitable school and made the local takeaway aware of your existence, is top of the agenda for a lot of spouses.
Many of you have set up your own cottage industries which follow you no matter where the army puts you.
We’re not talking old school Tupperware, Ann Summers or Avon here. Spouses are branching out. We’ve got proofreaders, teachers, childminders, hairdressers, and I’ve accepted more offers of wax melts than I can shake a lavender and vanilla candle at. If I buy any more, I’m seriously not going to be able to fit into my magnolia box. In my defence I have kids, dogs and a flatulent husband. The aromas that emanate from my Darren after a curry night at the mess would kill a civvy.
We’ve even got a lady on our patch who makes bespoke sweet boxes for special occasions. I mean, come on! She’s seriously upped her game here. Never mind the kids! Gummy bears and Parma Violets posted through my door in a neat little box with a note saying ‘it’s Friday and you’ve earned these’. Yes please and yes I have.
Rumour has it that there’s even one spouse on our patch that sells her worn knickers online.
When my mum was an army wife in the decades that taste forgot (70s and 80s) spouses were limited to either getting a job in the NAAFI, the mess or cleaning – all noble professions by the way and still popular today. But these days spouses are offered training programmes, employment fairs and job apps through social media. The modern spouse can network much more easily and has more strings and bows in their arsenal than the entire Love Honey lingerie collection.
I’ve tried loads of different jobs where I could work from home. I ran a spray tan business once but when I accidentally sprayed a young officer’s wife the colour of a hangover pee I decided to give it up.
I’ve started going to boot camp on a Wednesday which is run by one of the wives and she doesn’t take any prisoners, which is ironic as she’s an ex-RMP. For the first few weeks I was seeing spots and could taste blood. At one point I had sweat in my eyes that wasn’t even mine.
Any road up, I’m going shopping this afternoon to purchase a 24- pack of cheap knickers and some second-class stamps.