MWL Podcast

Welcome to the Military Wife Life Podcast

LATEST EPISODE

Military Wife Life- Episode 51

In this weeks episode, as part of Domestic Violence Prevention month, I talk to Domestic Violence Case Manager and Military spouse Jess about the cycle of violence DV victims experience and how military life sometimes adds to the isolation they go through. We also talk about how a spouse can safely leave a DV relationship, what supports they can access and why DV victims can’t “just leave” an abusive relationship.

I also talk with former spouse Sarah who has recently left a 15 year abusive relationship. Sarah walks us through her DV experience. She talks about the red flags she didn’t recognise, how alone she sometimes felt, how and why she finally left, the support she accessed and her life now.

Please note: Sarah’s name and voice have been changed to protect her families identity.

*TRIGGER WARNING*
Todays episode contains discussion of domestic violence. If anything comes up for you and you would like to access support there are various options available to Australian Military Spouses.

Sexual assault, domestic/family violence and abuse support- Call 1800 RESPECT day or night (7 days)

Counselling- Call Open Arms day or night (7 days) on 1800 011 046

To access emergency accommodation via SAFE (Special Accommodation for Emergencies scheme)- Call the Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608

– Defence Families of Australia can also offer support. To find your area’s DFA rep visit www.dfa.org.au or you can access a useful information here https://dfa.org.au/2018/12/22/domestic-violence/

Chaplains, All services- To contact a Chaplain please call the Defence Service Centre on 1800 333 362 and ask for the Duty Chaplain in your area.

Mensline– A telephone and online counselling service for men with emotional health and relationship concerns Call 1300 78 99 78.

 

Military Wife Life- Episode 50

Welcome to something a little different!

Today’s episode is made up of some of the best moments from past episodes in celebration of the podcasts 50th episode. This week we also hit 20k downloads and this month marks ONE year since the MWL podcast started.

So, so, so much to celebrate but what those milestones actually mean is that for one year the MWL community has been supporting me and has been supporting you. That we have all listened to 50 episodes of spouses telling their stories and allowing them to be seen and heard. That for over 50 episodes we have shared in the ups and downs of military life, felt that little bit less alone, listened to the advice and wisdom of other spouses and most importantly connected.

So get comfy and enjoy listening to episode 50 of the podcast!

 

Military Wife Life- Episode 49

This week on the Podcast I talk to spouse Clare about the red tape and cost that comes with posting to different states when you’re a Lawyer. Clare also talks about how she manages a chronic illness and the importance of having a support network and interests outside of defence and her career.

 

Military Wife Life- Episode 48

This week on the Podcast I talk to Lisa about what it’s like to be a spouse with 30 years of Military life under your belt. Lisa talks about how she is navigating having to post away from her adult children, the transition back to spending time with her Husband and being a couple again and how she found it going back to work without a defined career path and now that she is older.

 

Military Wife Life- Episode 47

This week on the Podcast I talk to spouse Courtney about first postings, moving and managing chronic illness. We also talk about how she navigates knowing her Military member will be at sea a lot and her decision to move to be closer to family and friend supports while her Husband is deployed.

Military Wife Life- Episode 46

This week on the Podcast I talk to spouse Suze about how she moved past a bad first deployment and decided to learn the skills and coping mechanisms needed to not just survive but thrive future separations and deployments. Suze talks about how some bad advice from others to not tell her partner that she wasn’t OK, affected her mental health. We also talk about finding employment, accessing Open Arms and everything inbetween.

 

Military Wife Life- PART 3 Current Info & Support for ADF families during COVID19

This week’s podcast episode is the third in a series dedicated to bringing you current information relevant to you, as a spouse and as part of an ADF family, during COVID19. 

This week I talk to Military spouse and Nutritionist Katherine Ramsden about all things nutrition, food and our health. How can we best navigate this time while making sure we’re still looking after ourselves despite limited resources and food stocks. To find out more info about Katherine follow this link  https://www.linkedin.com/in/katherine-ramsden-a26b557b/
 
I also talk to Defence Community Organisation Area Manager Rachel Baker about the ways DCO are adapting their services to meet the needs of spouses and ADF families. Rachel talks about how DCO are working with Community House Coordinators and Defence School Mentors, around the country, to ensure online and phone support is provided in place of face to face. Their 24/7 Defence Families helpline is still available and they have also launched a Webinar series (on Mon-Thur 10am and 3pm daily until May 21st) that anyone can make use of.
 
And for those who are interested in practicing some meditation during this time, I had meditator and motivator Kat John (from episode 37 of the podcast) come on to provide some calming words and take us through a meditation. So find a quiet spot, take 15 minutes to yourself and have a listen to Kat’s meditation at the end of the podcast. To follow Kat or find out more info follow this link http://www.katjohn.com.au/
 
All information in this episode was current as of Thursday 16th of April 2020. If there is a particular topic you would like to hear about at this time please get in contact. 
 
If you are in need of support or advice during this time the 24 hour Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608 is your first point of call. If you would like further details about DCO’s webinar series the helpline is also the best place to call or details are on Forenet.
 
If you would like to chat to someone to debrief or access free confidential counselling via Open Arms contact their 24 hour support line 1800 011 046.
 
If you feel you aren’t being supported or your situation and circumstances are not being heard or acknowledged please contact Defence Families Australia. DFA advocate on behalf of ADF families. To find your area’s DFA rep follow this link https://dfa.org.au/contact/
 
For current and updated information from Defence be sure to check Forcenet. If you don’t have a Forcenet account check with your Defence member about granting you access. 
 
Stay well and let’s do this together! 

 

 

Military Wife Life- PART 2 Current Info & Support for ADF families during COVID19

This week’s podcast episode is the second in a series dedicated to bringing you current information relevant to you, as a spouse and as part of an ADF family, during COVID19. 

This week I talk to Vonnie Balmer, Coordinator of the Gallipoli Barracks Community Centre about what they’re doing now that spouses can’t actually physically make use of their community centre. We talk about how they, like all centres across the country, have had to adapt the support and services they offer and how some positives can be taken from this uncertain time.
 
I also talk to Dr Steph Hodson, National Manager of Open Arms about the ways they’re continuing to provide confidential counselling and support services for Veterans and ADF families, especially at the moment. Steph announces a change in the delivery of their service which will benefit all of us in a huge way and provide a more consistent and accessible service.
 
And for those in need of answers to some of those COVID19 out of the box questions I talk to Military spouse and Doctor Ellie McLeod about things like- how far should we go with the cleaning or should we still be going to the Doctor’s for our regular appointments like pap smears and kid’s vaccinations.
 
All information in this episode was current as of Thursday 9th of April 2020.  Next week’s episode will have more COVID19 information which is specific to military spouses and families. If there is a particular topic you would like to hear about at this time please get in contact. 
 
If you are in need of support or advice during this time the 24 hour Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608 is your first point of call. If you would like to chat to someone to debrief or access free confidential counselling via Open Arms contact their 24 hour support line 1800 011 046. For current and updated information from Defence be sure to check Forcenet. If you don’t have a Forcenet account check with your Defence member about granting you access. 
 
Stay well and let’s do this together! 

 

 

Military Wife Life- PART 1 Current Info & Support for ADF families during COVID19

This weeks podcast episode is the first in a series dedicated to bringing you current information relevant to you, as a spouse and as part of an ADF family, during COVID19. 

Support, info and services are changing and adapting to try and meet our needs which is why I thought it was important to bring you as much updated and useful information as I could at this time. 
 
This week I talk to National Convenor Maree Sirois, from Defence Families Australia, about how DFA are advocating for families during this time.
To watch the First Five years webinar series, mentioned in the podcast, click the link below.
 
I also talk with Ros Baumann, a spouse and teacher, about how we can approach isolation and online learning for our kids. Most importantly Ros reminds us that we aren’t expected to turn into teachers overnight. Our best is good enough and taking the pressure off will benefit us and our kids.
 
And for those in need of some information surrounding finances and those possibly facing financial hardship, I talk to Defence Bank CEO David Marshall about how the banking sector is adapting to meet the needs of customers and help them get through this time. 

https://www.defencebank.com.au/financialhardship

All information in this episode was current as of Thursday 2nd of April 2020.  Next week’s episode will have more COVID19 information which is specific to military spouses and families. If there is a particular topic you would like to hear about at this time please get in contact. 
 
If you are in need of support or advice during this time the 24 hour Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608 is your first point of call. For current and updated information from Defence be sure to check ForceNet. If you don’t have a ForceNet account check with your Defence member about granting you access. 
 
Stay well and let’s do this together! 

 

 

Military Wife Life- Episode 45

This week on the Podcast I talk to Clinical Psychologist Dr Jodie Lowinger about how we can thrive as Military spouses. Whether we are just entering the role of a spouse or have been doing it for years and years, Jodie talks about how being kind to ourselves, understanding that our best is good enough and focusing on the certainty within the uncertainty can help us cope with the ups and downs of spouse life. We also talk about getting on the same page as the military member, helping them understand the challenges (we as spouses face) and working through problems and resentment to live the life we want.

PLEASE NOTE: This episode was recorded before the COVID 19 crisis but a lot of the advice and information can also be applied to what us, as spouses, may be going through and feeling at the moment.

If you would like to connect with Dr Lowinger you can do so via her website www.sydneyanxietyclinic.com/

 

 

Military Wife Life- Episode 44

This week on the Podcast I talk to Army spouse Bec about a service dog called Gus and how he saved her husband, her marriage and her family. Gus was matched to her Husband through the Defence Community Dog Program, a program that is funded by the Defence Bank Foundation.

The DCD program provides highly trained service dogs to serving and ex-serving ADF members who need support to deal with injuries and illnesses including Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. Every dog in the program is rescued from a pound or shelter and trained at the Bathurst Correctional Centre with the assistance of professional dog trainers and inmates at the centre.

The admin costs to run the Defence Bank Foundation are met by Defence Bank to make sure that all donated funds are provided to the Defence Community Dog program. Visit https://www.defencebankfoundation.com.au/ to make a donation or to find out more info.

 

 

Military Wife Life- Episode 43

This week on the Podcast I talk to spouse Hannah about her first posting, the isolation you can feel even though you might be living in a City, accessing couples counselling through Open Arms and the plan for her Husband to possibly transition out of Defence.

 

 

Military Wife Life- Episode 42

This week on the Podcast I talk to Claire, a Navy partner who is using her personal and business experience to make a difference for all of us. Claire has a passion for supporting woman achieve their goals through coworking spaces (her coworking program is currently underway in Canberra). Think a space and place you can go to and work alongside other’s with onsite childcare. For many of us spouses who have recently posted, work or study from home and are without childcare or even just those of us who want to be able to interact with other adults (it gets pretty lonely at home or working solo) coworking spaces are a no brainer.

You can find out more about what Claire is doing via CoworkCoplay.space or CoworkCoplay on Facebook.

 

 

Military Wife Life- Episode 41

This week on the Podcast I talk to Army spouse Bec about what it’s like to post in and out of the same few locations while juggling mum and work life, separation and deployments. Bec also talks about the day she was told her Husband, who was just a few weeks into a deployment overseas, had been diagnosed with Cancer and the years that followed that diagnosis. But the one constant Bec talks about is that the Military community went above and beyond rallying around her and her family and that she will forever be grateful for the love and support their family was shown.

 

 

Military Wife Life- Episode 40

This week on the Podcast I talk to Shayne Vining, Deputy Director of National Operations at the Defence Community Organisation to get the low down on what DCO do and when and why we should access information and support from them. We touch on the broad range of programs and services focusing on the 24 hour Defence Family Hotline, the SMART programs, PEAP (Partner employment assistance program) and the Welcome Days, Coffee meetups and Walk and Talk mornings.

To find out more information about DCO and what they offer visit www.defence.gov.au/dco or to make use of the 24 hour Defence Family Hotline call 1800 624 608. Families don’t have to wait until they are facing difficulties to contact the helpline. The helpline can provide information and advice 24-7, everyday of the year.

 

 

Military Wife Life- Episode 39

This week on the Podcast I talk to spouse Anastasia about how she brushed off a bad first deployment. Anastasia talks about how she started to resent her military person and felt she didn’t cope with the 6 month separation very well. She became depressed and really felt like she was in a holding pattern while her partner was away. But Anastasia was determined to go into a second 6 month deployment prepared and with a positive mindset and she says it made all the difference.

 

Military Wife Life- Episode 38

This week on the Podcast I talk to Jess about the pros and cons of working for yourself when you’re a Military spouse. Setting up your own business is often an appealing option to a lot of us due to the nature of the Defence lifestyle and needing to be able to take your work with you from state to state. Jess lets us in on just what goes into moving your family and your business across country.

To learn more about Jess’s business look her up on Instagram @jaylee_photography or visit her website www.jaylee-photography.com.au

Military Wife Life- Episode 37

This week on the Podcast I talk to Kat John, speaker, coach and someone who’s mission is to help us master our minds so our souls can come back to life! This episode is about us focusing on sparking that connection with what WE really want out of life. We talk about how we can follow through with the vision for our life despite the brick walls we come up against and the lack of control we might feel we have because of the Military lifestyle. We also talk about what it means to shift the plan to align with Military life while holding the vision and not giving up on YOU and what you want for YOUR life.

To learn more about what Kat John does look her up on Instagram @kat.john or visit her website www.katjohn.com.au

Military Wife Life- Episode 36

This week on the Podcast I talk to Shari about what it’s like to be the spouse of a Submariner. We talk no communication for months on end, the tight knit community that Shari calls the Navy within the Navy and how that community and Defence rallied around their family when their 16 year old son was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Military Wife Life- Episode 35

This week on the Podcast I talk to Madeline about juggling being an Army spouse alongside being a young Uni student who lives at home with her parents. Madeline and her boyfriend live in the same town and have been together for over 4 years. They have been through separations and a deployment but she says she feels like she hasn’t found her spouse tribe yet and doesn’t really fit into a box when it comes to support. Madeline also talks about the worry she feels about finishing her double degree and posting with her partner (for the first time) soon after, with no experience or contacts in a field she has studied hard in and will be ready and excited to get started working in, but may not be able to due to the location they get posted.

Military Wife Life- Episode 34

The Military Wife Life Podcast returns for 2020 with Clinical Psychologist Dr Jodie Lowinger who is talking us through coping with traumatic events and natural disasters, like the Australian bush fires. We talk about how significant unfolding events like these can have an impact on our mental health and well being, even if we haven’t been directly affected but have just watched on, or our Military member has been recalled and deployed to those affected areas or maybe we have a family member who is a volunteer firefighter or first responder. This episode is for anyone who is feeling the weight of this devastating time and wants to learn a little more about how to work through their own emotions or the emotions of their kids, affected loved ones or those who are on the front line in the response to these events. Your feelings are valid. Let’s work through them together.

If you would like to connect with Dr Lowinger you can do so via her website www.sydneyanxietyclinic.com/

Military Wife Life- Episode 33

This week on the Podcast I talk to Navy spouse Sal about how living apart from her Husband (MWDU) for, so far, 8 years and two kids has become the norm for their family and actually really suits them. Sal talks about how staying in location was important for her in order to pursue her career goals, stay close to family support and is all about their families long term goals. It hasn’t all been smooth sailing but Sal and her Husband are committed to making it work for as long as it works and reassessing the situation if and when that time comes.

Military Wife Life- Episode 32

This week on the Podcast I talk to Army spouse Steph about making the hard and emotional decision to move away from her seriously sick Mum in New South Wales and join her Fiance on his first posting all the way over in the Northern Territory.

Steph talks about finding her spouse tribe in her new location and the support they have shown her despite not knowing each other very long.

Steph also talks about an issue that isn’t often highlighted and that is the struggle to get back to visit family, especially her sick Mum, when you have only been in a job a short time and haven’t built up enough leave. The struggle is real for so many of us, being so far from family and friends and not having the leave or the finances to be able to get back home as much as we need or would like to.

Military Wife Life- Episode 31 Part 2

On Part 2 of episode 31 of the podcast, Tara and I talk about just in case items and how they hold us down. When excess and clutter prevent us from living the way we want to live. Setting aside time to declutter and organise and starting small in order to avoid overwhelm. Taking time to find or create homes for our belongings when we post into a new location and how that can allow us, mentally, to feel more settled. How deciding to let go of stuff is just the first step in the process and how having a plan and committing to the whole process is key. Tara has offered MWL podcast listeners an awesome discount off any of her decluttering plans but you will have to listen to this episode for the details.

If you would like to find out more about Tara’s virtual decluttering plans and Life Coaching you can get in contact via www.basklifecoaching.com.au or you can listen in to Tara’s podcast called Be Uncluttered . Tara, along with her co-host Rebecca Mezzino, discuss all things decluttering and how you can live a simplified life.

 

Military Wife Life- Episode 31 Part 1

This week on Part 1 of Episode 31 I talk to Air Force spouse Tara Tuttle about decluttering and letting go! Tara is a Declutter expert and Life Coach and know’s the challenges living the military lifestyle can bring concerning organisation, clutter, holding onto things, feeling overwhelmed and how physical and mental clutter are often connected. We talk about the two types of people when it comes to decluttering, how Military life can allow us to not think critically about our belongings and how saying yes to less physical possessions or mental clutter allows us to make space for what is really important.

On Part 2 of this podcast episode, Tara and I talk about just in case items and how they hold us down. When excess and clutter prevent us from living the way we want to live. Setting aside time to declutter and organise and starting small in order to avoid overwhelm. Taking time to find or create homes for our belongings when we post into a new location and how that can allow us, mentally, to feel more settled. How deciding to let go of stuff is just the first step in the process and how having a plan and committing to the whole process is key. Tara has offered MWL podcast listeners an awesome discount off any of her decluttering plans but you will have to listen to part two for the details.

If you would like to find out more about Tara’s decluttering plans and Life Coaching you can get in contact via http://www.basklifecoaching.com.au

 

Military Wife Life- Episode 30

This week on the Podcast I talk to Air Force spouse Sonja about how moving to a place she never wanted to go ended up being her favourite posting. Sonja found her Military spouse tribe and embraced spouse life and there was no turning back. Fast forward to today and Sonja has done something that isn’t seen as the norm, she has moved for her career leaving her husband and son behind. It wasn’t an easy choice but after years of sacrifice and compromise it was finally the right time for Sonja to follow her career not only for her but for the benefit of her family and their future.

Military Wife Life- The Podcast Episode 29

This week on the Podcast I talk to Army spouse Leah about moving and finding meaningful employment, her and her Husband’s long IVF journey, what will happen with their one and only frozen embryo when they post out and the importance of accessing Open Arms to stay on top of your mental health.

Military Wife Life- The Podcast Episode 28

This week on the Podcast I talk to Jenny about the importance of Defence School Mentors (DSM) and their role within our schools across the country. If you haven’t heard about DSM’s, they provide a range of services and resources that can assist with the transition between schools and education systems, and are also there to provide support for the unique day to day needs of Defence students.

Military Wife Life- The Podcast Episode 27

This week I talk to Air Force spouse Stella about coming to terms with an unexpected deployment, what happened when her Husband came back and the long road to getting to know each other again. Stella also talks about how a mountain biking accident just weeks after her Husbands return turned into nearly a year off work and the impact that had on her and their marriage. 

Military Wife Life- The Podcast Episode 26

This week I talk to former Air Force Officer and now Army spouse Laura about her transition from military member to spouse and finding her feet in the civilian world. Laura talks about the road to finding employment, long distance dating after only a few weeks of being official, finally moving to be with her partner and supporting him while coming to terms with the end of her military career.

Military Wife Life- The Podcast Episode 25

This week I talk to Navy spouse and University Lecturer Amy Johnson about what she found when she undertook her recent research into the ADF, Military families and our use of social media.

Amy’s research led her to come up with the notion of a  ‘perfect partner’– the expectation that a military spouse is someone who is happily keeping the family fires burning, looking after 2.5 kids, not working and following the military member from post to post.

While that may be the case at certain points in our spouse experience, in 2019 it isn’t always the typical experience and a majority of spouses don’t want that to be their experience. 

Amy talks about how the outdated image and idea of a ‘perfect partner’ place’s unreasonable demands on spouses and sometimes deters them from reaching out and accessing support.

Amy hopes her research will have an impact on dispelling this outdated ‘perfect partner’ image not just within the ADF community but also the wider community.

Military Wife Life- The Podcast Episode 24

This week I talk to Navy spouse Sera about coping with her husband being posted to a ship, going MWDU and deploying all while she juggled running a business, teenage kids and supporting her in laws during her Father in laws terminal illness. We talk about how Sera kept her Husband across his Dad’s condition during times of no contact and what happened when her Husband had to be pulled off the ship to make the harrowing journey home to say goodbye.

Military Wife Life- The Podcast Episode 23

This week I talk to Army spouse Arusha about the juggle that is MWDU, kids, working and how taking on a side hustle (when she was already stretched) ended up being the best decision she could make for herself, her health and everyone around her.

Military Wife Life- The Podcast Episode 22

This week I talk to US Air Force spouse and Life Coach Becca Brown about her experience as a spouse and how that led her to wanting something more. Fast forward to now and Becca is helping other spouses handle life better, finding purpose, drive, and passion in our lives and facing deployments and separation with confidence . We go deep and talk about how stepping into emotional adulthood (don’t worry it is explained in the episode) can help us lead the life we want to live through acknowledgement, allowing our emotions, getting intentional and taking responsibility for our thoughts and feelings!

Military Wife Life- The Podcast Episode 21

This week I talk to Army spouse Lisa about the heart break of infertility and how she and her husband Nathan went from thinking maybe they wouldn’t ever have children to having 6! Lisa talks us through the process of becoming a Foster Carer and their long journey to adopt.

Military Wife Life- The Podcast Episode 20

This week I talk to truly inspirational Air Force spouse Kerrie about the day her husband Nathan had a freak workplace accident that would completely change their lives. Kerrie talks about the moment she was told Nathan would probably never walk again and the months and months of rehab that followed and continues. Kerrie is all that a military spouse HAS to be and so much more and with her support Nathan is literally kicking goals!

Military Wife Life- The Podcast Episode 19

This week I talk to Elle about what it’s like to be in a long distance relationship from the very start after she and her Army partner met at a wedding late last year. Elle and Andrew stayed in contact and decided to give interstate love a go. 7 months on and they are navigating separation for months on end, applying to go Defacto and Elle has made the decision to move (with her dogs, cats and horses in tow) from Victoria to be with Andrew in NSW when he posts from QLD at the end of the year. It sounds complicated but they are making it work by making sure they support each other’s long term goals and by keeping communication open.

Military Wife Life- The Podcast Episode 18

This week I talk to Anika who recaps 5 years of being an Army family. Anika definitely takes everything in her stride, including posting across country at 38 weeks pregnant with their first baby! We also talk about how important securing work in each posting locality is for her relationship and her mental health and how Darwin went from being at the bottom of their posting list to one of their favorite experiences.