Do Not Call Me A Trailing Spouse

Do Not Call Me A Trailing Spouse

I wrote a poem in anger at the way the term ‘trailing spouse’ is used to categorise partners of people who expatriate. Its probably better when read aloud with my accent and tones and perhaps if I drink enough cocktails in Krabi this weekend I’ll brave a performance, for now, this is the venting of my spleen. (I’m no Mary Angelou)…ahem…




Do not call me a “trailing spouse”

I trail nobody

I am Queen of this house.

When you label me ‘trailing’

You conjure a weakness

I gave birth to two children (should NOT have to speak this)

I have my OWN identity

Not one of your labels

I won’t tick a form that makes out I’m incapable


Do not accept the term for me,

I trail nobody and no thing

I lead from the front, my head high

do not look at my wedding ring

and expect me to say

‘I’m a stay at home mum’ because

I am many things to everyone

All my strengths make me ONE. WHOLE. WOMAN.


Trailing spouse

Trailing spouse

I follow my own lead

I decide to go where, with whom and how, so


I leave behind no silver trail, I am not your snail

I have powerful legs that take me where I choose

I leave behind my legacy in my children’s determination that

Mummy can

Mummy does


this house with love

and has shown ME what I am capable of.

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