As a single mum you have already have been through some incredibly difficult, even heartbreaking times and there will have been times when you had to accept things that were not in your best interest but fitted in with somebody else’s agenda. Personally, although I am a long way from being a control freak I have found it hard to accept that since my divorce I have little – if any control – over what happens with the children when they are away with their father. Suddenly you are at the mercy of other people’s decisions (including another woman’s decisions) regarding the upbringing of your precious small people and that felt not only frustrating but frightening sometimes when they were very small. In the end I had to come to terms with the fact that I could (and still do) make my feelings clear and then just trust that their dad loves them dearly and would never put them in harm’s way, even if he and his wife have very different values and rules to the ones we live by in my house. What I really wanted to say today is that there will be times when it really does matter – when you will feel incredibly strongly about something. There will be crucial decisions that every single mum needs to take regarding her welfare and that of the children. You might feel incredible pressure to follow the wants and wishes of your ex, his family, your friends or other interested parties and sometimes it’s hard in life to know how best to proceed. The first thing is to pause and take stock. No important decision needs to be made on the spur of the moment. You can always say “let me think about it” or “let me get back to you on that”. This will give you some breathing space and a bit of quiet time in which to tune in to your inner feeling, your intuition. What is the best course of action for all concerned? And if in doubt, if you can clearly see what is in the best interests of the children then you will have that certainty in your gut that will tell you what to do. So don’t give in to the knee-jerk reaction; look beyond any anger, hurt, squabbles or power struggles between you and your ex or anybody else involved in your lives. If you know in your heart that you are doing the right thing for your children and their happiness and well-being, then chances are it will be the right thing for you. The biggest mistakes I have made in my life were when I ignored my intuition so my advice to all single mothers is this: when in doubt, go with your gut feeling!