I’ve been faced with a couple of situations at work today that will require some tough action and doing the right thing, as opposed to the popular or expedient thing. In discussion with a colleague, the word “integrity” came up. It’s a high value for her, as it is for me. It got me thinking about past challenges and dilemmas that I faced as a single parent.
In a confusing world of contradictory emotions and conflicting interests, single mums can have a tough time maintaining their integrity and staying true to their values. Well -meaning friends and supporters might be enthusiastically promoting revenge, disruptive game-playing or other ways to punish your ex. Tempting though some of these strategies might be when you are newly-wounded and in the crazy first days, what will that really achieve for you in the end? And how might that impact your children? When I was interviewed recently about my life and why I wrote my book this topic came up. I simply replied that you will have to look at yourself in the mirror and be able to hold your head up high, so maintaining your dignity seems like the only viable option to me. There’ll be so many occasions through the years when there might be pressure from your ex or his family or a new partner to conform to their plans, compromise your parenting principles or agree to things that normally you wouldn’t be happy with. In desperate times you may be tempted to give in, cheat the system or massage the facts in the name of sanity or survival. After all, look at all the indignities and tribulations you’ve had to suffer as a single parent- who can blame you for wanting an easy life? But the short-term gain will in no way make up for that guilty sinking feeling which tells you that you have not acted in alignment with your values. Be true to yourself and years from now, when the dust has settled and the current challenge has long passed, you’ll be pleased you did.
“THE SINGLE MUM’S SURVIVAL GUIDE – How To Pick Up The Pieces and Build a Happy New Life” is available now on Amazon and hits the shops in July.