Are You Feeling Less Than Festive This Christmas?

single mum's survival guide logoThe countdown to Christmas has well and truly begun. Whilst shopping one day (and walking past row upon row of Christmas “bargains”) I overheard a woman talking to her friend about trying to get into the festive spirit for her children’s sake; it was obviously proving to be a struggle, because she herself wasn’t feeling full of Christmas cheer. Remembering past years when life was a struggle and I wished that Christmas could either be cancelled altogether or at least put on hold, I really sympathised with her sentiments.

I know that many parents – single mums in particular- feel under tremendous pressure at this time of year. Will the tree be sparkly enough? Will the meal be delicious and served on time? Will everyone get on? Despite the budgetary cuts suffered by Father (and Mother) Christmas in recent times, will the stocking at the foot of the bed and all those gifts under the tree be amazing enough to satisfy this new generation of technology-hungry children? For a time that’s meant to be merry and full of goodwill, Christmas certainly comes at a price in more ways than one.

Whatever your thoughts, hopes and plans this Christmas, I’d like to help you to make it as stress-free as possible.

Click here to access your free audio guide to Coping With ChristmasSMSG webinar pic 1

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Finances – Keeping Your Head Above Water?

Single Mum's Survival Guide Illustration 5 001Are you dreading the next bill or bank statement that lands on your doormat? Are you drowning in debt or struggling just to make ends meet and provide your children with a roof over their heads?

Being broke makes you weak, vulnerable and miserable. It saps your energy and stops you from enjoying life’s little pleasures. It can be frustrating and deeply embarrassing; you feel ashamed to admit it in case it sounds like you are whining or begging for a handout, yet if you don’t come clean it can make you seem unfriendly, mean or lacking in generosity. When you are desperate for money your options are limited and you can make some very bad decisions when that desperation is your primary guide.

I know all this from bitter experience. Imagine that you have just reached the checkout at the supermarket. You’ve spent twice as long choosing your shopping because you are determined to root out the best bargains and the cheapest goods. You’ve already chosen, then discarded several items on the grounds that they represented a treat, rather than a basic necessity. Feeling proud of your thriftiness, you hand over your debit card, only to be told bluntly by the cashier that your card has been declined. And the other one. The woman in the queue behind you gives you a knowing look, which turns to irritation when you have to start taking items out of the trolley, to bring the bill down to an affordable level and the cashier calls her colleague (again very loudly) and asks him to replace the items because the customer wants them refunded! You flee the shop, cheeks burning with shame. And it’s not even the first time this has happened.

 

If this all sounds too familiar, I really want to help you to get out of the horrible hole you’ve found yourself in. You’re not alone! You can start by listening in to my free online webinar next Wednesday with Karen McGrath, a financial expert and pensions specialist who was once a single mum herself and now spends her time helping clients to take back control of their financial affairs.

Special Guest Karen McGrath

Special Guest Karen McGrath

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Register here and I’ll send you your log-in details

 

Information is Power

Today I’m writing to invite my UK readers to a special live event. It’s free to attend. My fellow speakers (all wonderful women with a wealth of experience and expertise) will be letting you know many of the things you need to be aware of when it comes to your legal, financial and housing situation. I’ll be there too, to help you with any questions you may have about dealing with your ex, co-parenting and moving on. Cut through the confusion and get informed. It may well be the best few hours you’ll spend this year.

The Single Mum’s Survival Guide Seminar
on 25th February 2015
at Mayo Wynne Baxter, Century House, 15-19 Dyke Road, Brighton, BN1 3FE
from either 9.45am – 12.15pm or 6.45pm – 9.15pm.

Your Speakers
Gemma Hope – Family Law Solicitor and Collaborative Lawyer
Me (Vivienne Smith) – Transformational Coach, author of the Single Mum’s Survival Guide
Karen McGrath – Financial Adviser
Karen Looker – Mortgage Adviser
Feedback from past events has been really positive. Here are a few of the comments from some of the mums that attended:

“It was very positive and empowering”

“Opened my eyes to a lot of information. Thank you”

“Really useful and informative”

“A must have for every single mum struggling with new challenges”

“I’m so glad I came, I was nervous that it would be formal with no chance of personal questions, couldn’t have been more opposite. Everyone was fantastic, very positive, would highly recommend to any single mum indeed”

“Thanks to all the speakers. I found it very informative and has helped me both professionally and personally in so many ways”

“Thank you so much for today’s empowering seminar. It was full of very helpful information and couched in terms that even I could understand! I am so grateful. It was lovely too to be in room with other women who are in the same situation as me – I don’t feel quite so alone now”.

Spaces at the event are limited so if you would like to attend please book your place as soon as possible by calling 01273 223220 or emailing sparsons@mayowynnebaxter.co.uk.

Back To School

After a long – and surprisingly hot – summer, it’s back to school for many families as term time starts again this week. In the case of my youngest son this has involved some considerable changes; not only have we discovered that he needs glasses for reading, he’s also had to learn to tie a tie as his school uniform now includes a blazer and tie! Being the tender age of 14, once the novelty has worn off he will adapt to both these changes with ease and life will carry on as normal.

Adapting to changes as an adult can be a whole lot scarier and a good deal more difficult. If you are a newly-single mum you may be grappling with emotional changes, financial changes and all the legal implications of separation and divorce. I’d like to help you with these changes, so that you too can adapt with ease and grace and the minimal amount of panic possible. On Thursday 11th September I am co-hosting a free seminar in Brighton with a family lawyer, a financial planner and a mortgage broker. It’s your chance to get informed with free and friendly advice about the best way to deal with financial, legal and accommodation issues you may be facing – not to mention the steps you’ll need to take to build a happy new life. I’ll also be signing copies of my book. So come along for coffee and cake and a chance to “get savvy”! It’s free – all you need to do is to choose the best time for you (10 am – 12 or 7 pm – 9 pm) and book your place by emailing sparsons@mayowynnebaxter.co.uk or ringing 01273 223220. See you on the other side…

My book, “THE SINGLE MUM’S SURVIVAL GUIDE – How To Pick Up The Pieces and Build a Happy New Life” is available on Amazon and selected bookshops. For your free audio download entitled “How To Build a Happy New Life”, please fill in your name and email in the form below. 

It’s Not Fair

As a single mum, particularly in the early days, when you are still adjusting to the situation, it becomes all too easy to spend your time bitterly bemoaning your fate. “It’s not fair, why me? What have I done to deserve this?” You wistfully imagine just how much rosier life would be if you were in a relationship. Then everything would be better. You wouldn’t be worrying about making ends meet, or dealing with lawyers, or finding childcare, or dealing with all this emotional upheaval. If only you had a loving partner,then everything would be OK.

The truth is that it’s not just what happens to you, it’s how you deal with it that counts. Sure, you’ve had a basinful, but there are ways to deal with those challenges that will minimise your stress. It’s why I wrote the book and why I have included chapters on the most common issues that single mums face – dealing with the breakup, keeping your head above water financially, the legal stuff, all the emotional and practical help that I wish I’d had at the time. My book is for you, so that this time in your life can become one of your proudest achievements and a chance to create the life you deserve.

“THE SINGLE MUMS SURVIVAL GUIDE – How To Pick Up The Pieces and Build a Happy New Life” is available to order on Amazon and hits the shops on 1st July. If you’d like to come and meet me and get a signed copy of the book, come along to The Steyning Bookshop, The High Street, Steyning, West Sussex on Friday 4th July at 7.30 pm. We’ll be celebrating, so there’ll be wine and nibbles and you’re welcome to bring a guest.