Forgiveness Is a Gift You Give Yourself


Single Mum's Survival Guide CARTOON NUMBER 11 001There was a time a few years ago when I started to have terrible dreams about all the people in my life who have hurt me or let me down. The plots changed and became a changing cast of characters over successive nights. These ranged from my first and second husbands, childhood and college friends, a scary ex-employer and a dear friend from schooldays who now has a new life and interests and no longer makes time for our friendship. The one thing they had in common was that they were all people who had left me with unresolved feelings of sadness, hurt, loss and resentment. It may well have been that writing my book and going over painful old ground had dredged up all these old wounds and brought them up for me to look at and resolve once and for all. You may well find that at a time of great stress and emotion in your life, such as the events that caused you to find yourself starting out again as a single mother, you have a similar experience of introspection. This can be a very uncomfortable process, but one thing I have learned in my own work as a transformational coach, hypnotist and Beyond NLP practitioner (not to mention in my own life) is that emotions will continue to resurface until you deal with them, so this can be a liberating and cleansing time for you if you only let it. Forgiveness of yourself and others and the process of letting go of these emotions and thoughts that no longer serve you can finally free you from the shackles that would otherwise hold you back and impede the fantastic progress that you are making with your new life.

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” —Lewis B. Smedes

“Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.” –Suzanne Somers

“Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.” —Marianne Williamson

As you move towards the end of this year, how good would it be to move on feeling happier, lighter and freer, without the burden of resentment and bitterness? My gift today is a guided meditation to help you do just that. Find somewhere quiet you can listen to this session, close your eyes and enjoy the journey.

Click here to listen: The Forgiveness Process

If you would like my help and advice, do visit my website, where you can find a free audio on Coping with Christmas or sign up for a free one to one session with me. single mum's survival guide logo

The Gift of Relaxation

I know only too well how elusive relaxation can be for a single mum. There’s always something to do, someone to take care of or someone to worry about and it’s very hard to make yourself relax, even if it’s just what the doctor ordered. The fact is that the more you take care of yourself, the better you’ll be able to take care of your children and a burnt out, stressed-out version of you is little use to anyone. Whatever trials or turmoil is going on in your life right now, you owe it to yourself and your kids to learn how to relax and recharge your batteries. I am a trained hypnosis practitioner and I have used hypnosis with clients in person, on the phone or Skype or via a recording to help them improve many aspects of their lives. It’s a wonderful tool to bypass the busy rational brain and speak to the subconscious mind, enabling recipients to relax and take on board beneficial suggestions while they go on a lovely daydream. I’m just the tour guide, helping you to help yourself to deeply relax and allow positive shifts to take place in your patterns of thought.

Whatever your thoughts, hopes and plans this Christmas, I’d like to help you to make it as stress-free as possible, as well as passing on a few treats just for you. I’ll be sending you a little something every day between now and Christmas Eve. 

Today’s gift is the gift of 30 minutes relaxation, via this relaxation and anxiety release hypnosis track I recorded. This kind of hypnosis is merely designed to take you to a state of deep relaxation, so it’s best to listen to it just before you go to sleep, or when you have half an hour to yourself when you are fairly certain you won’t be disturbed. Never listen to a hypnosis track while driving or operating machinery. It’s best if you are sitting comfortably, or lying down. Headphones will give you the best experience. If you need to awaken, you will do so easily but in the meantime, just relax and enjoy the journey. Please note, due to the length of the file, Google cannot scan it for viruses and therefore it will ask you whether you wish to download it. Rest assured, it’s virus free, so just click “download anyway” and settle down to listen.

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If you would like my help and advice over the Christmas period, do visit my website, where you can find a free audio on Coping with Christmas or sign up for a free one to one session with me.


Peace on Earth this Christmas?

keep calmPutting aside the twinkly lights and the tinsel, the presents and the food, Christmas is often the time of year that highlights our relationship problems. Statistics show that most families succumb to the pressure of this enforced jolliness and togetherness – it’s when the cracks can show in even the most happy households. One survey I read claimed that the average British family will have at least five arguments on Christmas Day – with the first row taking place at 10.13 am! There is certainly evidence that Christmas puts a strain on couples. Statistics show that January is the busiest month for divorce lawyers. For single mums, it’s a time when many find themselves feeling nostalgic for a past relationship or feeling bitter that they are alone at such a poignant time of year. Anger and sadness can come to the surface and spill over just when we’re trying to be the very spirit of Christmas cheer for our children, friends and extended families and try as we might, once the emotions have come up it’s tough to put them neatly back in the box and seal the lid again.

Whatever your thoughts, hopes and plans this Christmas, I’d like to help you to make it as stress-free as possible, as well as passing on a few treats just for you. I’ll be sending you a little something every day between now and Christmas. 

Today’s gift is an exercise to help you let go of your past relationship and all the unresolved feelings you still have about it. This is a letter you never have to send, yet it enables you to express exactly how you feel about your ex – even if you have mixed emotions. Just go through each question, giving your answer or finishing the sentence – either in your head or on a piece of paper. You’ll be surprised at how much better you feel afterwards!


  1. When your name comes up or I think of you I feel …
  2. Something is important here; otherwise I would not be feeling this negative emotion. What is it that I want?
  3. I am still angry with you for….
  4. I am sad because I think you should have …..
  5. I wish we could have…..
  6. The things I didn’t like about our relationship were….
  7. In future relationships, I want less….
  8. I want to acknowledge me for…..
  9. I enriched your life by…..
  10. I need to forgive you for …..
  11. I want to acknowledge you for …..
  12. The biggest benefit of having a relationship with you was (if there was a benefit, what would it be?)……
  13. The things I liked about our relationship were….
  14. In future relationships, I want more….
  15. Through knowing you I learned…..
  16. This has given me…..
  17. I am angry with myself for …..
  18. Sometimes you reminded me of …..
  19. And I reacted by…..
  20. I am sad because I think I should have …..
  21. I am sorry for…..
  22. I need to forgive myself for sometimes…..
  23. I want to acknowledge you for …..
  24. I wish for you…..
  25. I wish for myself…..

If you would like my help and advice over the Christmas period, do visit my website, where you can find a free audio on Coping with Christmas or sign up for a free one to one session with me.single mum's survival guide logo

A Nativity Nightmare?

single mum's survival guide logoA colleague was telling me about her niece’s Nativity play; apparently it was a little confusing because it was totally non-religious, so there was a Mary but no Baby Jesus! In fact, she wasn’t entirely sure it was called a Nativity play, but she couldn’t think how to describe it otherwise! However, the kids did brilliantly and acted and sang their little hearts out, so it was very heart-warming. I still have a photo of my eldest dressed in his costume as…a camel. He was about three and a half at the time and though I say so myself, the costume was a triumph of ingenuity. I’d cut up one of my Dad’s old dressing gowns and made him a hump and a tail and a pair of camel ears on a headband. In the photo, the headband has slipped too far down over his eyes but he is squinting manfully at the camera and putting on his cheeky grin.

They are far too old to be doing one now, but when it came to the annual school nativity play in their primary school I used to take a wad of tissues in my bag, as it always brought our family situation home to me in a very poignant way. Christmas and other holidays can sometimes present a problem; there are events, occasions and rituals that have a special significance or sentimental attachment for everyone and I have found at times like these that memories and emotions can still knock me sideways–even now. Even when you think that you’re all sorted and reconciled to the way your new life is these days, don’t beat yourself up or feel embarrassed if you occasionally find it’s all too much to cope with. You’re only human after all and you’ve been so brave and worked so hard to get to where you are now. However: not only do our kids have two homes, but they also have two Christmases and for children this can be quite a bonus! So there are always different ways of looking at it.

SMSG webinar pic 1If you’d like my help to sail through Christmas, I am offering a free hour’s Strategy Session via Skype or telephone. It might just give you the strength and the strategies to make it through the holidays in one piece and at peace with your situation. Click here to book your hour with me FREE SESSION.

You might also like to listen to my free audio, “Coping With Christmas”. Click here to gain access to your FREE AUDIO GUIDE.

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


The Power of Networking

As some of you may know: as well as being an author and coach, I’m also a Regional Director of the Athena Network, a business women’s networking group. Two of my groups met this week, with another meeting tomorrow. I’m constantly encouraged and inspired by the spirit of camaraderie I find in the groups and the notion that we are all there to help each other’s businesses to grow – but also to forge strong relationships that go far deeper and are far more meaningful than a casual business acquaintance. It’s something that women do so well. We naturally share good news, advice and recommendations. If somebody has a question or an issue, there will always be someone in the network who can offer the solution or at the very least some sympathetic encouragement.

In my book, I explore this idea of building a support network and reaching out to ask for help when you need it. All the single mums who so generously agreed to be interviewed for the book were doing so with the hope that by sharing their stories they could comfort, reassure or help another woman in a similar situation. And we all agreed on one thing – it’s vital to reach out and ask for (as well as accept) help when you need it. When the opportunity arises, I’m sure you’ll be the first to reciprocate and you in turn can help another woman on her way.

“THE SINGLE MUM’S SURVIVAL GUIDE – How To Pick Up The Pieces and Build a Happy New Life” is available to order on Amazon. Visit my website To find out more about the Athena Network, please visit

Working Single Mums

Somebody I know returned to work today after an absence of a few months, so I’ve been thinking about what it’s like to be in the workplace as a single mum, particularly if you are returning after a break looking after the children. Many people feel nervous about taking this step but I would always encourage them to turn it round and look at the many transferable skills that parenting teaches. As a single mum, you have to become excellent at planning and strategy – just look at what’s involved in a day out with small children (or indeed distracting a small child heading towards having a tantrum in the middle of the supermarket!) Time management skills become honed through those hectic mornings getting ready for school or nursery, not to mention recognising the best departure time for the school run! Patience and understanding and the ability to grit your teeth or hold your tongue when necessary will put you way ahead in the people management stakes. Accountability and shouldering responsibility is easy , because you alone, as the only adult in charge of your offspring, understand clearly that whatever happens is all down to you! As for commitment – what bigger commitment is there than having a child? Relationships may come and go but the one you have with your child is the strongest,  most enduring commitment you will ever make. So, as you reflect on the many useful qualities and abilities that being a single mother has brought out in you, take courage from these strengths and seize the chance to get out into the world of work and knock ’em dead!

“THE SINGLE MUM’S SURVIVAL GUIDE- How To Pick Up the Pieces and Build a Happy New Life” is available to order now on Amazon. For your free chapter, please contact me in the form below.

How Can I Have More Energy When I’m So Tired All the Time?

One of the last people to comment on a previous blog was a single mum who talked about how physically and mentally draining it is, being a single mum. There’s a chapter in my book with lots of advice on coping with this.

You owe it to yourself and your children to stay fit and healthy. As you have no doubt discovered by now, looking after kids can be exhausting! Increasing your level of fitness will give you the renewed vitality and energy to keep up with all the daily challenges of parenting. It is worth bearing in mind that choosing to make just small changes in your daily life can dramatically improve your wellbeing. .. Six or seven hours [sleep] a night can help keep your blood sugar balanced. Eating a healthy diet is also essential both to maintain your ideal weight but also to boost energy levels. We all know about the downside of the sugar rush-the sugar low you get afterwards.  Eating too many high carbohydrate-rich or processed foods, or consuming too many sugary drinks or foods can leave you feeling sleepy, sluggish and downhearted. Most of us single Mums have succumbed to comfort eating at some point and the occasional treat is perfectly fine but take it from me, it makes you feel so much worse in the long run and you can get onto a slippery slope which is hard to get off. Before you take a bite, ask yourself first: am I actually thirsty, instead of hungry? How will this feel as it slides into my stomach – not just now but for the rest of the day? Will eating it make both my body and mind feel good in the long run? If the answer is no, consider working out which emotion is eating you, step away from the food and spend a little time paying attention to nourishing your soul and spirit instead. For more advice on my eating strategies of naturally slim people, visit my website. Exercise releases endorphins, those wonderful feel-good chemicals, and who doesn’t enjoy some feel good factor floating around their bloodstream? It may be an effort at first if you haven’t got the fitness bug already but hang on in there. You’ll find that it’s an upward spiral – the more you move, the more energy you have and the more enthusiasm to exercise and so on…The key is to fit exercise into your daily routine. If you do this, you are much more likely to stick to those good habits. After a while you will grow to enjoy both the experience and the results so much that if you have a day without exercise you’ll really miss it. Every bit of time and effort counts and you don’t have to carve out an hour or more for a gym workout if that proves too much of a challenge.

This will all help you with energy levels. The mental fatigue may be due to the emotional stress of relationship breakdown, separation or divorce and coping as a single parent. Everyone who buys a copy of my book is entitled to a FREE coaching session with either me or one of my colleagues, so I do encourage you to make use of this free resource. “THE SINGLE MUM’s SURVIVAL GUIDE- How to Pick Up the Pieces and Build a Happy New Life” is available on Amazon as an eBook and will be released as a paperback on 1st July.

Born Organised or Sidetracked Home Executive?

Despite my previous tendency to scoff at tidy and organised people (I just loved that saying “a tidy desk is the sign of a sick mind!”), I have finally had to admit to myself that it makes me feel happy when my home is clean and ordered. However, as an all-or-nothing kind of girl, I tend to struggle with the little and often approach to organisation, especially in my house. Today, as I took advantage of a rare Sunday all to myself and did a whole day of laundry and ironing, I reflected on the advice I offer single mums in my book:

I’ve always found housework and staying tidy to be an effort, something that doesn’t come easily to me. I’m one of those people with a tidy mind but a tendency to have an untidy environment. When I was a single mum it just seemed overwhelming, especially with a tiny baby and a three year old. Even today, with older children and a supportive husband, I get stressed and overwhelmed and behind on housework and laundry sometimes. There’s a wonderful free website that you can join (which a friend recommended to me), called What I like about their system is the lack of judgment. They also recognise that creative, spontaneous personalities like me (or Side-tracked Home Executives, as Flylady, Marla Cilley, calls them) are fed up with living in CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome)! If you were not “born organised”, then this is the system for you. Using a quick and easy series of routines, the Flylady way will get rid of your procrastination, your clutter and your dirt in just a few minutes a day. After a while, the routines become second nature and you gradually work your way round the whole house without having to do massive spring-cleans, because you are cleaning more efficiently as you get rid of clutter. You get sent emails on a regular basis to keep you on track which are motivational and supportive without being nagging … and there’s even a daily Flykids Challenge, to help you teach the children some good habits.

“THE SINGLE MUM’s SURVIVAL GUIDE- How to Pick Up the Pieces and Build a Happy New Life” is available on Amazon as an eBook and will be released as a paperback on 1st July. To order you free chapter, please contact me using the form below.

The Single Mum’s Support Network

I had dinner with a group of girlfriends this evening. All of them have children; some of them are married, some (like me) used to be single mums but remarried and some are still single mums slogging it out on their own. As usual, we set the world to rights over a glass or two of wine and as usual we ended up by discussing our pride and joy – our offspring. Women are so fantastically good at airing their thoughts and opinions, sharing humour, advice and sympathy in equal measures. Looking round the table and listening to them talking and laughing I was struck by how restorative it is to be in their company. However preoccupied or busy we all are and whatever dramas we may be experiencing individually, we can draw strength from the camaraderie and the knowledge that somebody in the group will have a solution or at the very least a kind word to offer.

Here is an extract from my book in which one of the single mums I interviewed talks about the importance of a support network…

Kayleigh: I was just so busy with being a mom and there were a lot of things that I struggled with, whether it was finances or time or my son. For me personally it’s always been difficult to reach out for help when I feel like I need it, rather than wait until I’m absolutely desperate. I think it’s really nice as a parent to have help, whether it’s a support group or talking to a friend, whatever’s needed-just a sounding board for you. Because when you’re a single mom you go home and you don’t have anybody to vent about your day to. When you get home you’re just there by yourself dealing with everything. So I would have found that really helpful. When I was able to talk things through, get it out of my system and not let it boil inside it was a release, and it calmed me down and helped me carry on and deal with what I needed to deal with. So reach out and communicate with someone before it becomes an emergency. When you have that negative energy and stress, when you’re under duress you don’t make the decisions or deal with things in the way that you should. So, waiting until that point when you can feel that things are starting to get stressful, feeling your body tense up, knowing that you need to let it out, that’s the time to act. Whether it’s talking to someone or going for a walk or a run, or getting some exercise, take some time to recognise that and do what you need to do to get back on track, in order to be the best mom you can be and be happy, too, with yourself. Don’t feel guilty about that because it’s not selfish to look after yourself so that you can take care of others effectively.