If I could just say to single mums, you know, sometimes we can get focused on the challenges and the difficulties, but, you know, I would say that gratitude is important. Having a good attitude that will stop you from spiraling down into that feeling sorry for yourself. And life is tough. You know, when we have gratitude, it changes our whole perspective in life.
Let me introduce you to Louise Matheson. She’s the author of Living my best single Mom Life. And in her amazing book, she shares her heartbreaking journey of discovering her husband’s unfaithful, making it the decision to divorce and raising two young girls on her own with virtually no support. Louise has over 30 years of business and leadership experience having worked for major corporate real estate firms in Sydney for most of her career. She moved to the Gold Coast in 2020 where she established a design and construction business within the healthcare industry. Louise has an amazing story, and I think you’ll find her journey very inspiring.
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND HOW YOU GOT STARTED WRITING BOOKS AND DOING WHAT YOU ARE DOING NOW
“So a little bit about me. My background is corporate, so corporate, real estate. My business is my background business and leadership for over 30 years. So, in Sydney, I was working in the corporate world in corporate real estate for many years. Two and a half years ago, I decided to leave Sydney and move to the Gold Coast. And I came here and started a business, a design and construction business called Design Doctors Australia. And that is a construction business in a healthcare space. And while all of this was going on while I went through Covid and while I was moving and setting up the business, I also started writing my book, “living My Best Single Mom Life.” So those last couple of years through that process has been quite busy.”
TELL US ABOUT YOUR BOOK AND WHAT LED YOU TO WRITE THE BOOK
“Yes, so my book is about my journey. So going through, a divorce, infidelity and then, 14 years as a solo parent. So in the book I talk about all the things that I learnt through going through that process and all the grief that I had to deal with and the healing process that I had to go through. And then moving on to establish myself in a community so that I had good people around me and, becoming the breadwinner. And, working through that, you know, through raising children with my story, my ex-husband didn’t have any shed. We didn’t have any shared care, so I looked after my girls, 24 hours, seven days a week. So I basically raised them by myself. I worked full-time, as I said, in a corporate role. I was leading teams and managing people. So, the teenage years were, very busy for me because I was raising teenagers at home, but also managing teams at work. And so, it was just constantly managing people and trying to keep my sanity.”
WHAT WERE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES OR TIPS AND TOOLS RHAR YOU CAN SHARE WITH OTHER WOKRING MUMS?
“So, I think for me, setting good boundaries was important for work. So, when I went back to full-time work, I spoke to my potential employee and said, look, I, you know, I’m a single mom. I can’t be here at six or seven o’clock at night. I must leave at five. If that doesn’t work for you, then I can’t be here. So, I kind of set boundaries for my employers. I also set boundaries because I was in a leadership role. I did sometimes have to go to functions after work. So, I set boundaries in terms of I would go as soon as the functions started, see who I needed to see and then leave as soon as I can. So, things like not having late nights and no late nights drinking and things like that, I just had to make sure that I was in a good place. I couldn’t afford to get tired. I couldn’t afford to get to that place where I didn’t have anything to give because I was giving out so much to everybody else. So, there was just a lot of boundaries that I had to set in my workplace and with my family at that time.”
HOW DID YOU CONTINUE RUNNING BUSINESSES AND WORKING FULL-TIME AND LOOKING AFTER YOURSELF?
“At the beginning, when I first broke up with my husband, I was working part-time in our business, so I wasn’t working full-time at that stage. But it was still very difficult in the mornings, the grief was so intense as people who have been through a divorce will know, and a particularly when infidelity is involved, there’s a whole new level of grief with the rejection. And you know questioning your value and that, you know, the person that is supposed to love you has rejected you. So all of that you have to work through. So, there was mornings where I was on the floor just in so much grief but having to pick myself up and go to work and bawling in the car on the way to work but pull myself together when I got there. So, the only thing I could do was just walk through it. But I was very fortunate. I had a really good support network. So that was one of the key things. I had people around me who I could talk, talk to and talk through it with. Another thing I found was accepting what had happened as hard as it was, and as painful as it was, the sooner that you can accept what’s happened, then you can start to work a new life out for yourself. And I remember making the decision right at the beginning despite what had happened and despite the pain that I was going to make and create a life for myself and my kids that I loved, and that’s what I did. I chose to work through all the healing and that was a process. And everybody’s different and you must deal with the grief. So, I, worked through that. We had great holidays, you know, I created a great environment for the girls. We lived in nice places and we had beautiful people around us, but we created a life that we wanted. And, and that’s where I came up with a title of my book, living My Best Single Mom Life. I had this attitude that I was going to create a life that I loved.”
IN YOUR BOOK YOU TOUCH ON FINDING YOUR UNIQUNESS AND THE IMPOTRANCE OF PASSIONA ND PURPOSE IN OUR LIVES, CAN YOU SHARE MORE ABOUT THIS?
“Yes. And I think that for me is key to life is we’ve all been born with these talents and unique abilities and over the years we’ve developed skills and that makes up the uniqueness. So, there’s also our unique personality and all of that, our passions and all of that comes together to make the unique you and what that does. Once you start to understand and get to know the unique you, which is really important, once you know there’s a confidence that comes with that, then there’s also this, being able to understand what your purpose is and when you can really start to get a grip on what your passion and your purpose is, that gives you a reason to get out of bed every day and it gives you your life meaning. So, if you can find your passion, even in amongst the craziness of life, and that happened to me, I had to find that place where I could, just have that little bit of time for me, the thing that I loved doing, the thing that gives me energy. And so, I think that’s really important to really just dig deep to get to know who you are because we all have so much to offer. We’ve all got these talents and these abilities that we’ve got so that we can use to influence the world around us. So when you think about that, it actually gives you so much value because you have something to offer your world. You are creating uniquely to offer your talents to your area of influence. And that just gives your life meaning. And it’s, as you say, it’s service to others. There’s a contentment and a joy that comes with that. And I know for me, I don’t want to get to the end of my life and think I lived a selfish life. I want to be able to get to my end of my life and go, oh, I served others. I actually made a difference. I had an impact, and my life had some significance.”
HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT FINDING YOUR PURPOSE AND PASSION?
“So, growing up I wasn’t very good at anything. I wasn’t one of these kids that stood out. I wasn’t a high achiever at school. I wasn’t great at sport, I wasn’t great at music, and I naturally thought, well, I’m not good at anything because I didn’t stand out. No one said, oh, Louise was good at that. But it wasn’t until I was in my early twenties that I started, I just had this strong sense of purpose, and I just didn’t want to have and live an ordinary life. And so, I started finding out I did some personality, the Mayer’s Briggs personality tests online. I did a course that took me through understanding my talents and through that process of doing these things, which anyone can do online, things like the via strength tests, you can go to the VIA website and that’s got some fantastic character strengths tests that you can do. And I just, I finally started to understand there were these things that I was good at, like creating fantastic relationships and encouragement and, you know, leadership and taking people’s potential and maximizing their potential. And so finally I started to understand my value that I had value because I had these things that I was good at. And so, for me it’s as simple as little things I that bring me joy, like having a coffee with a friend and just being able to encourage them or it’s coaching team members at work by setting goals with them, or it’s just doing something like this or writing my book. Those things bring me joy. So, I had to find those little moments where I could actually live my passion, where that would bring me contentment in amongst the craziness of life.”