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Saturday, 18 April 2015

Single Parent Spotlight: Zoe Woods

The aim of these interviews is to show how AMAZING us working single parents are. 
I want to highlight how hard, but also how rewarding being a working single parent is, and to hear how other people in my position handle the tougher times, in the hopes I learn how to be the best parent I can be! 
I’m sick of seeing the bad press single parents get in the media, because some single parents have taken the choice to live off benefits, or even worse, have children in order to get benefits. We all seem to get tarred with the same negative brush!

My twentieth interviewee is 40-year-old Zoe Woods, owner of Crafty Baba from Suffolk who has one daughter aged four.

How old were your children when you became a single parent, and how did this come about? 

From birth

What things have you found hardest as a single parent?

Getting time off

What are the benefits to parenting alone, in your opinion?

As a solo parent with no involvement from Dad, your child has one set of boundaries and no arguments to overhear.


Have you faced any negative judgements/stereotypes for being a single parent? If so can you share with us what happened and how it made you feel?

Not really, I’m a middle class woman and people don’t tend to treat me any differently from married parents. It’s more common to find that people are in admiration of the role of a single parent.

What sort of relationship do you have with your ex, and how easy/difficult is it to maintain for your child?

None

How much contact did/does the father have?

None

Does he pay maintenance? If so, how did you come to an agreement on the amount?

No

What’s your job, and how many hours do you work per week?

I run my own business selling fabric and haberdashery online and from a small boutique shop in Suffolk. I work around 60 hours a week.

Who looks after your child/ren when you’re working? How do you feel about the current childcare arrangements?

My daughter goes to nursery 4 days a week and I work in the evenings when she has gone to bed. I’m happy with the arrangement and that she gets to make new friends and socialise during the day. We have ‘you/me’ time 3 days a week as well.

How old were your child/ren when you first went back to work? How easy was it to adjust back into work? 

My daughter was a year old when I started my company and I worked around her nap times. As the company grew she started going to nursery one day a week and it snowballed from there.

Have you ever felt guilt by working? If so, why?

Not at all, I enjoy a good work life balance and it means we can afford the things we want.

What’s your view on Child /Working Tax Credits, and the cost of childcare?

We wouldn’t be able to afford the lifestyle we have without them! As I built up the business I couldn’t afford childcare so this was the bridge to give me the time I needed to get it started.

Zoe and her daughter

What is your work/home/social life like? Have you managed to find a good balance? If so, how?

I work in my shop for four days and week then have three days off at home. In between I employ a shop manager and spend quality time with my daughter, going on play dates and kids’ parties and nice lunches together!

Are you dating again? If so, how long did it take before you were ready to date again?

I’m not currently dating but only because I haven’t met the right person (yet!)

What tips do you have for other single parents wanting to meet someone?

No idea!

What would your top 3 tips be to a newbie single parent?

  1. Spend plenty of time with your kids to help them adjust
  2. Check out the benefits available to single parents to give you some breathing space-Gingerbread are really helpful in working out what you’re owed.
  3. Work out a career plan where you can wrap your time around your kids and have the flexibility to drop everything when they get ill. Working for yourself can give you that flexibility.

If you want to be interviewed for the next Single Parent Spotlight, contact me on the tab at the top of the page!

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