Single Parent Spotlight: Zoe Woods

18th April 2015
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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