7 November 2012

Single Mum's Story - Kate (WitWitWoo) Sutton.


Kicking off Series Two of Single Mums' Stories, this is the utterly fabulous Kate Sutton, age 42.  She famously blogs at WitWitWoo  ['Lifestyle. Family. Hairdye!']  She is one of the funniest, friendly and most helpful Bloggers I have met. 
She started blogging in 2010 after graduating, just missing a First in English and American Literature with Creative Writing.  She 'needed a space to write.'  That 'space' is currently being peppered with outrageous, well written and hilarious accounts of her new found 'Dating' status, leaving us all begging for more.

Here, though, she makes the point remarkably well, that many of us find ourselves in a positions that we don't choose to. 
She lives in Rainham, Kent and works for a marketing agency, primarily involved with Social
Media campaigns, which plays right to her strengths.

Kate has two sons, Ben 17 and Dexter, 8.   
Lovely Anya from Older single Mum blog has asked me to contribute to her series of blog posts about being a single mum, challenging the perception that single mums are predominantly young, uneducated and living on Council estates.

I am neither young (unfortunately,) nor uneducated (thankfully,) nor do I live on a Council estate (for now,) but boy, am I very much a single mum.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been a single mum – last time round, however, I was in my late 20’s and, after picking myself up from a massive confidence blow, I coped.  Just.  I worked full time in London and found myself literally running from childminder-to-train-to-work-to-childminder-to-home … every day. 

It was, and remains, exhausting, because for the second time round, I am doing it all over again.  I have chosen to work full time and am lucky enough to have a job I love, but I still run from home-to-childminder-to-job-to-childminder-to-home … every day.

I’m now in my early 40’s and I haven’t really felt negatively ‘labelled’ as a single mum but then it’s only been six months.  Plus, I have my own home, job, car … I’m absolutely skint mind you, but, on the surface, I’m doing ‘ok.’  What people fail to realise is the story behind why I’m a single parent.  What drove me to make that decision?  Did I just decide one day that I could do a better job on my own?  That life would be easier if I ‘got rid’?

Well, in many respects, yes, I guess that’s all true.  But when your hand is forced, sometimes there is only one decision that can be made.  There is no choice.  I had no choice.  And we all have to live with the consequences.

Being educated, older and living in a nice neighbourhood doesn’t necessarily make being a single parent any easier – we all have our own stories as to why we’re in this situation.  Very few parents choose to raise their children on their own.  Ask them. 

And for those women who do fall into the stereotype, I applaud you, because I know how hard it is.

I work very hard to provide for my children because that’s how I was raised, but after I graduated as a mature student in 2010, I found out that providing was going to be harder than I’d anticipated.  It took me two years to find full time employment and Dexter and I have to deal with the fact that I’m just not around much.  Just like my eldest did first time around.  But what other choice do I have when I’m the sole provider?

I can’t give up on working because what I’ve realised about myself, having been in many a crappy situation over the years, is that I’m ambitious as hell … bloody determined, and I have a stubborn will to succeed.  Traits that hopefully both my sons have inherited. 

Because living in today’s world is HARD - whether you’re a man, woman, single parent, a couple, gay, straight, black or white.  It’s just hard.  And I refuse to let my ‘situation’ hold me back.

But that’s just me.

Read more excellent Single Mums' Stories in Series 1 from other top notch Bloggers HERE.



  1. Great to meet you Kate. As a working mother myself I can empathise with your situation totally. You sound like a great example for your boys as a dynamic, hard-working mum who has their best interests at heart but also your own.

    Great stuff.

  2. Wow, you sound like you have battled ALOT Kate, but that you have also come through with your head held high - love your determination and energy! :o).

  3. HONK of respect to my sista from anotha mista! Love Kate!

  4. Heartwarming, Kate. All the running can be tiring, but your boys need look no further than their mum when they need an example of a strong woman who made it all happen for them.

    Well done, sweetie. HMSx

  5. You are amazing and I applaud you! I'm not single but have a partner who works nights so I do the whole childminder-work-childminder thing by myself too and know how hard that can be. You are strong, determined and drop dead gorgeous, you'll get through this and be twice as awesome!

  6. They're great comments ladies, thank you X

  7. well done you ! I was once a single mum of 3 (for several years). I feel your pain commend your courage , what doesnt break you makes you they say ! Your personality & your kids will get you through the worse, and your personality & your kids will bring you the best xxx Good luck & thanks for sharing ... maybe you should ask for a few other stories ?

  8. You're welcome to add yours Debs. Hope you've seen the others? This is the first of a second series. Would love to have you on board!

  9. Great post Kate, I echo what you say - single parents come in all shapes, sizes and situations. I recently had a negative comment from someone who felt I offended single parents because of my 'lifestyle' (a week's holiday in Wales)!

    1. You're both so right and I remember the brilliant post you wrote in response! Thank you for supporting the series. Looking forward to what you have to say too!

  10. The media image of single parents is so very, very wrong - the median age of a single parent is 36 with only 5% being teenage. More work than don't, most have had their children within a steady relationship rather than just as a currency for a council house... but unfortunately this doesn't make headlines, just unsung heroes.

    It's great to read stories challenging the stereotypes, I have yet to meet anyone who even vaguely fits the Vicky Pollard School of Single Parenting, but so many more who blow it to smithereens. It's about time we spoke more of these, it's tough being a single parent and our efforts should be applauded and not constantly criticised.

    Chrissie x

  11. Unsung heroes indeed. Thank you for your support about this series - I'm glad you get the point of it, and it seems, are helping the cause!