TikTok star Kat Stickler on life as a single mom: 'I'm stronger than I ever thought I was'

·7 min read
TikTok star Kat Stickler on being a single mom, her Latina roots and the importance of being authentic. (Getty; designed by Quinn Lemmers)
TikTok star Kat Stickler on being a single mom, her Latina roots and the importance of being authentic. (Getty; designed by Quinn Lemmers)

Her TikTok bio bills her as "averagely funny, sorta relatable." It's a pretty modest introduction, considering that Kat Stickler counts more than 8 million followers — and twice that number viewed one of her most recent posts featuring her daughter MK, who turns 2 in November. 

Indeed, both the Florida native and her platform seem to be flourishing since she became a mom and found her footing after a divorce from her now ex-husband and former content creator partner Mike Stickler. Amid her comedy videos and lip-synch routines are heartfelt and vulnerable observations about going solo, as well as sweet snapshots of her life with MK. 

Here, the social media star opens up about motherhood and the importance of being authentic and honest on her platform. 

What has motherhood, and then becoming a single mom, taught you about yourself?

I'm stronger than I ever thought I was, which I know sounds so cliché. But literally the thought of having a baby was so mortifying and then doing it by yourself ... I was like, there's no way I can do this. But you can do it; when push comes to shove, you show up. It's awesome. And I can count on myself; I've learned that too. 

How are you finding the transition to single motherhood?

At first, [it] was hard to adjust to but you can do it. It's hard. I know it's different for everyone, but if you really need it and you need to take that step and that has to be part of your life, it's doable. I get help. My mom helps me and my friends helped me. My neighbors helped me. Everyone helps, and I'm really thankful for that. 

How would you describe your parenting style?

I'm much more laid-back, especially now as a single mom. You just can't focus on those little things that you would judge other moms for. You don't mean to, but even before you were a mom, you'd see people, like, giving babies chips or watching the tablet at the table. ... Everything's OK now; I'm much easier on myself. I'm not like, "Oh, you're a bad mom, because for dinner, she just had a PB and J." No, it's fine. When I first had her, I was very harsh on myself. I do this and this, and if you don't do that, you're a bad mom. But I'm much more easygoing and laid-back [now]. 

You document a lot of your life on social media, but is there anything that might concern your daughter that is off-limits to you? Are there certain things that you definitely hold back on sharing?

I guess explaining why I got divorced, just because that is the father of my child and that's her dad. That's just something I've definitely not addressed at all. 

You recently posted a video that spoke to the negative feedback women are constantly exposed to. As the mother of a daughter, are you trying to tackle that?

Oh yeah. She's young now; she can't really understand. But anything she wants to play with, even if it's a "boy toy," she can play with it. She likes a pair of shoes that are "boy shoes," we get it. 

The "just be who you are, it's welcomed no matter what" [message] is big. Especially now in this platform, you really appreciate the people in your corner that accept you for you and don't give you s***. You just can't have that in your inner circle, because you're so used to having it everywhere else. 

Do you have a strategy for dealing with mom shaming?

I never respond. They go low, you go high — I'm a big believer in that, to not engage in negativity with any kind of energy. But yeah, sometimes I see some [comment] and it hurts my feelings or I'm annoyed. I'm like, "Why are you judging me? You know absolutely nothing. If only you knew!" And then that part of my ego gets triggered. But how I deal with it is I just kind of think, "That must suck. Like, your life is based on putting people down..." You'll have those people that are always in the comments saying the same things in a different way. And that's just [them] going through something and it has nothing to do with me. Just kind of separating that helps me out a lot. 

You post a lot about your Hispanic mom. How has that heritage influenced you growing up and how you might parent MK?

Well, the fact that I learned Spanish was so helpful. When I visit my cousins and stuff, I can speak Spanish with them. I know some families, when half of them move into an English-speaking area, it's hard to connect with family that stayed. So I'm definitely teaching her Spanish so she can connect to that part. I feel like that's how my mom raised me. So whatever my mom did, I'm probably going to inadvertently do with MK and I'm not going to even realize it [laughs].

What are your favorite things to do with her as a family?

I love in the morning when she wakes up and we're in bed together. She's so loving. I thought I would feel lonely [after the divorce], like, not having someone sleeping next to me all the time. But I have her and it's just way better. I don't know. You appreciate it so much more ... it just means a lot more. And I love when we have a really good meal, like when I'm cooking and she helps me cook and she gets really excited and she gets so excited. And then when we're sitting down to watch a movie and she'll start moving in her chair all excited and just want to kiss me and hold me while we watch the movie. Things like that I enjoy the most. 

Is she at home with you, or does she go to daycare?

I have a few friends that have kids and we usually switch it up so that she can have interaction. We are on the waitlist for five different daycares, but everything is full. Even though I am a homebody, I usually take her once a day somewhere out, like we'll go to the pool for 30 minutes, or the park. And it's not just for her; it's for me too. Or she'll walk the dog with me. We definitely get outside every day, at least for a little bit.

Are there any misconceptions about being an influencer?

I think I try to be as authentic as I can be. I feel like when I would try to make things seem OK — because I felt like I had to, or else people wouldn't want to watch — it just didn't perform or it didn't get good feedback. So anytime I'm, like, just authentic, I feel like people like it more and I like it more. But yeah, it's tempting when you're an influencer to make it seem like my house is clean all the time and I'm always in a good mood and I always wake up looking so pretty and I eat healthy every day. It's so easy to make it like this cookie-cutter thing, but I don't really do that. But I know that some people do that and it must be hard for them. I'm pretty honest.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

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