Anna Whitehouse AKA Mother Pukka
Posted on March 29 2017
Today's interview is with Anna Whitehouse aka Mother Pukka, writer, founder, blogger, vlogger and campaigner.
Anna is a successful writer and editor who has written for the likes of Stylist, and The Telegraph. She also launched her hugely popular blog - Mother Pukka - to give a voice to parents "parenting the shit out of life" and is now championing for more flexible working for parents with the Flex Appeal campaign. Here's her story:
Danielle Newnham: Can you tell us about your background and how you started the Mother Pukka blog?
Anna Whitehouse: I was a bit feral as a kid. Never had matching socks out of choice and tended to feel most at peace in a puddle. I was inspired by the TV show Rainbow.
I became a journalist and then a copywriter. Both were great until I popped a sprog. In that first year of parenthood I realised it wasn't working. I was pretending I didn't have a family at work and that I didn't have a job at home. I founded Mother Pukka on that; trying to help people laugh more than they cry and fight for flexible working to stop the pool of female talent being chopped out of the workforce the minute they pop a sprog.
Newnham: You are one of the original mummy bloggers who have made a business out of your own brand - how did that happen and do you have any advice for others looking to start on a similar path?
Whitehouse: I didn't have the time or energy for it to be a vanity project. If I was going to be doing this (and taking time away from my family to do it), it had to pay. I think the first step is knowing your worth from day one. I have always been transparent about money: I need dosh for keeping food on the table and Paw Patrol on the tele. If you are starting something similar, have a clear idea and push for what you are worth.
Newnham: What are some of the highs and lows of working for yourself and doing the job you do?
Whitehouse: Finding yourself saying "no, not now" as you have an urgent client call as your kid needs to toilet. That was a low. I had a word with myself: it's important to keep a sense of perspective. The other side of that is that while it's not perfect, I'm with my kid. Even if she is busting for a pee.
Newnham: Not only are you a huge inspiration in so many ways, you are an awesome champion for Flexible Working - can you tell us about the Flex Appeal?
Whitehouse: My aim is to travel the country and then hit America to bring a voice to the woman on the street who has worked hard in her GCSEs and is then edged out of the workforce for simply working on life. I believe flexible working is the future of feminism. It's about dad's taking an equal burden of childcare as it is mums pushing for more Flex.
Newnham: Finally, what's next for Mother Pukka?
Whitehouse: A baby. To continue parenting the shit out of life.
NB Anna is hosting a flash mob at Trafalgar Square (North Terrace) this Friday 31st March at 12pm (will be on BBC's The One Show with Gloria Hunniford - more info here.