Blog post from CheltenhamMaman HQ
2015 in the world of social media saw the dramatic rise of the #Instamum. One of the generals leading the frantic march of glammed up, funky superwomen and their small people, proudly waving their #parentingtheshitoutoflife banners, was Anna Whitehouse, aka @mother_pukka. Always at her side her little urchin (and company Vice President), Mae.
CheltenhamMaman HQ is thrilled to have been given ten minutes with Anna to drill her on what’s going down in London town on the mothering front.
CMHQ: First things first Anna – what funky clobber are you wearing today?
AW: I’m wearing my matching Mainio Clothing leggings and top. I’m wearing this because the kind people at Mainio sent it to me. Otherwise I’d be in some mangled pair of H&M leggings from 1996 (you know the ones you can’t bear to throw out because they slot onto those bum cheeks in a familiar, comforting way). I’m also wearing Mae’s birthday on my Say What You C necklace. Always good to combine practical information with shiny things.
CMHQ: Nice. And breakfast? Was it a fancy affair?
AW: Nope, it was a rubbery crumpet that was two days over it’s sell by date, embellished with the last scrapings of Marmite from an antiquated jar.
CMHQ: What does Papa Pukka make of all of this parenting the shit out of life business? Does he sometimes look at you like you’ve maybe lost some of your marbs?
AW: When we first started dating I accidentally sent him an email meant for my best friend. It read: “It’s been four hours, 34 minutes, 12 seconds since Matt (papa_pukka) last emailed me. I’m doing everything I can to distract myself from this fact – talking to my plant, eating Post-it notes…” I think he knew then it wasn’t going to be a seamless ride!
CMHQ: CheltenhamMaman is big on Mum friendly employers and we are always happy to advertise jobs that have a little more give in their seams. We know you are a big advocate of flexibility at work. Tell us about your Flex Appeal campaign.
AW: I am just really into companies that look at individuals individually; companies that realise one 9-6pm model doesn’t fit all and that in giving a little, you get back a lot. The Flex Appeal was simply a light-hearted way for me to continue this conversation and highlight what others (like the flexible working advocates Timewise) are doing to make work actually work for parents – or just people.
CMHQ: What advice would you give to some of our Mums who may feel they are stuck on a hamster wheel trying to keep all their parenting plates spinning?
AW: Have a special snack box for yourself in a corner of the kitchen. Scooby snacks – whether it’s a gluten-free fat-free sweet potato brownie or a gargantuan hunk of Dairy Milk, I do love a little nibble now and again to perk up a lacklustre day. Other than that, it’s not to look too deeply into what everyone else is doing. I had dinner with my best mate last Friday and she gets to look after her kids full time – I was undeniably jealous of her situation; despite the mad tantrums and stuff, I’d be all over being with Mae all the time – to see her growing up and telling me she doesn’t like blue dinosaurs. After dinner I realised she felt the same about me working; we both have it alright in our own ways.
CMHQ: I really enjoyed watching the vlogs you did with Stylist magazine on the shitty but real topic of miscarriage. You’ve been there, done that and it’s refreshing to hear someone talk about it. What would you tell your fellow Mamans who are suffering in silence?
AW: I think everyone deals with it differently. Bleating your misfortunes from the rooftops (like I tend to) isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But reaching out to a few close mates who can offer up a nook, some Jaffa cakes and the solid line, “it’s shit and I’m here” is never going to make things worse. That’s why I made those videos – to encourage more bosomy cuddles and jaffa cake imbibing in the face of those heartbreakingly shitty times.
CMHQ: Mother Pukka the Mamans de Cheltenham think you are really pretty cool. Fancy coming down to see us one day? Our grass is very green……
AW: Love a bit of foliage and love chatting to mamas so let’s DO this. Mine’s a builders and I do love a jammy dodger.
To find out more about Anna Whitehouse AKA Mother Pukka it’s probably best to visit her site. To see her article about her experience of miscarriage visit Stylist magazine. In the highly unlikely event you are not already one of the 36,000 people following her on Instagram, this is her account. Similarly you can find her on Facebook.
If you want to come and SEE MOTHER PUKKA IN THE FLESH IN OUR BEAUTIFUL TOWN OF CHELTENHAM (!!!) Tickets for CheltenhamMaman’s launch event on the 7th October are on sale here.