Funny, Fashionable & All About Flexible Working: Meet Anna Whitehouse



I worked out the secret to surviving motherhood a couple of years ago. I think I was crying at the time. The secret? Laughter. It fixes everything. Even if you’re crying while you’re laughing, that’ll still work. So we know you’re going to love the gorgeous mama Anna Whitehouse of Mother Pukka...

Yes, the witty name of her website is just the beginning. She is guaranteed to make you laugh. The London-based journalist and editor and I met almost 10 years ago when we were both living and working in Dubai. She was British (a great start in my book), very funny and we just clicked. We spent a few years in the desert, then I moved home to Sydney and she moved to Amsterdam. Fast-forward a few years and she’s now back in London and married with an adorable two-year-old daughter Mae. Recently, Whitehouse left her copywriter job at L’Oreal to focus on Mother Pukka and to spend more time with her daughter. Her videos are hilarious (learn how to work out in the playground, have a mini break in your car or ‘wine’ down) and you’ll love her down-to-earth outlook on life, honest musings on motherhood and her new ‘Flex Appeal’ campaign, which aims to promote more flexible working environments.

Go to www.motherpukka.co.uk


When I wake up...

I wish I drank hot lemon in a Liberty print bone china tea cup and managed a few yoga stretches, but in reality I just check Instagram and vaguely get dressed – I say vaguely; you know there’s always a button here or a shoelace there not quite tended to.


Before I go to bed...

I send my sister a text message – she lives in Amsterdam so it’s my time to send her something goofy that reminds her I’m around and still annoying despite the English Channel between us.


The biggest misconception about me...

Is that I’m cool. I’m not a fan of that word. If you look it up in the dictionary is says ‘not excited; calm; composed; under control’ – who wants to be that?


My biggest parenting fail was…

Accidentally giving my daughter a gin and tonic, thinking it was lemonade. Luckily she spat it out immediately. Dark parental times…


My tips for surviving motherhood are…

Find a bunch of likeminded mamas who make you laugh through the madness.


My role model is…

Provider; of money and weird games that make my daughter think I’m great.


The definition of success is...

Yours to define. Looking at others may be inspiring but doesn’t help you work on your dream. As my Dad always said, ‘focus on that finish line and ignore everything else’.


If I wasn't doing what I'm doing today…

I’d still be working insane hours, spending 10 minutes a day with my kid at L’Oreal as a senior copywriter.


My mother taught me…

To make yourself heard. Head up, look to the Gods and articulate. In everything you do. Even if you are doubting yourself, deliver the message with gusto.


My career started when…

I decided I liked the sound of ‘journalist’ more than ‘lawyer’, which I’d studied for. It was based on nothing more high brow than that.


I launched Mother Pukka because…

I thought there’s more fun to be had with motherhood. I’d had enough of hanging around in soft play groups in community halls that smelled of feet.


I came up with my #parentingtheshitoutoflife when…

Mae was first born. I kept saying it and it sort of stuck. Then is became part of Mother Pukka.


I recently left my job at L’Oreal to focus on Mother Pukka because…

I wanted to spend more than 10 minutes a day with my kid. I am, however, regretting the lack of free mascara. You really can’t have it all.


Happiness is...

Doing things your way – good, bad or ugly. I met a great writer, Hunter Davies the other day and he said happiness is ‘always being a little unsure of what’s to come’. Complacency is different to happiness – happiness has more of an exciting tingle to it.


I am passionate about…

Flexible working. Pushing it, shouting about it and asking big companies why they can’t see through all the red tape to let talented mamas and papas continue to do their jobs in a more flexible working environment. With the Internet and stuff, there’s no excuse. That’s why I launched our ‘flex appeal’ campaign to hammer home the message.


I’d describe my approach to parenting as...

Inconsistent. One day it’s ‘have all the Frozen toys, bathe in the toys’, the next it’s ‘you can’t have the toy. You’ve had too many toys. I need to work on that.


Life as a working mother is…

Exciting, unnerving and embellished with Tupperware.


My biggest career highlight was…

Speaking recently at a Guardian newspaper conference about ‘the rise of the social influencer’. I’d spent years trying to write for the newspaper to no avail and then to speak at their conference equalled thumbs-up emojis all round.


2016 is going to be the year that I…

Learn how computers work. Working for yourself is tricky without a ‘Steve in IT’ to help with all The Stuff.


Social media is…

Brilliant. I won’t hear a bad word against it. Used carefully it can allow you to breastfeed with one hand and launch a business with the other – for free.


My time management secrets are…

A concern.


Having my own business is…

Good for the soul. I feel more alive now than I have in my entire 10-year journalistic career. It was a career that started as junior reporter on Practical Caravan, so not hard, really.


Today I’m wearing…

SuperTrash boyfriend jeans, a geometric Folk shirt, Sollilas espadrilles, a Lulu Guiness pespex lip ring and a necklace from Saywhatuc with Mae’s birthday on it. Oh and knickers – massive granny pants.


The last meal I ate was…

Clichéd. Avocado toast; so predictable it hurts.


My style essentials are…

Tiba + Marl nappy rucsac (it fits all The Stuff) and Antipodes Saviour Skin Balm (I wear on my lips) and Saucony neon trainers.


I relax by…

Skyping mates across the globe with a glass of wine.


I get stressed when…

I haven’t managed to clear all my emails for two days. I assume I’ve missed an email that tells me I’ve won the lottery or something.


My next travel destination is...

Greece for a press trip at Sani Resort; a parent/ kid-friendly spot that just gets it – gets the need for a penned-in area for kids near the pool and all that administrative stuff!


I treat myself by...

Eating out with Mae after daycare at our favourite East London restaurant Marmelo. They get her a plate of avocado (‘Kado’ to her) ready as soon as she blasts in with her scooter helmet on.


After I finish writing this I’m going to...

Get back to writing a sponsored blog post for a company called GoSend and cracking open more pistachio nuts. All the glamour.


Life in London is…

A tale of two halves. London is like the really naughty ex-boyfriend you had who treated you like shit but was ultimately the best shag you’ll ever have.


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