She may have over 25k followers on Instagram and be the face of mega-brands such as Avon and Bugaboo but Anna Whitehouse, aka Mother Pukka, is also an all-round good egg. She doesn’t shy away from sharing details of her life such as the time she found her daughter fingering the dog, nor how she once mistook a daffodil for a spring onion with unfortunate consequences. Basically, she is one of us – fumbling and bumbling through parenthood and life while trying to not take it all too seriously. As such she agreed to take a few minutes out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions on what it is like to be The Mum of “Just the One”…
#parentingtheshitoutoflife is one of your catchphrases – What is the best piece of parenting advice that you have followed to make this actually happen occasionally?
I’m more regularly #notparentingtheshitoutoflife. I think it’s really just about rolling with the punches. What worked one day won’t the next. That moment your kid sleeps through the night and you think it’s down to some mad purchase off Amazon (the miracle blanket was one!) is amazing… only to be followed by a sleepless night that has you hollering, “but I have the miracle blanket! Work that miracle once… [in hushed tones] please…”
You have one daughter, the incredibly cute leg-crossing Mae, what do you say to the inevitable “Are you going to have any more?” questions?
I say I’m going to give it a good go. I’ve written a lot about miscarriage and not to be Debbie Downer, it’s not always your choice whether you’re going to have more or not. Like everything I’ve done, it’s not always the prize for excellence I’ve bagged, more effort. So I’m gonna try.
What do you feel are the advantages to having “just the one”?
I suppose stress levels. I struggle with basic tasks (crossing the road is a big one)… I can’t actually imagine getting two kids across a road. The logistics are mental in my mind.
You have given up your “dream job” to be able to spend more time with your daughter. What are the advantages and disadvantages to what you are now doing to make some cash?
It’s good because I’m with Mae more – I bring her to meetings (always asking beforehand – am yet to have someone say no.) But I have to be led by her a lot – “we go now” has been uttered when things go on a bit. It’s a refreshing way to work (and end a meeting!). I love the fact she is my wing girl… she’s growing up learning what it is to run a business on your own. However scarred she may be by seeing herself on all our vlogs, I think that’s a good thing.
As part of The Stylist’s campaign to end the taboo that surrounds miscarriage, you have been very open about suffering three miscarriages before you had Mae. Having had these experiences, how do you feel about the fact that the world sees you as the mother of “just the one”?
I am a mother of one and happy with that. I never fully considered my three miscarriages anything more than a sense of loss; a little bit of us that didn’t make it. I never let myself get too involved because it was too painful – decorating a nursery too soon; naming your unborn child – I was over-cautious. I suffered loss and I struggled with that but I am always an “onwards and upwards” person, who wallows in a dark hole and then has to move on and throw myself into something else. That’s what happened around the time Mother Pukka launched. I thought, why the frick isn’t anyone talking about this in a human way? In a way that doesn’t pull me down further but lets me know I’m not alone; we’re not alone.