Journalist Anna Whitehouse decided to launch her blog, Mother Pukka, because she felt there simply wasn't an online forum for ‘people who happen to be parents’.
'Sure, our lives have changed inextricably since having our daughter Mae, but we’re still the same people – despite the deep-set wrinkles and general knackeredness. There seemed to be a lot on the emotional/practical side of motherhood, but I was seeking some light relief from the onslaught of prophetic mothering sites. There didn’t seem to be anything light-hearted and fun for both Mums and Dads that just said ‘let’s all just put the homemade carrot puree down and find a pub that serves up the best baby chow in town’. Equally, I was seeking beauty and fashion advice that related to life as a Mum – this season’s 70s platforms just won’t cut it in the playground.'
Long before Mae's arrival, Anna met fellow journalist Matt, the man who would one day become her husband.
'We met in London ten years ago and almost immediately moved to Dubai to further our careers; I worked as a fashion writer for Grazia and he worked for Time Out. We then moved to Amsterdam where I was the lifestyle editor at Time Out and then a copywriter at fashion labels SuperTrash and Tommy Hilfiger before moving back to London four months ago where I’m now a writer at Shortlist Media.'
'Needless to say, we love to travel but now we’re home, we’re all about London – from the Science Museum’s texture garden (think door springs on walls and hose pipes hanging from the ceiling) to Big Fish, Little Fish’s baby rave at the Royal Festival Hall, we’re loving seeing our little girl dig this incredible city. London is a cruel mistress in many ways (the Tube, the cost, Boris’ face) but she’s definitely worth it.'
With an unpredictable 20-month-old to care for, Anna's day can start anytime between 5am and 7am. The two of them tend to hang out in bed together until the lure of Peppa Pig becomes too much to bear.
'Mae starts yelling for ‘Peppy’, then it’s breakfast, perhaps a treasure hunt in the garden (with requisite Peppa Pig cards) or a jaunt to the park with the papers. The afternoon is the reserve of some kiddie activity to knacker her out – whether it’s the Natural History Museum’s latest exhibition or something like the Imagine Children’s Festival. That’s what I love about London, there’s always something mad and bizarre that’ll burn off that excess toddler energy. At the moment bath time is a massive pain – she won’t go in unless one of us does, too. So there we are in the tub playing with ‘duckie’ at 7pm every evening.'
Anna describes Mother Pukka as a parenting website that combines a Time Out tone-of-voice with a parental need for some normality, although she concedes there's nothing regular about raving at 4pm on a Sunday at the Royal Festival Hall with a troupe of giddy toddlers and wearied Nu Rave parents!
A relative newbie in the blogging world, Anna hopes Mother Pukka will continue to grow and keep offering parents (and non-parents) a bit of light relief. As passionate as she is about the site, it's motherhood she loves most.
'Waking up every morning feels like Christmas – despite all the tough bits of mothering, there’s nothing like walking into your kids’ room and being greeted by that coat-hanger smile and cries of ‘Mama’ and ‘Papa’. Perhaps it is life’s biggest vanity project. but I’ve loved putting my all into someone else.'
If she could go back in time and give pregnant Anna one piece of advice, she'd tell her to stop worrying.
'Just be prepared to weather the procreation storm – whatever it throws your way. It may seem dark at times – the sleepless nights; the pressure of making puree from scratch; having time for your husband/friends/family/job/a shower – but when that subsides, it’s pure sunshine.'
We couldn't agree more!
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