We have a bit of (okay, a big) crush on Anna, the mama behind blogzine ‘Mother Pukka‘ – a refreshingly honest mix of stuff about parenthood with a huge dollop of humour on top. From her ‘Mum Hacks’ with tips like ‘how to not to scare people with your face’ after only 4 hrs and 13 minutes sleep, to her adventures with almost 2 year old Mae, Anna is cool, down to earth and not into making life look glossy and perfect (because let’s face it, it never is when toddlers are involved!). An ex Dubai resident, Anna now lives in London where she checks out child-friendly gastro pubs, celebrates #parentfails (check out her Instagram mamas, it’s hilarious) and makes us laugh, a lot, through her brilliant rants. Read all about Anna and Mother Pukka below.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m Anna Whitehouse, the founder of Mother Pukka (a blogzine for ‘people who happen to be parents’) and mother to Mae, who is nearly two.
What city do you live in and how long have you lived there?
I live in London and have been here for six months now – we previously lived in Amsterdam for five years and Dubai for three years before that.
What do you love most about your city as a mama?
The mad stuff there is to do with your kids. From Big Fish Little Fish’s baby raves to babycinno tastings (yes, really), it’s like one big playground for parent and kid. I also never take for granted the fact that you can get into the Natural History Museum, Science Museum and V&A for free.
What would be your top tips for a family day out for visitors to your city?
To venture into the unknown. When we left London ten years ago it was an entirely different place – you literally didn’t go near Shepherd’s Bush (it was a bit stabby) and now it’s impossible to move for Bugaboos and Waitrose’s. Now there’s places like Leyton (out East) that offer the same London spirit but with a fresh perspective. The Red Lion pub in Leytonstone has this great graffiti-walled sand-based beer garden – perfect for parenting with a pint.
What are your favourite fashion stores for kids wear?
I LOVE The Dandy Kid for kids stuff. Their exclusive Wild Kids Apparel range from Canada is so cute – think sketched rabbits on T-shirts and sweaters for adults and kids. (It’s all about the matchy matchy). They also have the amazing Papu Stories – a Finnish label made from GOTS-certified organic loveliness.
What are your go-to mama stores for fashion and home?
I’m more of a Instashopper – there are so many cool mamas doing cool things that I find myself trawling through Instagram and spending so much money on their stuff. I love Nor-folk’s ‘work hard’ T-shirts for mama and ‘play hard’ ones for kids. There’s also Don’t Buy Her Flowers – a fab gifting company that packages up everything a new mama needs (think magazines, posh hand cream, tea and chocolate – amazing). For home, I get my inspiration from Buddy and Bear – their achingly cool rabbit egg cups are perfect baby shower gifts.
What is your favourite holiday destination?
Since we’ve had Mae, we’ve started holidaying closer to home and love Smith and Family – a travel company that have tried-and-tested family-friendly boutique hotels on their books. Last weekend we went to Lucknam Park near Bath – squint a little and it was like Downton Abbey but with a kids play area and Shetland Ponies to pet. Everyone was a winner.
Have you ever been to Dubai? If so where did you stay, was it child friendly and what was your favourite activity? If you haven’t then would you be interested in visiting and why?
We lived in Dubai for three years before we had a kid so it was a totally different experience – brunches, sunbathing and partying – then. This time round we stayed at the Park Hyatt and it was perfect for kids, while making you feel like you weren’t fully immersed in kiddie bedlam.
Describe your parenting style in three words.
Good, bad and occasionally ugly.
Do you capture your moments through a phone or a camera, tell us about it?
I’ve been trying to have a digital detox lately because I found I was capturing Mae’s life without experiencing it. So I limit myself to getting snap happy around her. I’ll never forget watching her walk for the first time through my iPhone and wondered what I was doing. Photos are great, but remembering is greater.
Up for a bit of a giggle, mamas? Check out Anna’s vlog ‘The Great British Fake-Off’ below!