Anna Whitehouse aka Mother Pukka

Anna Whitehouse aka Mother Pukka is a woman who fights for women's rights when it comes to flexible working, she writes books, articles and has created an incredible podcast for parents. Pukka has pro-created with Papa Pukka aka Matt Farquharson and together they have Mae (4) and Evie (just arrived on the planet). Together they are a digital force who could change your life with just a mention on IG, but we all know sometimes 'you gotta help a mutha out' and ask "you OK hun?"

To some she is the 'lady with the skanky manky titty', but to most she is a warrior woman - authentic, a firm believer in sharing is caring and a fabulous human who just so happens to be a life source for some smaller humans. I sent Anna an email with some questions on the off chance she was hiding in the toilet with her phone and or stuck under children so could hit 'reply' and lucky for me she did. Enjoy x




Are you a mental Mum or a Mum that’s mental?

 I’m a knackered mum who tries to keep the ratio of tears to laughter in check.

What do you do when you feel overwhelmed? Meditate? Talk? Hide?

Go and stay with my Mum @grandmother_pukka who usually sorts me out. I also watch Louis CK (before he got done for flashing people his willy) who makes me laugh. And then there’s the bath salts. Like an old lady I wallow in the bath listening to Michael Jackson’s Earth Song for reasons that still remain unclear. It helps me to realise that the Earth has more shit going on than I probably do.

Do you discuss your mental health with your mum mates? 

Yes. My friend Gemma @gem_yo has pulled me out of some of my darkest fugs over the last year. She knows the signs and she knows how to help others talk and then they perhaps seek help. It’s a rare skill to help someone see when they might, well, need help.

It’s a rare skill to help someone see when they might, well, need help.
— Mother Pukka

How do you tackle mental health chats with your kid’s?

I haven’t really yet. We had a fairly rubbish December with some sad family news and Mae saw a lot of the family cry throughout and express grief. I was honest with her about the grieving process. I will always answer her questions honestly. Whether it’s about vaginas, death, Paw Patrol or “papa’s big fat tummy”

Who helps you in the dark? (In your pits, your mental rock bottom - who is your hero?)

A delicate cocktail of humans. It’s no one person but a mixture of people, including my parents, Matt, Mae (who fixes sadness with a ‘silly dance’ before requesting a Twix bar for her efforts), Gemma, Instagram friends and even someone who just offers up a flicker of a smile on the Tube.

What helps you in the light? (Meditation? Procrastination? Perspiration? People?)

People. Seeing them, watching them (in a non creepy way) and interacting here and in person. I’m not a lone wolf, more an excitable beagle that needs a pack, direction, an abundance of treats and a lot of head pats.

Is it hard to talk about your mental health?

I have never spoken about mental health directly. I suppose pregnancy anxiety and postnatal depression have filtered into my dialogue but I’ve never hidden the grey, blue or rare - but definitely to be celebrated - neon yellow days.  

Where’s your head at? 

A little lost. In a confused half world of working and being on maternity leave. Very tired but vaguely happy. Wondering what I’m doing. Wondering where I’m going. Worrying about mixing my family and business together to pay the bills and willing myself to park all the above and simply enjoy the silly dance happening centre stage.

Soft Play or Rehab?

Park bench with a bottle of white lightning.

Jacobs Creek or a Jacobs Cracker?

Campari soda and some olives. The cheap Sainsbury’s ones.

Nut Job or Nut Allergy?

A packet of dry roasted.

Self Care or Self Sabotage?

An awareness of self. Myself and yourself. Looking outside of myself stops the self sabotage. That’s why kids can be a wonderful distraction.

Journal or jog? 

Jotting and scribbling. Writing kicks me in the arse and gets me going. 

Ask for help or happy to hermit? 

Ask for help along the way instead of waiting for someone to look at you wide-eyed and say the words, “are you OK?”.

Follow Anna: @Mother_pukka

Book: 'Parenting the Sh*t out of life'

Podcast: Dirty Pukka

If you'd like to read more conversations with Mental Muthas, click HERE.

Women talking unashamedly about their mental health and parenting innit.