Anna – Mother Pukka

Anna championing the cause for flexible working

It’s a bright, sparkly new year and, after a short break over Christmas, the Universal Parenthood Series is back and to kick off 2018, I have an interview with Anna from Mother Pukka for you all. I know I say this about every woman that I feature on my blog, but Anna is yet another inspirational parent doing great things and utilising social media to do so. Mother Pukka is one of the first Instagram accounts that I stumbled upon when my son was tiny, and ever since then I have been following her journey. There’s no sugar coating, no censoring and no holds barred and that, to me, is why Anna is so well loved – she is every one of us while being entirely herself. Her instastories with her two daughters and her changing room struggles and her brilliant family are all so relatable and familiar and yet she doesn’t come across as compromising herself or putting on a public face.

Champion of the Flex Appeal campaign, Anna is very vocal about her desire for change in the workplace and this is backed up by the overwhelming statistics that make it clear flexible working is in the best interests of the companies as well as the parents (who, in this context are often women.) Like so many current issues, the right and sensible thing to do is being stated loudly and plainly and yet change is slow or non  existent. It takes movements like Flex Appeal to push change across the border, bit by bit, and Anna and her campaign should be applauded for setting it into motion.

Speaking honestly about miscarriages, sleep deprivation and Post Natal Depression, Anna is a bit of a girl crush of mine. Her Instagram account has joined the ranks of so many others that I admire and that inspire me to be a little bit better, have a bit more of an opinion and try that little bit harder to accept that I am being the best parent that I can be and so I was quite excited when she agreed to participate in my interview series. Read on to see her answers to my questions!

1) Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your family?

I’m a journalist at heart. I’ve always loved words and even though I have dyslexia, I’ve been determined to work with them. My three best decisions in life have been Mae, Eve and Matt. Oh and a £35 Massage machine that straps to the sofa.

Anna and her family. I’d like to post a picture of the £35 massage thing but, alas, I couldn’t find a photo

2) If you could give one piece of advice for an expectant mother, what would it be?

To not look left or right (unless crossing the road). To just look forward and focus on your own journey; your own way of doing things.

3) All of us parent differently and have different values. What is your most important parenting value?

To listen. Even in a tantrum, there’s something that needs to come out.

4) what motto do you try and live by?

To not look up to people and to not look down on people. Look straight ahead.

5) What are your hopes for your daughters?

That they grow up in a world where they won’t be at a disadvantage for simply being women.

Anna campaigning for a different world for her daughters

6) You share some pretty personal stuff with the public. Did you warn your friends and family that you were planning on doing this? Has it ever caused awkward conversations?

It’s no different to when I used to write journalistic features. Writing is personal and my family has always been on board.

7) It feels like there’s been such a huge movement over the last couple of years to support each other as women, why do you think that is?

I think because people at tired or being divided. Finally we have a tool that unites us outside of the media.

8) Your cause Flex Appeal campaign is so important and clearly something your passionate about. As you often point out, financially it’s better for companies to offer flexible working than retrain someone new, so what do you think is holding them back? 

Fear. There’s always fear with change.

9) I cried every time you updated about scares with your pregnancy with Eve. Not proper big sobs, but the kind of shuddery intake of breath and stingy eyes that comes from having been in your position and having a flashback to seeing blood or being strapped to a monitor in a hospital bed. I’m sure I’m not the only person to say this, or to say that I cried again when I saw that she’d arrived safely. Do you ever marvel at the primal nature of parenting in such a technological era?

I feel so invested in those I follow. I don’t believe they are friends in any way but like you I empathise and feel what they are going through and that’s because it’s real, often raw and honest. I think seeing all these different parenting versions is so healthy and essential in a world that needs to embrace difference.

10) Parenting is tough and beautiful all at the same time. Can you tell us about a tough time and a shining moment that you’ve had as a parent?

I suffered with PND with Mae and I feared I’d never come through it until a friend who was in the same position poured us lukewarm wine into one of those plastic Ikea cups and we laughed for the first time in a long while as we saw a reflection of our dishevelled, slightly unhinged selves.

 

I hope you enjoyed reading Anna’s interview. She, along with a growing network of strong, incredible women, are working so hard for change and to lift other women up and it was a pleasure and a privilege to briefly connect with her.

Follow her and read more about Flex Appeal here –

Instagram – Mother Pukka

Facebook – Mother Pukka

Twitter – @mother_pukka

Website – Mother Pukka