Mother Pukka and Flex Appeal campaigner reveals how social media got her passport to Number 10.

Journalist, Heart FM presenter and mother, Anna Whitehouse is best known by her online moniker, Mother Pukka. She has spent the last five years challenging both the status quo when it comes to the traditional nine-to-five, and everyone with the power to change it, from government to big brands. Her campaign, Flex Appeal, has seen flash mobs in Trafalgar Square; led to a Ted Talk; and even earned her a date at No. 10 to discuss how the outmoded work model could be reinvented to keep skilled parents in the workplace and able to balance childcare and a fulfilling career without compromise.

For this week’s Guest Edit Anna shares her favourite podcasts for motherhood; the social media creators using the space innovatively; her top book recommendations; and a wholly unglamorous recent online purchase…

My favourite website… Timewise Jobs - A website advertising part-time and flexible working roles, because it gives a glimmer of hope that companies are recruiting flexibly from the outset, which is a huge leap from where we were five years ago. They’re doing a lot to move the conversation along more quickly.

The app I use the most… Peppa Pig’s Paintbox - It’s creative in many ways.

My favourite blog/online magazine... About Time Magazine - Because of the shoots they’re doing and the people they’re interviewing. They don’t just go for the obvious faces – they do their research and look for the next big thing.

My internet hero… @shon.faye - She’s really gone for it. She’s like, ‘This is who I am, this is how I write and here’s my profile, take it or leave it’. People think Instagram is just this pixelated space, but I feel like you can really get a sense of someone’s personality if they’re open to it.

My favourite podcasts... Made by Mammas by Zoe Hardman - I’ll be honest, at first I thought, ‘Oh no, another mummy podcast’, but because she’s so razor-sharp in her interviewing, she gets to the heart of the issue straight away. She has really interesting people on the show and she’s also just incredibly funny, and humour is something I look for in a podcast. I want to learn, but I also want to feel lightness! I also like Love & Radio. They do really bizarre interviews with fascinating people who have made changes in the world by doing something extraordinary.

My most recent buy online… I think it was some grouting for our shower. We went for a slate grey. Very on trend.

Book just downloaded/read... The Testaments by Margaret Atwood - The follow-up to The Hand Maid’s Tale. I’m half way through and it’s absolutely brilliant – the content is so timely and I think it’s great that someone is communicating these topics on a global scale so we all feel more part of it.

Favourite Tweeter… Ellie Taylor - My co-presenter on Heart FM. She’s very funny.

Favourite Instagrammer… I would say Shon Faye once again, and @theslumflower – I think she’s great. I’m all about people who you actually feel like you know through those restrained tiles.

Social media allowed me to meet… Social media took us to Downing Street with the Flex For All Campaign. We wouldn’t have had an in there without our following. I think people were interested in why people were interested in us.

Most worthwhile newsletter I subscribe to… My daughter’s school newsletter probably.

Pet hate about life online… Hate is a strong word, but I think the general announcement of social media fatigue, fatigues me. The declaration of ‘I’m not going to be here for a while guys, I’m taking a break’. I think you can ebb and flow in that space without having to draw huge lines in the sand.


Sophie Beresiner
Marcia Kilgore
Francesca Martin

October 2019

By Lydia Mansi