We are family


“In a partnership you can’t both be down at the same time” – those are wise words and they’re not from Gandhi, Gates or anyone, but from Anna Tizard and Lydia Barron, founders of nappy bag business Tiba + Marl. It’s a testament to the old adage that mothers really do know best.

They’re words that struck a chord recently because my team hasn’t been firing on all cylinders. Not to dribble on about our irrelevant mishaps, but the hard facts are: we’ve had to move out of our house because it’s a bit broken, leaving the urchin with my parents full-time. We had some other less-than-amazing news but I can’t – for the sake of my real/ Internet life boundaries and keenness not to channel Kris Jenner – unveil the juice.

If there was a quick analysis of the situation, we’re homeless and living out of a rucsac. “Like a snail,” the uchin summarised last week. Yes, we’re two molluscs slugging about London in search of some respite from the life storm.

Anyone looking in might wince at our seeming inability to ‘adult’ or, in fact, parent. But in the last two weeks, we’ve unearthed a reserve that’s so steely and so united that even Rhino from Gladiators (if you don’t get the reference, I may weep with age) wouldn’t mess.

Friends have showered us in support – a bed here, a fish finger sandwich there; heart and home emoticons in abundance – while we’ve lived day-to-day lurching from bog leakage decisions to painfully short phone conversations with the urchin about ‘sketti’ (spaghetti) and ‘Boobies’ (CBeebies).

Instagram – a place that gets so much flack for being all faux and full of avocado toast lies – has been kind. Kelly from amazing jewellery brand Cult of Youth, who I have only ever met on t’Internet helped create the ideal Instahome for us to move into. (Think chicks running free, a panda on-loan – to be returned when everything was OK again – and Beyonce with a bit of baby sick on her shoulder to take the edge off her perfection.)

There was also a moment when my husband was in the M&S knicker department in search of undies because I’d run out. His message: “Panicked in the knicker aisle, but I think we’re good.” I laughed out loud. And that’s happened more than I expected for someone who is running around in a knickerless, daycare-less, homeless state of wild abandon.

That’s because the moment I ache for bath time with Mae, the moment I worry about the bricks and mortar, there’s an equal moment of friendliness/madness to temper the storm. A moment where you realise you’re not surrounded by massive bell-ends. And that’s actually quite refreshing once in a while.

It’s, perhaps, a realisation that there’s a Tiba to your Marl.

(That last line is excruciatingly sickly, but hey, it’s all I’ve got. Other than an eye twitch.)


Feature in the image: Tiba + Marl rucsac, ByStroom baby rucsac and tutu, Tease and Totes #GirlPowerTee with profits going to World Reader, Topshop culottes and Office heels (these ones have just sold out but there’s plenty of cool ones there).


Anna Whitehouse

Founder of Mother Pukka, Anna Whitehouse likes super hero cape-making classes and dislikes the naming of celebrity couples (TomKat, Brange etc.) She tries (and often fails) to parent the shit out of life.



Turns out I’m not an afternoon person either.


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