Introducing Clara Le and her 2 year old son Bear. Clara a grafter, she has always worked since graduating and is now a partner of The Location Guide, an independent publishing company based in London specialising in; helping people to shoot on locations all around the world. Since last year most of Clara's time is dedicated on FOCUS, a newly launched UK Location & Production show for the Commercials/Feature Films and TV Industries.
Clara is one of the most well known and loved women in the international advertising community and always has time for you. She is always one to be seen at Cannes and has been renowned for her parties and ability to network.
3 words to describe being a mother Amazing – Love - Family
Tell me about your maternity leave As we are a small company and I am partner, I pretty hands on, I only took 3 months maternity leave, which to be honest when I look back is just not enough. I worked right up until 2 days before I gave birth (yes I know… I’m a bit crazy) I checked my emails during my maternity leave and made sure the important ones were dealt with by staff and I guess I just had to be more productive within the working hours when I was back at work… I believe that one can work just as efficiently with less hours as long as one prioritises things.. Us women are pretty good at multitasking right? I have a great partner and mother in law that are very hands on and helped out a lot. At the moment I work from home one day a week and leave the office everyday at 4.30pm so I can get home to feed my boy, bathe him and tuck him into bed.
Would you like to be a stay at home mum? I think I would like to work for only 2-3 days a week. I love being a mum but I think I would go stir crazy if I didn’t engage my brain with some kind of work deadline. If I could change something then I would have like to take a year maternity leave with my son because those baby days passes so quickly. Living in London makes it harder to be a stay at home mum with the extremely high cost of living. I do feel guilty many times when I am on business trips or working long hours but I was raised by parents who worked hard all their lives so it is instilled in me to do the same to provide for the family. I think us women should be kinder to one another and stop judging each other. None of us are perfect and we do the best we can. Looking good? I think gone are the days where I spend hours in front of the mirror putting make up in the morning… I am more like wash and go now!
3 words to describe how you feel about your job Proud – Stressful - Happy
do you feel differently about your work now you are a mum or are you still as driven? I think I am more driven as I now have a little one to provide for… I have to think about his future and it’s no longer just about me. I work more intensely when I am in the office so that I can leave the office at 4.30pm to go home to see my boy. Nowadays, work is no longer 9-5pm, you can work on the train/at home so I will always check and reply to emails after my boy has gone to sleep. If you provide mothers with flexible working hours to enable them to work without too much guilt then they will work just as hard and well.
do you feel guilty going to work? I do every morning when I look at my little boy’s sleeping face! But then I know he is well cared for by family members and that he is a happy little chappie so I feel better that not strangers are taking care of him.
whats the hardest thing about being a working mum? The working hours
whats the most rewarding? My little family unit
how do you maintain a sense of wellbeing whilst devoting your time to your kids? Prior to having my son I used to go to the gym 3-4 times a week. Well.. since my boy… I just don’t have the same amount of time to go anymore. I try at least to go once to twice a week but it can be hard to do so. I tend to take longer walks now with my boy who is now 2 and has so much energy it’s insane.. we take him out often so he can run amok in the park… which basically means we have to run after him as well… kids definitely keep us young!
how do you manage your stress? I have to remember to breathe in and breathe out…. And try and switch off…
what drives you? Providing for the family
biggest lesson learnt? You are not perfect so do the best you can
how do you manage on the days when you are just so tired you can’t even think about getting out of bed? Guilty! If it’s over the weekend then I will take out the ipad and put on some cartoons for my boy so I can get a couple of hours extra sleep
has becoming a mother changed you? Yes definitely..for the better… life is just amazing with a little one. It gives you purpose
what are your dreams? Living on an island sipping mojitos sounds pretty good…
what would you like to see the future be for your kids? Living in the UK for many years I can see things are getting tougher for new graduates and people trying to get on the housing market. Cost of living here has become pretty crazy. I hope that things will not go overboard by the time my boy is older. A happy work and home life balance is a must nowadays as what is the point of having a family if you don’t spend time with them?
any pearls of wisdom? Be kind to yourself and to others.