Our America host Lisa Ling has sure been one busy first-time mom! Aside from taking care of her five-month-old daughter, Jett, the TV journalist serves as an Ambassador for The IKEA Life Improvement Project. This initiative donates to Save the Children‘s Early Steps For School program that supports early education.
Lisa opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about her role as a Life Improvement Project Ambassador, why the Early Steps For School program is so important, and how her little girl Jett is doing. She also shares a funny story about how she once had to Fed-Ex her milk to Jett when she was on the road working on the fifth season of Our America!
CBS: Tell us about your role as an Ambassador for the IKEA Life Improvement Project.
LL: “IKEA approached me last year about becoming an Ambassador. I am such a huge fan of IKEA and always have been. In fact, when my husband and I built our home three years ago, we used a ton of IKEA products in our house. We built the first LEED-certified platinum home in Santa Monica, as we are both nerdy environmentalists. [laughs]
Many people don’t realize that IKEA is incredibly philanthropic. IKEA’S Life Improvement Project is a site where people can submit ideas, suggestions, and stories abut how they improved their lives and their homes, so others can get ideas from them. For every idea submitted, a dollar goes to Save the Children’s early education effort. This is something that really appealed to me. At the conclusion of the project, IKEA will present fifty thousand dollars to Save the Children. I was really excited about that.”
CBS: You will help IKEA present the very generous donation to Save the Children’s Early Steps for School Success program. What is the program all about?
LL: “I’ve always been an advocate for early childhood education. My mother-in-law actually helped start the program in Newark, New Jersey. Save the Children works in low-income communities to help young children get access to early education. It’s something I wish more communities would try to do, because it’s been proven that when children get exposed to early education, their cognitive abilities develop and it helps them become more successful in the end.”
CBS: How’s your baby girl, Jett, doing? Is she an easy baby? Have you been able to get a lot of sleep?
LL: “She’s great! Fortunately for all of us, she’s napping right now. [laughs] She’s enriched our lives in such a profound way. We feel so lucky, albeit I am a little sleep deprived.” [laughs]
LL: “To be honest, my favorite part about being a mom is going into her room at night and just staring at her. I can stare at her forever… feeling that connection to this little person is so amazing. As strange as it sounds, my biggest fear about having a child was being responsible for another life. However, one thing I derive pleasure from is knowing that I have this person to take care of who needs me. She is such a beautiful little life.
My favorite motherhood moments are every time she smiles. She recently just started smiling and laughing, and there’s this little sounds she makes when she laughs that warms my heart.”
CBS: You waited so long to become a mom, is motherhood everything you thought it would be? Has it transformed you or changed you?
LL: “It’s funny you ask that, because I was never that woman who had this desire to have a baby; it wasn’t my long-awaited wish. Now that we have her, I can’t imagine life without her because she’s brought so much joy to my life. I was terrified of motherhood before having her; I even spent the day before she was born crying and thinking to myself, ‘What have we done? We can’t go back now!’ [laughs] Now we are at a place where we can’t imagine life without her.
Motherhood has transformed me, because the world looks so different now. I’ve always wanted to do things that help me expand my horizons and my mind, and I’ve always wanted to do work that I could be proud of. Now I want my work to be something that my daughter is proud of.”
CBS: Do you believe “women having it all” is unrealistic or is it attainable?
LL: “I don’t think it is realistic at all. I think women make so many sacrifices, much more than men do. It’s okay to not have it all, it’s okay to ask for help, and it’s okay to say, ‘I need to talk to someone and I need to confide in other people about things.’ I think the idea of women having it all is nice to imagine, but I don’t think it is really possible. I think we can have a whole lot of things and we can be good at a lot of things, but we also should feel like it’s okay to ask for help when we need it.”
CBS: What upcoming projects do you have?
LL: “I am now working on the fifth season of my show, Our America. It isn’t airing until next year, but I’m already on the road a bit here and there, which is definitely challenging. The last trip I took was a week long and I ended up Fed-Exing my milk for Jett, which is funny because it really worked! [laughs] I Fed-Exed it overnight and when it arrived, a lot of it was still totally frozen. Technology and all of the things we are able to do to expedite things are amazing.”
CBS: What are you and your family doing this summer? Any fun family trips?
LL: “We are probably going to stay home a lot, because I am doing tons of work. My husband and I are also going to Mongolia. We were supposed to go last year, but I got pregnant and we had to postpone the trip to the end of this summer. Mongolia is the place I’ve always wanted to visit the most. I’ve always been fascinated with the Mongol Empire and I’ve been to so many other countries surrounding Mongolia. I’m super excited to go! Both grandmas have been kind enough to watch Jett for a week.”
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