Q&A With Lisa Ling
Are you consciously taking fewer risks, now that you're a mother?
"I've always done a pretty intensive risk assessment before any shoot that could become contentious. Now that I'm a mother I'm certainly even more diligent about trying to make sure that things are not too perilous."
Does it bother you that male reporters, who happen to be fathers, are rarely if ever asked the same question?
"Oh, yeah! And not just male reporters: Even when I was pregnant I can't tell you how many people asked me, 'Are you going to change your life?' But nobody asked my husband. Not a single person! I think it's unfortunate that women are held to a different standard. But, by the same token, I've made changes in my life because I want to make them. Right now, being a present mother to my daughter is really, really important, and so while I'm still as passionate about my work as ever, I'm just as excited about getting home after a productive shoot."
Your career is demanding. How do you find balance as a working mom?
"I'm not gonna lie! It's very, very challenging. I've worked out a system: I'll travel for maybe 10 days, and then I'm home for the rest of the month. I prefer that rather than nine-to-five, because when I'm home it's totally immersive. I've cut out almost everything else. You'll hardly ever see me out any more at different functions because when I have the opportunity to be home, I want to be home. Jett's become my top priority. She doesn't come with me, because when I'm in the field my schedule is 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and it wouldn't be fair. The best invention ever is Skype and FaceTime. I rarely miss bath time."
Describe your health regimen.
"I'm a pretty healthy eater. I try to do this on the road, although it's difficult. I eat breakfast every morning with eggs or some kind of protein. I try to have three healthy meals a day. I'm very physical. In Santa Monica I do the stairs [a famously steep outdoor climb in the bluffs near the Pacific Ocean] three or four times a week. When I'm traveling, I do stairs in hotels. Especially when it's cold outside. It's the perfect exercise. I'll climb the stairs 25 times. It's a great workout, especially in New York in all those tall buildings."
How do you decompress, with all the travel and deadlines?
"I'm a Netflix junkie. I catch up on my series. There's such great TV on right now. I love going to movies. One of the reasons I don't mind travel is that I use my time on planes to read. I love going to interesting dinners with friends. But most of my free time I'm playing on the floor with my baby."