Celebrity supermum Laila Rouass talks to MFM

Spooks star Laila Rouass reveals how she copes as a working, single mum

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Q. How do you juggle motherhood and work?

A. If something in my work schedule won’t fit in with my daughter Inez, who’s 3, I turn it down. She’s my priority. But most things fit, such as when I was doing Spooks and was filming for two days a week. My mum’s fab about looking after her when it’s needed.

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There’s so much pressure on women to ‘do it all’, it’s impossible to always get it right. When Inez was born, I took a year out to look after her, and now Mum helps me out, or I’ll hire a nanny.

Q. How has life as a mum changed now Inez is a bit older?

A. She’s going through the terrible threes right now, so we’ve had a few tantrums. She’s full of beans and doesn’t stop talking or asking questions. My mum says it’s like having five children, and she should know – I’m one of seven!

The other day we were at a shopping centre and Inez was shouting ‘We’re here!’ as if everyone needed to know! They grow up so fast. When I pick her up now and she wraps her legs around me, I realise how big she’s got.

Q. It sounds like Inez is very sure of herself already!

A. She’s always had a strong personality. She loves pink and dolls and everything like that, but she’s still quite boyish too. I get very emotional when I look at her and she’s asleep. I’m just in awe of her. I make her breathe on me sometimes because I love her breath so much, it’s like the breath of a kitten!

Q. How on earth do you keep up with her?

A. She does take it out of you, and I often find by 2pm I’m completely shattered.

I’ve started using a nutritional supplement called Sun Chlorella A, which I’m really finding boosts my energy. I blend it into smoothies in the morning and find it helps stop me snacking, too.

Q. Do you feel the pressure on you to ‘get it right’?

A. Well, being a single parent can either make or break people but Inez is the love of my life.

I’m an ambassador for the single parent charity Gingerbread, as I think it’s really important to support people who are bringing up children alone. I understand how scary it is, but I also recognise how lucky I am. There are so many children out there living in poverty because their parents aren’t getting financial support.

Q. So what’s next for you guys?

A. For now we’re just taking it easy, we’ve just moved house, so I’ve been overseeing all the decorating work and we’re looking forward to being in our new home.

Workwise, I’d love a role that involves going to bed with Denzel Washington! My girly mates were so jealous that I got to kiss Richard Armitage (Spooks’ Lucas North).

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Q. What are your hopes and dreams for Inez?

A. Well, at the moment she wants to be a butterfly! I don’t mind what she decides to do, as long as she’s happy. I don’t like the idea of someone wanting to be famous for the sake of it, but if she chooses a career that involves fame, like acting – and she has a talent for it – I’ll be there for her.

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