#powerparent Doulla Croft

Doulla Croft

Describe your Family
We are a family of five who live in Central London. Our two older children (29 and 26) have their own homes now, and we live with our 15 year old Son in a small flat in Covent Garden.

Where do you work?
I work as a Client Partner at Facebook, where I have been for the last three years. Prior to that I worked on the London Olympic and Paralympic Games for three years. My role at Facebook is on the commercial side, I look after some of our largest advertisers on the platform.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was very young I wanted to be an actress. It’s hard to remember that now, because all that confidence left me by the time I was a teenager!

Describe your typical working day
The reason we moved to Central London was because all three of us work nearby. Our son is at boarding school in Oxford but is in town regularly for castings and projects. He has been a professional actor since he was seven, so as well as our own very demanding careers, we also have to work around him. Bea & Co have been our lifeline in this, and we would not be able to function as a family without them!
My day typically starts at around 6.30am. I have usually prepared my own recipe bircher muesli the night before, and will take that with me to work. I always start the day with a matcha latte made with oat milk. Don’t get me started on my diet, as we could be here all day, but I am fanatical about healthy eating, which for me means no refined sugar, diary or red meat. I also limit grains. I walk to work (unless it is raining, in which case I take the bus). I like to stay above ground as much as I can! I am normally at my desk by 8am.

Work top tip, mantra or motto
Never, never, never give up!

Favourite family trip, hangout or activity in London?
We are huge theatre fans! We joke that from our flat, it is quicker for us to go home in the interval to use the loos, than stand in a queue at the theatre! We see anything and everything from musicals to new quirky productions. Our son has made lots of lovely friends in the theatre (children and adults) and we always go to support the actors we know.

Best piece of parenting advice you ever received and would pass on to others?
I remember an old wise health visitor saying to me, when my oldest child had very bad colic. I was a new mum in my early twenties and I was at my my witt’s end. She said “my dear, this is a stage, and it will pass. It will be replaced by numerous other stages in your child’s life, and so it will go on”. 29 years of parenting later, and she was so right. Nothing is permenant, and that is both a blessing and a source of huge sorrow. What I would give to be bouncing my babbies on my shoulder again, even if they did have colic!

Favourite way to unwind?
The theatre! It’s my happy place, my escape, my inspiration. We really are blessed with the most incredible productions in London, and I am in awe of the work of writers, directors, producers, choreographers, set designers, actors, dancers, musicians and everyone else who creates magic on a stage!

What do you most hope your children will have learnt/ will learn from you?
A good work ethic. My parents were immigrants who arrived in the UK with very little. They have worked incredibly hard all their lives and achieved so much. We had a lot more than they did growing up, especially in terms of education, and it is easy for us, and generations after, to take some of that for granted. I am so proud to say that all my children have clearly taken that message on board. I have so much respect for what my parents did through grit and determination, always with the aim of creating a better future for their family. I would like to make sure I have done that for my children and hope they carry that on through the generations.

What are you reading at the moment?
‘Option B’ by Sheryl Sandberg. Everyone should read it.

What did you last see at the theatre?
Hamlet at the Harold Pinter theatre, but I had already seen it at The Almeida Theatre and really wanted my son to experience it too, so went again with him!

Favourite film?
The Way We Were with Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand. RR at his absolute dreamiest!

Favourite restaurant?
Wild Food Café in Neal’s Yard – Plant based healthy yumminess.

Who is your inspiration?
My family.

What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
My family.

What’s in your handbag?
Apart from all the usual – Raw organic almonds and compeed feet plasters!

Favourite place to travel to?
Ile de Ré, a small island off the Atlantic coast of France, near La Rochelle. I went there for a yoga retreat earlier this year, and it’s my new happy place.

Morning Bird or Night Owl?
Definitely morning bird.

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