Eva Mendes Comments on Parenting and What Made Her Decide to Have Children

Actress Eva Mendes keeps a low profile when it comes to her personal life. In a committed relationship with actor Ryan Gosling since 2011, Mendes recently opened up about parenting their two daughters, daughters Esmeralda, 5, and Amada, 3, and what motivated her to consider having kids.

Eva Mendes | John Parra/Getty Images for Estee Lauder

Choosing home over Hollywood

According to People, Mendes’ last credited role was in 2014’s Lost River. The actress launched a fashion line, the “Eva Mendes Collection” in 2013 in partnership with New York & Company, but considers her main priority to be on the home front. When Esmeralda was born, Mendes said she experienced a shift in her focus. “I felt a lack of ambition, if I can be honest,” she told Women’s Health. “I feel more ambitious in the home right now than I do in the workplace.”

Two kids ages 5 and under keep Mendes busy, yet each day leaves her with a sense of accomplishment. “It’s so fun and beautiful and maddening,” Mendes said. “It’s so hard, of course. But it’s like that feeling of… you end your day, you put them to bed and Ryan and I kind of look at each other like, ‘We did it, we did it. We came out relatively unscathed.’”

She isn’t mentioning a return to acting anytime soon, instead choosing to relish her time with her children. “I’m so thankful I have the opportunity to be home with them,” Mendes said.

A motivating factor

Mendes confessed that at one point, she wasn’t considering having children. “It was the furthest thing from my mind,” she said.

What happened to change her mind? “Ryan Gosling happened,” she told Women’s Health. “I mean, falling in love with him. Then it made sense for me to have… not kids, but his kids. It was very specific to him.”

When asked if she would work with Gosling again on a film, Mendes was completely on board. “He’s just such a creative genius. There’s always stuff going on there, but I would love to at any time,” she said. “I love it. I love it.”

Mendes also expressed her gratitude on having a solid support system through her extended family. “You got to make sure you have everything all lined up,” she said, according to People. “Luckily we have a lot of family support. My family lives here. His family comes in. They live in Canada, but they come in all the time and stay for a very long time, and it’s very welcomed. And so we have that support.”

Raising kids in the spotlight

Though Mendes hasn’t been in movies recently, she is still a famous face with film credits including Hitch, Fast Five, The Other Guys, and The Place Beyond the Pines, which she starred in with Gosling. The actress and fashion entrepreneur acknowledged the issues that stardom can bring when children are involved. “Not only are we in the industry, but the whole fame component is super scary when you try to raise your kids,” she said.

The mom of two makes a concerted effort to separate her celebrity status from her family. “What I try to emphasize is that I don’t let them see me put attention to how I dress. They’ve never seen me get ready for something; they’ve never seen me at work,” Mendes said, adding, “Which is fine, for whoever wants to do it that way, but the way I keep it normal is by not letting them see me in these situations. I’m just Mom. And I’m more than happy to just be Mom.”