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Mena Suvari just joined the 40-plus mom club. With the birth of a new baby boy in April, the American Beauty actor told People magazine that control goes “out the window” and shared her feelings about being a celebrity mother figure. 

Suvari gave birth to son Christopher in April 

Mena Suvari
Mena Suvari arrives at the premiere of ‘Book Club’ | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images

The 42-year-old actor, whose 1999 breakout roles in American Beauty and American Pie made her a household name, reached another milestone in April–the “miraculous” birth of son Christopher Alexander with husband Michael Hope. 

It was an unexpected but welcome surprise for Suvari, who previously told People that she “couldn’t believe” it was happening. “It’s been a very emotional experience,” she said. “It’s very weird finding out — I was like, I can’t believe it!” 

The disbelief is still present, but the reality is starting to settle in. “Well, having a baby, all that control just goes right out the window,” Suvari explained. “It’s sort of like the way that my life had been going with lessons sprinkled. Now, it’s just like 24/7 lessons! Like, ‘Okay, I’m learning. I can do this. I’m good enough.’” 

It’s a balancing act, though. Suvari noted that she didn’t feel she had a mother figure in her life and explained how that affects her as a new parent. “It’s been challenging for me too because I personally never felt like I had that type of mother figure,” she told People. 

She calls baby Christopher a ‘beautiful gift’

Suvari, who is one of a growing number of forty-plus moms, clearly appreciates finally having baby Christopher in her life. She’s been an incredibly prolific actor, with dozens of credits under her belt. Despite appearing in a string of major feature films, including Rumor Has It (2005), Sugar & Spice (2001), Beauty Shop (2005), and Spun (2002), she still counts being a mom as a high point. 

She told People that having a son was a life goal. “It’s all I ever wanted for years,” said Suvari. “Even before I met my husband, I always wanted a little boy and it just feels so beautiful and special.”

More recently, she told the same magazine that having a baby didn’t leave her time to dwell on negative things or feel bad for herself. Suvari is on the cusp of releasing a memoir detailing her traumatic past in The Great Peace: A Memoir.

“Another thing that’s happened too is that I don’t have time anymore to feel bad for myself,” said Suvari. “It’s a beautiful gift, having my son, because I don’t have the time to do that anymore. It’s not about me anymore. I’m always looking for the ways I can grow and learn. I’m looking for the ways that I can learn through him.” 

The actor said she has been hard on herself 


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In the grand, eternal tradition of moms, the actor confessed to being hard on herself. But Suvari also said that the very act of growing and giving birth to Christopher was a significant accomplishment, and she’s allowing herself that. 

“I’m just much more aware now how hard I was on myself. … Today I was thinking about Christopher and thinking, ‘How? I grew him and I’m a badass,’ and I finally gave myself the ability to feel that because I’m constantly hard on myself and especially with my son coming into the world.”