"In My 20s, I Shouldn't Have Even Been Around A Child": Eva Mendes Reveals Why She's Happy To Be An Older Mother

Eva Mendes is happy she chose to have children later in life.

Closeup of Eva Mendes
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The 50-year-old actor is a mother of two daughters, Esmeralda Amada, 9, and Amada Lee, 8, who she shares with Ryan Gosling.

Closeup of Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling
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Eva and Ryan, 43, met while filming The Place Beyond the Pines and have been together since 2011.

Ryan Gosling holding a baby, with Eva Mendes beside him, in "The Place Beyond the Pines"
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It's become pretty well-known the pair keep their personal lives private, especially surrounding their family.

Screenshot from "The Place Beyond the Pines"
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If you're wondering why you haven't seen Eva on screen as much as Ryan lately, it's all by design. In a recent interview with Today, she said it was a "no-brainer" to pause her acting career and focus on her family.

Closeup of Eva Mendes

Now, in a new interview for People for the Beautiful issue, Eva reflects on her life and why she's content with becoming a mother in her 40s.

"When I was 40, it was a big deal for people when I was pregnant, and it wasn't for me," Eva said. "And then I was 42 and I was pregnant with my second one and people were like, 'Oh my God, you're going to be so tired. That's why people have kids in their 20s.'"

Eva Mendes smiling, wearing a sleeveless patterned dress, holding a clutch, with bracelets on her wrist
Angela Weiss

"I was like, that's the most sorry, asinine thing I've ever heard," she said.

"It takes more patience," Eva continued. "In my 20s, I shouldn't have even been around a child. I was just foul-mouthed and smoking. I could not have raised kids in any other era of my life but now, for sure."

Eva Mendes in a patterned white dress with a deep neckline, holding a clutch, at an outdoor event
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Eva defended her decision to focus on motherhood and family rather than her acting career, attributing it to her maturity. "It was the easiest decision I've ever made," she said.

"I was older and I knew that my kids are going to be little once, and whatever I do or don't do right now is going to affect them the rest of their life."

Eva Mendes signing autographs
Caroline Mccredie / Getty Images

"Your career comes and goes but kids, yeah, that was easy for me," she added. "They're just formative years. I wanted to be there for all of it."

For Eva, motherhood has inspired her to continue to grow despite her age and experience. "It all matters when you have two little people watching you all day long. It's frightening but it's good because it makes me try to be a better person every day."