Eva Mendes gets refreshingly candid about being an ‘older mom’

Eva Mendes
Phillip Faraone / Stringer

While many people talk about the benefits of being a young mom, Eva Mendes is getting candid about everything she loves about having her kids later in life, and it’s so refreshing to hear that take. In a new interview with People, Mendes, who is 50, opens up about how the only thing she has the courage to do now that she didn’t at 25 is raise kids.

“When I was 40, it was a big deal for people when I was pregnant, and it wasn’t for me. 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.’ I was like, that’s the most sorry, asinine thing I’ve ever heard,” said Mendes, who shares 9-year-old Esmeralda Amada and 8-year-old Amada Lee with Ryan Gosling.

She continued, “It takes more patience. 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.”

That’s such an important perspective to share, because it’s real, but not one that we hear women talking about often. Not everyone is cut out to raise kids in their 20s and that’s OK! It also doesn’t mean they aren’t meant to be a mom!

And the decision to have her kids later in life also made it easy for Mendes to decide to step back from her acting career once they were born.

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

Now, she’s enjoying motherhood and the ways it’s changed her. She said her daughters inspire her to keep making good decisions every day.

“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,” she said.