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Eva Mendes on why she had kids with Ryan Gosling in her 40s: 'I shouldn't have even been around a child'

The Place Beyond The Pines stars welcomed their first daughter, Esmeralda Amanda, in 2014, and their second daughter, Amada Lee, in 2016

Faye James
Senior Editor
May 2, 2024
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At 50, Eva Mendes has candidly shared insights into her journey through motherhood and how timing played a pivotal role in her readiness to raise children. 

The actress, alongside her partner, Barbie star Ryan Gosling, opened up about choosing to have children later in life, a decision that she passionately defends against societal expectations.

In a revealing interview with People, Eva discussed the significant shift in her life perspective from her twenties to her forties. 

"I could not have raised kids in any other era of my life but now," she stated, reflecting on her personal growth. Back in her twenties, Eva admitted she was far from ready for motherhood, describing herself as "just foul-mouthed and smoking."

Eva Mendes screenshot Today 3rd Hour
Eva Mendes reveals why she had kids later on in life

Eva and Ryan, who began dating shortly after filming The Place Beyond the Pines in 2011, welcomed their first daughter, Esmeralda Amanda, in 2014, and their second daughter, Amada Lee, in 2016. 

Facing motherhood in her forties, Eva encountered widespread astonishment and unwarranted advice, recalling comments about her age and energy levels. "It takes more patience. In my 20s, I shouldn't have even been around a child," she confessed.

Eva Mendes' take on motherhood in candid at-home video

Choosing to step back from her acting career to focus on raising her daughters was, for Eva, "the easiest decision I've ever made." 

This decision came from a place of mature reflection and a deep understanding of the fleeting nature of childhood. 

"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," she explained. 

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 30:  Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes seen at Tao Restaurant for SNL after party on  September 30, 2017 in New York City.  (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)© Robert Kamau
Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes in 2017

This clarity helped her prioritize her family over her career without feeling pressured, instead finding peace in her choice.

Eva spoke about the importance of being present during her children's formative years. "Your career comes and goes but kids, yeah, that was easy for me," she shared, emphasizing her desire to be there for all the significant moments. 

"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."

Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes in The Place Beyond The Pines © Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock
Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes co-starred in The Place Beyond The Pines in 2012

The commitment to her family also extends to her social media presence. Eva has set clear boundaries regarding her family's privacy, choosing not to share images of her children until they are old enough to give their consent. 

"I have always had a clear boundary when it comes to my man and my kids. I'll talk about them of course, with limits, but I won't post pictures of our daily life," she stated on Instagram.

Her dedication to privacy and family time was humorously highlighted when she clapped back at a fan who suggested she needed to "get out more." 

Eva's response was swift and heartfelt, "No thank you, I'm good. Rather be home with my man than anywhere else in the world." This response encapsulates her contentment and joy in the life she's built with Ryan.

Eva Mendes wearing a white top and gold earrings on Instagram© Eva Mendes Instagram
Eva Mendes looked incredible in her simple white top and earrings

Ryan, who tends to keep their relationship out of the spotlight, publicly acknowledged Eva's sacrifices during his 2017 Golden Globe acceptance speech. 

He credited her with managing their home, caring for their daughter, and supporting her family through health challenges while he worked on La La Land. 

"If she hadn't have taken all that on so that I could have this experience, it would surely be someone else up here other than me today," he gratefully expressed.

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