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Eva Mendes Dishes on New Mom Life

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 18:  Eva Mendes for New York And Company Spring 2014 Collection pop up store launch party held at The Beverly Center on March 18, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
Photograph by FilmMagic

Now that it's been a few months—and we've all come down from our collective shock over Eva Mendes' surprise baby with Ryan Gosling and the ultimate realization that we will probably never wind up with the Gos ourselves—we suppose we're finally ready to hear a bit more about how life as a new mom has been treating Eva. Turns out, she's taking to this new mom thing pretty well.

The notoriously private star recently sat down for an interview with the beauty and fashion site Violet Grey, where she opened up about everything from how she handles the sleep deprivation to why she avoids Googling all her burning baby questions to why the couple chose "Esmerelda" for their baby's name.

But the biggest surprise from the interview? Mendes is battling the long, sleepless nights of newborn-hood on her own, opting out on a nanny. At least for now.

"I’m doing it without a nanny for now but I’m open to the idea of having a nanny in the future," she told Cassandra Huysentruyt Grey, founder of Violet Grey. "Esmeralda has two amazing grandmothers and incredible aunties who come over and really help me. But as far as a nanny or a night nurse, for me that part of being a mother at this early stage is the struggle of not being able to sleep and not knowing what I’m doing and really going through it with her and battling out those nights."

A lot of this, she says, has to do with the realization of how her own mother raised three kids on her own in one tiny little apartment in Cuba. In comparison, raising one kid in a posh LA home with her movie-star boyfriend seems ... well, a whole lot easier.

"I cannot believe that by the time my mother was 24 she had three kids under the age of four," said Mendes. "She was in Cuba and totally alone. So when it’s the wee hours of the night and I’m feeling a bit insane, I think about her and realize that I have no right to complain about anything."

That's also why, when it comes to that ever-growing list of baby questions that seem to crop up every day, she turns first to her mom, and then to Ryan's, for the official word. When all else fails? She trolls parenting message boards for a little extra peace of mind.

"I try not to Google too many things because it is frightening, but I do go to Babycenter.com and read the comment sections from other mothers because I find so much solace in that," she shared. "Just knowing that I’m not alone out there and that other moms have gone through the same thing can at least get me through the night."

Mendes also gave a little insight into just why the couple was so tight-lipped and secretive about her pregnancy to begin with.

"Whether we like it or not, privacy is going to be very difficult for Esmeralda," she said. "I think it’s unfair but that’s our reality. So Ryan and I decided early on to give her as much privacy as we could. And my pregnancy was the first opportunity to give her that. It’s such an intimate time for the mother, too. I know that it seems all very innocuous when you’re flipping through a tabloid at the doctor’s office or see a photo of a pregnant lady online, but I find the media’s 'bump watch' obsession to be both intrusive and stressful. So I made a decision to eject myself from it completely. I was like, 'Annnnd I’m out.'"

The star also shared just what exactly inspired the long, flowing name the couple gave their daughter: Esmerelda Amada.

"We both love the Esmeralda character from the Victor Hugo novel 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' and just think it’s a beautiful name," she explained. "Her middle is Amada, which was my grandmother’s name. It means 'beloved' in Spanish."

Want more? You can read the full interview over on VioletGrey.com.

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