For those of us still battling the “¿y el novio?” and “don’t take too long, mija” from our aunts, hearing a woman like Eva Mendes make such a strong case for having kids at 40 is a breath of fresh air.

In a new interview for People magazine’s Beautiful issue, the Latina actress assured that, despite the criticism she received, having children at 40 has been the best decision she ever made.

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“When I was 40, for people, it was a big deal to be pregnant. But for me, it wasn’t,” Mendes said. “And then I was 42 and pregnant with my second, 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 lamest, most asinine thing I’ve ever heard,” she said.

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Motherhood on *your* terms. ???? ???? Eva Mendes, @People Magazine

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After all, for Eva Mendes, the key to motherhood is something we don’t exactly have in our 20s

“It takes more patience,” the Latina star continued. “In my twenties, I shouldn’t have even been around a child. I was foul-mouthed and smoked. I couldn’t have raised children at any other time in my life, but now, sure.”

Now 50, Mendes enjoys raising her daughters, Esmeralda Amada, 9, and Amada Lee, 8, on her own terms.

The actress met Ryan Gosling, her husband and the father of her daughters, on the set of “The Place Beyond the Pines.” They have been together since 2011.

Since then, both have been very cautious about their private lives, and there is little they reveal to the media.

In an Instagram post in 2020, Mendes said, “I’ve always had a clear boundary when it comes to my man and my kids. I will talk about them, of course, with boundaries, but I will not post pictures of our daily life.”

“Because my children are so young and don’t understand what it really means to publish their image, I don’t have their consent. And I won’t publish their image until they are old enough to give me their consent.”

But now, Mendes seems ready to discuss her personal experiences a bit

Amid the “Barbie” movie boom, where her husband proved his versatility as the Ken we all needed, Eva Mendes shared her relationship with her mother with the public.

In an interview with TODAY, the actress praised her mother, Eva Perez Suarez, a cancer survivor. “She lost my brother, just a few years ago, to cancer. This woman is amazing,” Mendes said, referring to her brother Carlos Mendez, who died of cancer in 2016 at age 53.

In January of this year, Mendes shared a photo of her mother on Instagram. “I wish this Barbie wasn’t so secretive. Then I could share everything she’s survived, but the only thing she’ll let me share is that she’s a cancer survivor. Like that’s not enough, I know. I see my strength in her eyes,” she captioned the post.

It’s no wonder these experiences have shaped much of her decisions in motherhood

In the recent interview with People, Mendes explained that her decision to have children later in life also had to do with her professional life. The Latina actress said she wanted to ensure that she could devote full time to her daughters’ early years.

“It was the easiest decision I’ve ever made,” Mendes reflected. “I was older, and I knew my kids were going to be little once. And what I do or don’t do now will affect them for the rest of their lives.”

The actress added that she did not feel “pressured” to make her choice, which she considers a decision of “clarity.”

“Your career comes and goes, but the kids, yes, it was easy for me,” she said. “It’s formative years. I wanted to be there for all of it.”

“It all matters when you have two little people watching you all day long,” she concluded. “It’s frightening but it’s good because it makes me try to be a better person every day.”