Eva Mendes says she prioritized having kids over her career—and this is an important conversation

There is no one way to live a fulfilling life—even though women often get pressure from all angles on the “right” way to structure their paths. Actress Eva Mendes recently shared that she personally made the decision to put her acting career on hold in order to focus on motherhood, and we’re glad that she’s opening up about this highly personal—and complex—issue.

In a profile for Women’s Health, Mendes shared that for most of her life, she didn’t even want kids. But when she met her now-husband, Ryan Gosling, she realized that she wanted “not kids, but his kids. It was very specific to him,” she said. Mendes told the magazine that when she gave birth to her first daughter, Esmeralda, she decided to put her acting career on hold. She admitted that after becoming a mother, she had less of a desire to work outside the home.

"I felt a lack of ambition, if I can be honest," she said. "I feel more ambitious in the home right now than I do in the workplace."


"Every day is such a learning experience—they challenge you in so many ways," she said of her two young daughters. "Like, I’m their mom. I have to rise up, and hopefully, most of the time I do, but sometimes it’s definitely maddening."


While she hasn’t acted in several years, Mendes has a design partnership with New York & Company, and she says that she does plan to eventually return to acting.

Choosing how (or if) to balance work life with family life is an extremely personal decision, but it’s nice to see Mendes being candid about her own journey. There’s no wrong way to build a life, and we hope Mendes’ story will empower women to make the choice that works best for them.

Filed Under