Having children later in life often opens up moms to lots of criticism, especially when it involves a woman getting pregnant anywhere around (or — gasp! past) the big 4-0. So it’s refreshing to hear one high-profile older mom talk about becoming a parent in her 40s as the blessing it can be: Parents Latina‘s latest cover star, actor Eva Longoria, has no regrets about not having a child until she was 43. In fact, she tells the magazine that her son, one-year-old Santiago “Santi” Enrique, was “meant to be with me at this stage in my life.”
Her reasons may ring true for a lot of older moms. “I’m more patient,” she continues to Parents Latina. This may have something to do with the fact that a recent study found that parents of older children are better behaved. Longoria also explains that she is able to work less at this point in her career, allowing her to prioritize motherhood in a way she might not have been able to earlier.
Longoria also had Santi at a point in her career when she felt she had more agency than she previously did; the Parents Latina story discusses the many jobs Longoria actually has these days, including director and producer. In the interview, she also details how she is now able to take Santi with her wherever she goes, including on set. While she doesn’t explicitly tie that ability to keep Santi around at work to her career trajectory, it’s easy to see how being more established can sometimes come with privileges and the ability to set workplace norms rather than follow them.
But just because Longoria is happy she had a child later doesn’t mean it’s all smooth sailing. “Going back to work was hard. Breastfeeding while working was hard, just for the timing of the pumping and the feedings and the sleeping and the not sleeping,” she tells Parents Latina. She also feels that, as a mom, she has to be more careful about what kinds of jobs she takes and which she turns down. If she isn’t able to “give it [her] all,” she will turn it down. As so many other moms can relate, no matter what age you start a family, work-life balance is an ever-elusive thing.