When it comes to being a mom, Mariska can’t help but feel like the luckiest lady on earth. “Our family is so perfect, or at least perfect for me,” she gushed to in 2018. “Together we’re just this whole, happy, joyful, chaotic, crazy unit. I’ve never known anything that was more right.”
Aside from making beautiful memories with her little ones over the years, the alum is grateful to have learned so much from her children. “The thing that’s made me a better parent is my kids. Because they taught me to really listen,” Mariska marveled, crediting Peter for being her biggest supporter.
“My husband is my North Star, and my kids are my teachers,” she continued. “Peter and I, we’re so different that it’s been amazing how we complement each other. He knows everything I don’t.”
Mariska is especially thankful to have Peter by her side as she’s juggled motherhood and her long-running role on for the past two decades. Though the California native is proud to be a working mom, Mariska knows it’s sometimes difficult to balance all her responsibilities.
“I get jealous that other people get to take August to school and pick him up. It’s hard for me to go to his school and not know all the parents,” she once said to . “They all know one another and it’s a community. I can’t always be a part of that.”
Because Mariska knows “you can’t have everything,” she’s making sure to relish what she already has. “ with where I am,” she exclusively told in June 2018. “I look at my life now and think, I’m on a TV show, I run a foundation, I run a household, I’m a mom, I’m a wife, I’m a lot of things. The truth is we have to live the journey, right? And that’s what I’ve learned.”
Mariska earned the title of “Mom” when she gave birth to her first child on June 28, 2006. According to , the actress welcomed August via emergency C-section. Even before her little one arrived, Mariska gushed over how excited she was to be a mother. “Nobody wanted to be pregnant more than me. From the minute I found out, I was wearing full-on maternity pants,” she said. “My stomach was totally flat, mind you, but I was just so excited.”
However, Mariska’s pregnancy with August wasn’t the easiest. “I wasn’t mobile,” she explained, revealing she was diagnosed with gestational diabetes during her third trimester. “The first time you’re pregnant, you’re like, I gotta eat more! I have to make sure he has enough of every single food group! I did get into eating too much,” she confessed. “This pregnancy was really hard for me at the end.”
Fortunately, it was all worth it when she held August in her arms.
Mariska and Peter expanded their family through adoption shortly after Amaya was born in Africa on April 7, 2011. Speaking with , the winner said her mother, late Hollywood icon , helped inspire her decision to adopt.
“Having lost my mom at a young age, I then grew up with my stepmom, and I have half-siblings, and so I know that families can be built in all sorts of different ways,” she explained, adding, “There isn’t just one way to create a family and that it isn’t just about biology.”
When Amaya was 2 years old, Mariska shared that the tot was already showing off her strong personality around her family. “My daughter is the boss of me,” the Golden Globe winner told. “She is so strong, her independence inspires me.”
The proud mom shared also shared a story about how Amaya defended Andrew against bullies. Mariska recalled Amaya saying, “Stop it. No!” to the girl that was bullying her brother. When the girl pushed Amaya, she didn’t push her back. “It was so simple but so beautiful to me,” the actress continued.
Just months after Amaya joined their family, Mariska and Peter adopted their youngest child, Andrew, following his birth on October 19, 2011. Though the addition was “a little unexpected,” the proud mama said bringing Andrew home was the only option.
“We adopted Amaya, and Andrew, I always describe [him] as this angel that fell out of the sky,” she shared, per . “It’s something that happened very quickly, when adoption can take a long time. We were so beautifully and surprisingly … not because we’re not in sync, but surprisingly in sync about something so huge. So momentous.”
Talking to following Andrew’s adoption, Mariska said they “knew” he was meant to be a part of their family. “We never in a million years thought it would happen this quickly, but something inside of us knew that this was right, and we said, ‘Yes, yes, yes!’ It felt divinely right.”