Greg Doherty/Getty
Christina Dugan
January 13, 2017 03:00 PM

Sarah Drew has no fear when it comes to opening up about mommy guilt.

“I feel like the whole ‘women can have it all,’ there are elements about that that are definitely true But I also feel like it’s a great, big lie,” the Grey’s Anatomy star, 36, told reporters at the Television Critics Association conference at the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, California, on Tuesday.

“I say that only because I agree that women can have all of the elements, 100 percent they can. But there will always be a tug and a push and a pull, and you will always feel like you’re sacrificing something for something else. I don’t know how anybody can ever get around that.”

She continued: “I will say there are times when my daughter reaches for the nanny before she reaches for me, and my heart breaks a little. But I really, really love my job. I’m a much more present mom because I go and do something that I love a lot. I come home refreshed and energized to be mom. So it’s an interesting balance. I think I’m going to be challenged by it forever, and I welcome that challenge.”

The actress, who has two children — son Micah Emmanuel, 4, and daughter Hannah Mali Rose, 2 — with husband Peter Lanfer, admits she strives for balance between her professional and personal roles.

“It is a whole other job that is as consuming and requires different emotional gymnastics than work does,” she said. “And sometimes the emotional gymnastics at work are a hell of a lot easier than the emotional gymnastics at home with the children. I crave the balance. I crave having time there and time at home. That’s when I am absolute happiest.”

As her character’s storyline continues to make pivotal strides, the mom of two admits her little ones are making strides of their own.

“My daughter is me 100 percent,” the actress shared. “She will pick up a microphone and sing for the camera while staring at herself in the mirror dressed in tutus. She is a performer and she’ll watch people and see if she’s getting a reaction.”

She added: “My son is my husband, 100 percent. My son is introspective, super focused. We’ve been reading chapter books to him since he was 2½. We read the Chronicles of Narnia to him and he sat still for hour‑long reading sessions without moving. Hannah? Forget it.”

Grey’s Anatomy returns Jan. 26 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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