Bindi Irwin Says Daughter Gave Her New Appreciation for Mom Terri: 'I Don't Know How She Did It'

Bindi's father, Crocodile Hunter star Steve Irwin, died suddenly in 2006 at age 44, leaving Terri Irwin to raise Bindi and her younger brother Robert, who were 8 and 2 at the time

Bindi Irwin rollout
Photo: kate berry/australia zoo

Bindi Irwin is opening up about how becoming a mom made her see her own mother Terri in a new light.

After the Crikey! It's the Irwins star, 23, and her husband Chandler Powell, 25, welcomed 13-month-old daughter Grace Warrior last March, "It does change your perspective," Bindi tells PEOPLE in this week's cover story.

"I probably tell my mom how much I appreciate everything she did on an hourly basis. Dad passed away when we were very little," she says. "She is such a strong person, and she had to raise me and Robert mostly on her own."

Bindi adds, "I cannot even begin to tell you the amount of respect and pride and gratefulness I have for my mom."

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After her father, Crocodile Hunter star Steve Irwin, rose to international fame on his wildlife documentary television series, he was diving with stingrays for an underwater film titled Ocean's Deadliest when he died on Sept. 4, 2006, at age 44. Bindi was just 8 years old. Her younger brother Robert was only 2.

"[Mom] managed to raise two little kids as well as taking care of Australia Zoo and making sure it kept running, making sure Dad's legacy continued on, keeping up with all of our conservation work on a global scale," says Bindi. "I am speechless. I don't know how she did it all. She's such a strong superwoman."

Now, the couple — who are raising baby Grace at the Australia Zoo, where they live and work alongside Bindi's mom, Terri, 57, and brother Robert, 18 — say family is everything to them.

Bindi Irwin rollout
Robert Irwin

RELATED GALLERY: See All the Photos Robert Irwin Shot of Niece Grace Warrior for PEOPLE's Cover Story

"We're very lucky to have such a wonderful support system," says Bindi.

As for adding more members to their family, the couple says that's not on the horizon just yet.

"Between everything we have going on at Australia Zoo and with Wildlife Warriors, our nonprofit organization, and keeping up with Grace, I don't know if we could juggle another one," she says. "Not at the moment. I don't think I have enough arms!"

For more from Bindi Irwin and her family, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

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