September 21, 2015 03:35 PM

Though she first became famous for her role in the 1991 film My Girl, Veep star Anna Chlumsky has a different girl on her mind these days: 2-year-old daughter Penelope Joan.

“It’s awesome. I love it,” Chlumsky, 34, told PEOPLE about being a parent with husband Shaun So. “She’s becoming her own person and it’s delicious to watch.”

At the National Women’s History Museum brunch in Los Angeles on Saturday, Chlumsky raved about her daughter’s developing personality.

“She’s really fun and really sweet. And she’s very determined. I love all those things about her. If she wasn’t my daughter, I’d want to hang out with her still. She’s really good company,” joked the first-time mom.

Vince Bucci/Invision for the Television Academy/AP

And Penelope isn’t just teaching her mom about herself — she’s also showing Chlumsky that the definition of motherhood can vary from person to person.

“This whole thing has taught me that motherhood has a wealth of definitions and identities, ” the actress explains. “There’s no one way to be a mom or one way to be a ‘good’ mom.”

In other words, Chlumsky’s learning what kind of mom she is as she goes, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. “I spend every morning thinking about this person in my family,” she says. “Does it feel like what I saw on TV growing up? Not really, but that’s what’s cool about it.”

The actress’ decided it was best for her daughter to stay behind for the big trip to Los Angeles for Sunday’s Primetime Emmy Awards, Chlumsky told PEOPLE on the red carpet.

“She’s done it before, but this time she’s stayed in New York because we don’t like to get her in this time zone if it’s less than a week,” shares Chlumsky, whose show took home Emmys for outstanding comedy series, outstanding lead actress in a comedy series and outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series. “She’s miserable! This way she’s happy, we’re happy, we can all be happy.”

Chlumsky, who wore a dress by Bibhu Mohapatra, always enjoys TV’s big night because she gets to spend time with plenty of familiar faces.

“I was so excited to see Gaby Hoffmann,” she says. “We’ve known each other for years. We met when she was 5 and I was 6. And all the Orange Is the New Black ladies. Lea DeLaria is my neighbor. Selenis [Levya] was on our show. It’s always nice to see folks you admire and work with!”

— Matthew Cole Weiss and Patrick Gomez

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