November 25, 2014 04:00 PM

Eva Mendes believed motherhood meant saying goodbye to the night life.

However, the new mom has quickly discovered she couldn’t have been more wrong.

“I thought my wild nights were over, but these are some of the wildest nights I’ve ever had,” the actress tells Violet Grey‘s digital magazine, The Violet Files, as part of her first photo shoot since delivering her daughter.

But she’s not going at it alone: It didn’t take long for the first-time mom to find a strong support system to get her through those all-nighters.

“I go to BabyCenter.com and read the comment section from other mothers because I find so much solace in that,” she says of her favorite online forum.

“Just knowing that I’m not alone out there and that other moms have gone through the same thing can at least get me through the night. I’m doing it without a nanny for now but I’m open to the idea of having a nanny in the future. For me that part of being a mother at this early stage is the struggle of not being able to sleep and not knowing what I’m doing and really going through it with her and battling out those nights.”

Emma Summerton

Mendes, 40, and actor Ryan Gosling welcomed daughter Esmeralda Amada in September and their baby girl is a constant reminder of their fairytale come true.

“Ryan and I both love the Esmeralda character from the Victor Hugo novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and we just think it’s a beautiful name,” Mendes explains of their decision.

“Amada was my grandmother’s name. It means ‘beloved’ in Spanish.”

Now 10 weeks into the late nights and diaper duty, the proud new parents are still basking in their baby bliss. According to Mendes, it’s actually their daughter who’s been dealt a difficult hand.

“Everything is a struggle for her,” Mendes jokes. “For instance, I haven’t thrown up since the 90s and she’s thrown up twice since we started this interview.”

She adds, “Motherhood is cake compared to what it’s like to be a baby.”

Emma Summerton

But Mendes and Gosling are making sure Esmeralda has all the time — and space — she needs to grow up. The couple are determined to keep their personal lives shielded from the public, an effort that began before the birth.

“Whether we like it or not, privacy is going to be very difficult for Esmeralda. I think it’s unfair, but that’s our reality,” Mendes explains.

“Ryan and I decided early on to give her as much privacy as we could. And my pregnancy was the first opportunity to give her that … I find the media’s ‘bump watch’ obsession to be both intrusive and stressful. So I made a decision to eject myself from it completely. I was like, ‘Annnnd I’m out.'”

Next up for Mendes: the launch of her holiday collection with New York & Company. “I wanted to bring affordable elegance to the collection for my favorite time of year,” she says. “Practically, I wanted to make dresses that made women feel beautiful.”

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— Anya Leon

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