For Odette Annable, the first year of motherhood has given her an entirely fresh perspective on life.
“I just see everything with new eyes,” the actress, who gave birth to daughter Charlie Mae in September, told PEOPLE at the 2016 Summer TCA Press Tour during a panel session for her upcoming CBS medical drama Pure Genius.
“It’s so exciting to me to see her experience new things and figure out how to put a blueberry in her mouth,” adds Annable, 31. “Even if I’m in a bad mood or really tired, which I usually am, I remember that I’m watching this little person grow. I am her guide. You just have to put a smile on your face because it’s life and it’s really beautiful.”
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“This morning, it was really difficult because I didn’t see her at all yesterday. I think that’s the difficult part of this job — sometimes you wake up at 5:00 in the morning, and you come home when she’s already in bed,” Annable tells PEOPLE.
“For me, my mom always worked. I never felt her missing. I know it’s important for me to take time to do what I really love because it makes me a better mom. I want her to look up to me in that way and I want that for her.”
But the balance is worth the difficulties for Annable, whose daughter will turn 1 on Sept. 7. The actress says she’s “working with such fantastic people,” and that dedicating time to being part of Pure Genius was something she really wanted to do.
“Everything was put into perspective after I had the baby. I wasn’t going to take a job just to take a job,” she says. “When I read this script, it really spoke to me. I knew right then and there if I were able to be a part of this project, not only would I be at home in L.A., but I would be working on something that is really important to me and something that I wanted to do.
“Waking up and going to work was really exciting to me, and it still is,” Annable adds. “As hard as it is to leave Charlie in the morning, I know that I’m doing something that is really fulfilling and that is great work.”
— Jen Juneau