"We really want to be there and we want to be the ones doing everything," she tells PEOPLE

By peoplestaff225
Updated December 03, 2020 12:41 AM

Mike Windle/Getty

Stacy Keibler isn’t about to miss out on one of the most magical times in her life.

Since welcoming daughter Ava Grace in August, the first-time mama and her husband, Jared Pobre, have decided to take on parenting without the help of a full-time nanny.

“Being a mom is the most important job I’ve ever had, but being a full-time mom means more to me than anything in the world right now,” Keibler, 35, told PEOPLE while donating school supplies to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles with the help of Yoobi and Starlight Children’s Foundation on Wednesday.

But juggling between her personal and professional lives — including her charitable work — isn’t always so easy.

“I love being a full-time mom so it is about balancing and being able to come out to help other children that are in need,” she says. “I have a very special place in my heart for doing things like that so it’s easy to leave for two hours.”

Fortunately for Keibler, Pobre is completely on board with her hands-on approach to parenting. “He’s just above and beyond any of my wildest dreams,” she shares. “Once we had Ava, we realized how important this first year of her life is … the first couple of months, she’s just a little itty bitty baby and so we really want to be there and we want to be the ones doing everything.”

Keibler has been taking it easy since giving birth and only recently started to get back into her exercise routine. In addition to being “very conscious” about her diet, the actress — who admits to splurging on the occasional sweet — has also been doing Pilates and walking.

“My midwife told me four weeks so, literally, four weeks to the day, I started walking,” Keibler, who also attributes breastfeeding to her bounce back, explains. “I had my Pilates instructor slowly rebuilding my muscles, slowly and gradually.”

With her now 5-month-old baby girl sporting two new teeth, the first-time mama has been slowly introducing solids to Ava — who is already a fan of avocados!

“I hope that I can instill [healthy habits] in her and just make her understand why she’s eating certain things,” Keibler says. “I’m here to guide her so I’m never going to push her to do anything she doesn’t want to do, but hopefully she’ll always be educating herself on what’s going into her body because you are what you eat.”

Keibler has been soaking up all the special moments — and major milestones! — with her daughter, who continues to amaze her mama every day.

“I think that for every parent the first time that your child laughs it just melts your heart,” she says. “Their little personality is developing and she has such a great spirit.”

And whatever Keibler still needs to know about motherhood, she plans to just pick it up along the way.

“I look at it like every day is a new adventure. The only thing that is consistent is change,” she says with a laugh. “So you think you have it all down and then it all changes. There’s learning lessons every day.”

Mike Windle/Getty

— Anya Leon with reporting by Mariah Haas