The actress shares two daughters with husband Ryan Gosling.

By PEOPLE.COM/Jen Juneau
Updated Oct 20, 2019 @ 3:00 pm

Now five years into mom life, Eva Mendes knows the work involved is no joke.

Stopping by for a Thursday chat with Kelly Clarkson on her new daytime talk show, the actress said that taking a break from her career to be a stay-at-home mom to daughters Amada Lee, 3, and Esmeralda Amada, 5, was much more difficult than she had originally anticipated before she and Ryan Gosling became parents.

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“Every day,” Mendes, 45, told Clarkson when the latter asked her when she realized she had “picked the way harder job” in comparison to her acting career. “People are so sweet — they really try to warn you, prep you, when you’re pregnant, but nobody can prep you. Nobody.”

“And nobody told me it was gonna really be a job. And a job that I needed an incredible amount of skill for, in different areas,” she continued, jokingly listing off just a few of the roles she steps into for her kids: “A chauffeur, a cook, a personal assistant to an abusive boss.”

“They don’t appreciate it!” said Clarkson, 37, who’s mom to 3½-year-old son Remington “Remy” Alexander and daughter River Rose, 5.

“No, they don’t! They’re not grateful! Oh my God, do they get grateful? Does that happen at some point?” Mendes asked the audience.

“In any other profession, you’d need to take a test or pass tests. The only test I had to pass was a pregnancy test,” The Other Guys actress joked. “That doesn’t seem fair, right?”

Mendes and Gosling, 38, have “the same” parenting style at home with their daughters. And it’s one the mother of two admits isn’t the most lax.

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“We’re very controlling,” she said. “I think what the term is — we’re always laughing at these terms — I think we would be ‘bulldozing parents.’ “

Mendes also revealed she’s a “helicopter parent” because her kids are young and “we have to be on top of them every second” (“What else are we supposed to do?” the star said).

“The stakes are really high so yeah, I’m a helicopter parent,” she added. “And then I heard the bulldozing and I’m like, ‘Ooh, yeah, I’m probably a bulldozing parent too.’"

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