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"He's my co-pilot." Eva Mendes on getting through the pandemic with Ryan Gosling.

In the age of social media, it's become more common for famous couples to serve the outside world a glimpse inside their private lives. 

From Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, to Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, these couples share the ups and downs of their private lives with the public, sharing personal moments that are more relatable than we may expect. 

But Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling are not one of those couples.

Although they've been together for nine years, the couple have avoided opening up about their personal life, opting to avoid sharing photos of themselves or their two children on social media. 

In an interview with Mamamia, however, Eva Mendes was surprisingly candid as she spoke about the challenges of raising a young family in a year like no other.

Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling in 2012. Image: Getty.

"I think the challenging part of this year for me has been managing my anxiety levels. I have a mother who is elderly, and she has a lot of health issues that we're dealing with right now. It's been an anxious time for everybody, obviously, but I just want to stay safe, so that I am able to spend time with my mother and not be a threat to her," the actress told Mamamia.

"It's also [important] to make sure my children feel that even though things are very different, that it's okay, and that while they're not going to school or going to play dates or seeing their friends, we have a strong family unit. 

"I try to stay as sane as possible, so that [my kids] can feel like, 'Oh, everything's fine'. Because my kids go off how I feel – if they see that I'm stressed or anxious, they feel that way. And look, that's definitely a challenge, because I have moments of feeling that I can't necessarily hide the anxiety that I feel as a mother, and as a daughter worrying about her elderly mother. But I try to manage that as much as possible for the kids."

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The 46-year-old actress, whose film credits include Training Day, Hitch, and The Place Beyond the Pines, has two daughters, six-year-old Esmeralda and four-year-old Amada, with her partner Ryan Gosling.

"My heart really goes out to single parents doing it on their own [during the pandemic] because I have an amazing, amazing partner," Mendes said.

"Ryan is a beyond incredible father and he's my co-pilot. We talked about how both of our mums were pretty much single mums, they were doing it on their own, so we just send a lot of love to single parents because they have the extra challenge of doing it alone."

In a year that has been challenging for so many, Mendes was passionate about taking on the role of this year's McHappy Day ambassador.

McHappy Day raises vital funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), which keeps families together when their kids are sick or injured.

Eva Mendes chats to families at Ronald McDonald House Charities. Image: Supplied.

For Mendes, it's a cause that's close to her heart.

"About six years ago, my cousin's baby, who was 18 months old, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. She had to relocate from California to New York and it was obviously one of the most challenging times of her life," she recalled.

"Little Andrew is fine now, thank goodness, he's seven years old, but it was a really frightening time. I was about to become a first time mother myself and I asked her, 'What can I do? I can find you an apartment, I can help you with a local grocery delivery service.' And she said, 'I'm actually really good. I'm staying at the Ronald McDonald House and I have my support system. I have my home away from home.' 

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"I was really blown away. Growing up, knowing about Ronald McDonald House Charities, I had no idea that they operated at this level of keeping families together and being such a support system."

Due to travel restrictions, Mendes will be doing her McHappy Day duties virtually, including meeting virtually with families at RMHC.

"I love Australia, I love Aussies, and I really wish I could be there for this right now," she told Mamamia.

While Mendes has visited Australia in the past, including to film Ghost Rider in Melbourne, the actress hasn't graced our screens for the last six years.

Instead, the 46-year-old turned her focus towards raising her two daughters.

"I was very fortunate that I had 20 years of work on a career in the industry. I didn't have my first baby until I was 40, so I really had my whole life before that," she explained.

"I'm very grateful that I've been able to take the time to be with my girls. I do still have ambition for work, it's just kind of taken a back seat. But I definitely still have that little hustler in me.

"I have a clothing line, which is very creatively satisfying for me to do. So that ambition didn't go away, it just went to the side for a little bit."

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As for film, Mendes hinted that her acting hiatus won't last forever.

"As far as film, I would love to do something that really means something, a film that's really special. It's just harder to find those projects," Mendes told Mamamia. 

"I'm hoping to do another Ryan Gosling film at some point, those are the best ones."

With over two million Instagram followers, facing negative comments is virtually inevitable for Mendes.

But Mendes says criticism on social media is "just part of the deal".

Image: Getty.

"There are comments that are purely hateful... but I welcome all comments as long as they're not being hateful for the sake of being hateful. If somebody has something to say about something I'm wearing or a dress I've designed and they don't like it, a lot of the times I'll write them back and create a dialogue. Or if I feel like its constructive criticism or somebody doesn't like my new hair colour, I don't take offence to that, it's just part of the deal," she said.

"There's a difference between somebody's opinion and somebody just being hateful. I don't listen to the hateful."

Feature Image: Supplied. 

From October 21, Australians will be able to support Ronald McDonald House Charities by picking up a pair of Silly Socks or a Helping Hand from their nearest McDonald's. Plus, $2 from every Big Mac sold on November 14 will go to the charity. You can also make a donation here.

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