The journey to parenthood is different for everyone who chooses it—and sometimes it comes a little later in life than may be expected. Waiting to have kids seems to be especially popular with celebrities. After all, their careers typically involve working long hours and traveling often, neither of which make it easy to raise a child. So is it any wonder that so many celebrities became first-time moms after they turned 40? Read on for stars who took on another role—playing mom—whenever they were good and ready.

Halle Berry

Halle Berry was 41 when she gave birth to her first child, a daughter named Nahla, and 47 when her son Maceo was born. And she’s spoken out about why she thinks more people should consider following in her footsteps.

“You know yourself better. You’ve done a lot of things for yourself, selfishly. When you wait later in life, you can really put your kids forward I think in a more meaningful way,” she told Us Weekly.

Salma Hayek told The Sunday Times that she didn’t think she’d ever have children—until she met husband Francois-Henri Pinault, who “changed everything” for her. Sure enough, the couple welcomed their daughter, Valentina, when Hayek was 41 years old, and the actor says the timing was perfect.

“I had reached a place in my career [where] I’d done a lot of things, I was so excited to be a mother,” she told the outlet. “I didn’t feel like it would take anything away.”

Though Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling do their best to keep their personal lives as private as possible, we do know that their oldest daughter, Esmeralda, was born when Mendes was 40, followed by younger sister Amada a year later.

“I never wanted babies before until I fell in love with Ryan, and it kind of worked out to where I was 40 and having my first baby. I think I was 42 for the second one, so it worked out in that way that I had a career and then I changed my focus to my family,” Mendes said in a 2020 radio interview (per ET Online).

Model Kim Basinger was 41 years old when her and ex-husband Alec Baldwin‘s daughter, Ireland Baldwin, was born. Though she would be their only child before the couple went their separate ways, Baldwin has gone on to have six more children with his current wife, Hilaria.

Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson shocked fans when she gave birth to her first child, a baby boy named Eissa Al Mana, when she was 51 years old. At the time, she was married to Wissam Al Mana, the baby’s father, though they’ve since split.

Geena Davis was 46 when she became a mom for the first time. She and ex-husband Reza Jarrahy welcomed their daughter, Alizeh, in 2002, and Davis was 48 when their twins, Kian and Kaiis, were born.

“I always felt lucky that I had my kids late, because I just feel like I changed so much. I always knew I wanted kids, but what I was doing waiting that long, I don’t know. I never tried before, in other words. But it’s been great,” she told The Guardian in 2020.

Not only was Laura Linney 49 when her son Bennett was born, but she also kept her pregnancy a secret until after he was born.

“I was an older mother-to-be, and it had taken me a very, very long time to have a child. so I wanted to make sure that my child actually arrived, and was safe and healthy,” she said during an appearance on Live With Kelly (via Daily Mail).

Back in May, Naomi Campbell took to Instagram to share with her followers that she’d become a mom to a baby girl at the age of 50.

“A beautiful little blessing has chosen me to be her mother” she wrote. “So honoured to have this gentle soul in my life there are no words to describe the lifelong bond that I now share with you my angel. There is no greater love.”

In 2020, when the Saturday Night Live star was 47, Kristen Wiig and fiancé Avi Rothman welcomed twins via surrogate.

“Having two nine-month-olds is a lot! But they’re growing, and I can’t wait to see them every morning. It’s not all just lying around and smiling at babies, though,” she told InStyle last August.

Eva Longoria was 43 when her son Santiago was born, and she told Parents Latina that the timing was “meant to be.”

“I’m more patient, and I don’t work as much—even though it doesn’t seem that way!” she said.

Sheryl Crow

After Sheryl Crow‘s breakup with Lance Armstrong and her cancer diagnosis, she felt that becoming a mom was more important to her than ever, so at 45 years old, she adopted her son Wyatt, then added another son, Levi, to her family three years later.

“I always knew I wanted to be a mom; it was just a matter of when. I’d just been through a pretty painful breakup where there were kids involved, and I’d also been through breast cancer treatment,” she told Redbook in 2010. “After that, I felt an acute sense of urgency about how I wanted my life to feel. Since I wasn’t married, my idea of what the picture was supposed to look like no longer served any great purpose.”

Helen Hunt was almost 41 years old when her daughter with partner Matthew Carnaham, Makena, was born. She’s also a parent to Carnaham’s son from a previous relationship.

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Cameron Diaz

Cameron Diaz was 47 years old when she and husband Benji Madden announced that they’d welcomed a baby girl named Raddix. And as she told Naomi Campbell on her YouTube channel, she knew she was doing things a little differently than most.

“Having a family when you’re young … it’s like anything when you’re young: You do it. But when you’re my age and you decide to do it, it’s a real choice. You really have to work hard for it,” she said, as reported by People.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star Jane Krakowski became a mom at age 42. Her son Bennett, with her then-fiancé Robert Godfrey, was born in 2011,

Desperate Housewives star Marcia Cross also became a mom for the first time in her 40s. She began fertility treatment at 44, later giving birth to twins Eden and Savannah. As she told Easy Living Magazine (via Daily Mail), she ended up suffering from complications including preeclampsia and was required to stay on bed rest towards the end of her pregnancy.

“Are you kidding? It’s a miracle I have these two daughters,” she said. “Your forties is not the time to be thinking about getting pregnant.”

Hoda Hotb was 52 years old when she adopted her first child, Haley Joy—a moment that was quite emotional for her, as she explained on an episode of Today.

“People always, first question [is] ‘Do you have kids?’ That’s the first question, and I always say ‘Oh my nieces, I love them so much,’ I always talk about my nieces,” she said in 2021. “And literally I dead stopped when that woman asked me, ‘Do you have kids?’ And I looked at her and I go, ‘Yeah, I do.’ Like I couldn’t believe I was saying it, I was like ‘Yes, I have a daughter, yes.’ And just to say the words out loud, we’re talking about like saying something out loud, it was so moving.”

Diane Keaton

Considering the legendary career Diane Keaton has, it makes sense that she wanted to wait a bit before adding kids into the mix. She was 50 years old when she adopted her daughter Dexter. Five years later, she added a son named Duke to her family.

Even though Sandra Bullock was in her 40s when she adopted her son Louis and daughter Laila, she told Today that she’d always wanted to be a mom, and that when she met Louis, she knew right away he was meant to be her son.

“It’s like he had always been there. It’s like he fit in the crook of my arm. He looked me in the eyes, and he was just—he was wise. My child was wise,” she said. “The beautiful thing that I was constantly told was, ‘The perfect child will find you. You will find your child.'”