Rani is Hudson’s first child with boyfriend Danny Fujikawa (she has two sons from previous relationships: Bingham Hawn, 7, and Ryder Russell, 14) and Hawn’s sixth grandchild. And if the Overboard star has any advice for new mums everywhere, including her own daughter, she would remind them to be gentle on themselves.
“We do the best we can as mothers,” Hawn tells PEOPLE exclusively while discussing her new collaboration with Hudson’s activewear company Fabletics to benefit MindUP, her nonprofit dedicated to teaching children compassion and kindness.
“Certainly, as a mother, I’ve made mistakes,” admits the mom of three, 72. “We all do, we all will. But the most important thing is to stay authentic and true to yourself and hope that you show by example, not by what you say but by what you do.”
Hawn’s parenting style has definitely been to lead with her heart, which is why she now recognizes a lot of herself in Hudson, 39. They share the same optimistic view of life and cheerfulness.
“We hope our children will amplify the best part of us,” Hawn says. “I’m proud of my daughter. She has become a spokesperson herself for children’s wellness, for happiness, all the things that she grew up with.”
Being a role model was never at the top of her mind for Hawn — rather, it happened naturally. “There’s no perception that I feel that I have to live up to anything. I only have to be true to myself,” says the star, who is also mom to sons Wyatt Russell with longtime love Kurt Russell and Oliver Hudson with ex-husband Bill Hudson.
“That is what I go by,” Hawn explains. “I’m not conscious of going, ‘I need to be a role model.’ Heck no. I am my own role model. I live by my own ethics and my own standards and my own sense of love. That’s who I am. I think every one of my children, I can say wholeheartedly, has this wonderful attribute.”
As far as having a baby, Hawn recognizes how big this moment is for her daughter. “It’s unbelievable,” she says. “[A baby] changes everything.”
“We’re so lucky to be girls because we carry the baby. It’s amazing,” she adds. “You got this life, it’s growing inside you, and then you give it out to the world. We like to say, ‘Oh, this is mine.’ That’s fine, but it’s really one of the things that we help nurture. It just gives you so much happiness. I mean, it’s crazy.”
“Each stage brings you a different kind of happiness, so focus on that,” Hawn advises. “Because sometimes they’ll drive you crazy. But just focus on the joy of being able to do this at all.”
This article originally appeared in PEOPLE