Eva Mendes' daughter is her ''moral compass.''

The 41-year-old actress, who has 12-month-old baby girl Esmeralda Amada with boyfriend Ryan Gosling, says she finds it easier to make important decisions since becoming a mother.

The 'Hitch' star said: ''I love being an example to somebody. If I'm even like, 'Oh, what should I wear? Or, should I do this project?' All I have to think about is my daughter and her face and I know the answer immediately. I guess she's my moral compass in a way. It's just beautiful to be an example for her.''

Eva is currently taking a break from Hollywood to focus on raising her daughter and her clothing line, but the 'Lost River' star has only been apart from Esmeralda three times since she gave birth to her in September 2014.

She told the 'Today' show: ''[She's with] papa and the family. Thank god I have my entire family 10 minutes away.''

The couple don't have a nanny and Ryan, 34, is happy to change his fair share of diapers.

Eva said: ''I mean, that's a given these days! I don't think that's a plus anymore. It better not be fathers out there.''

Meanwhile, the actress insists that, despite her success, she still loves finding second-hand bargains.

She said: ''I love thrift shopping. I'm a frustrated archaeologist inside so I think I let that out when I go into a Goodwill or Salvation Army.''