"When my kids were tiny, I was caught up in the identity of being a mom," the 44-year-old, double Oscar-winner – and mother of Charlie, 9, and Kit, 6 – tells More magazine for its September issue. "You're still changing diapers, and it feels like it's going to last forever."
But now, Foster can see her future. Her older son, she says, is "reading; he'd much rather be with friends." (Even so, the two are close, she says. "I like having these conversations with him where I talk about my passions and he talks about his.")
And while rearing children rarely leads to a typical routine, Foster says, "Every once in a while I'll have one of those days when I've fed the fish, cleaned 10 poops from the patio, taken the cat to the vet, sewn my son's stupid karate stars on until my fingers bleed and made sure that he has everything, and he wakes up and goes, 'Oh, what's for breakfast?' He doesn't know, and why should he? Right?
"But there's absolutely no sort of acknowledgment or reward for this – except for the intangible of my kids growing up to be wonderful people."
Then there are the tangibles of life, which can come with being in her 40s. Having once scoffed at the notion of having cosmetic surgery, Foster is asked if she's re-considered her position, in light of crow's feet.
"Nah," she replies. "It's not my thing. I don't have anything against it for other people. Whatever they want to do, I'm fine with it. For me, it's really a self-image thing. Like, I'd rather have somebody go, 'Wow, that girl has a bad nose' than 'Wow, that girl has a bad nose job.'
In a similar vein, Foster – who, despite having been before the cameras in one way of another since she was a Coppertone model at 3, has always fiercely guarded her privacy – says, "My life is my life. I'm not going to change my life for anybody. I don't have any problems with it. I just don't talk about my health, my dad, who I voted for or what I think of the death penalty, because that would be trivializing my life, selling it for a magazine."
What she will talk about, however, is the ring she wears on the wedding finger of her left hand. "It's Tiffany," she says, "an eternity ring."