Kate Hudson

Kate Hudson
"I was in the midst of three kids all talking to me at once and I just went, 'Is this what my life is gonna be like?' " new mom Hudson says of filming the kid-centric Raising Helen.
Nicolas Khayat/abaca

05/12/2004 AT 01:30 PM EDT

Ryder Russell is one lucky little boy – nothing seems to faze the 4-month-old's mom, Kate Hudson. Lack of sleep? "Beautiful." Weight gain? "Fun." Going back to work? "Great." But unlike most new parents, Hudson got a crash course in motherhood while making her latest movie, Raising Helen (in theaters May 28). In the film she plays a single woman who ends up taking in her sister's three kids.

Hudson, 25, recently chatted about learning the ropes, losing her baby fat and changing diapers with a rocker, husband Chris Robinson.

Is motherhood all that you thought it would be?
It's incredible – and then some. ... Nobody ever tells you how hard it's gonna be, you know? It's like everybody keeps all the hard stuff away from you. But it's amazing.

What's been hard?
Well, when you're nursing and you're working 18-hour days – that's pretty hard.

How difficult was it to get back into shape?
I gained 60 lbs.

Proud of it. It was fun. It was great. I kind of figured, you know, why do I need to watch my weight when I'm pregnant? I'm gonna eat whatever the hell I want to eat.

I'm okay being big. It felt like everybody else was more worried about it than I was. I just knew that when I started shooting I didn't want to get two months into it and then all of a sudden drop my weight drastically from being, you know, 145 lbs. to 118 lbs. So I worked out every day, two hours to three hours a day, for about two and a half months.

Most actresses would freak out.
I had a baby. There's nothing to be ashamed of when you blow up.

Did doing Raising Helen prepare you at all?
Not really. I learned from my parents (Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell) ... they're my biggest support system right now. ... I was saying today I can only hope that when Ryder and then the next kids come, they like me as much as I like my mom, you know?

So how many kids do you think you'll have?
I need to take a break to, like, go out and have a couple drinks before I go and do this all over again. (With) nursing, you know, it's been a long time since I've been able to go out and have a nice night with my husband.
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