updated 01/13/2010 AT 11:00 AM ET
•originally published 01/13/2010 AT 11:25 AM ET
When it comes to blowing off steam, some celebrities practice yoga, some get massages, and others hit the beach. For Jessica Alba, relief comes in the form of her daughter.
“Honor is the best cure for stress,” the actress says of her 19-month-old in the February issue of Self. “When I spend time with her, I get instant perspective. I can be hard on myself if I don’t do everything perfectly. But now that I have her, there’s no time for that.”
Alba, 28, who is part of the all-star cast in the upcoming romantic comedy Valentine’s Day, says she hopes to teach Honor not to be so hard on herself, either: “I want to teach her that you can learn from your mistakes, and if you keep moving and stay positive and loving, everything will work out.”
The actress regained her pre-baby figure quickly, but says becoming a mom also changed her perspective on her body.
“Pregnancy was the most incredible experience I’ve ever had,” she tells the magazine. “So I ll take the stretch marks. I ll take the sagging boobs. I’ll take the cellulite I can never get rid of. If you walk around with your head held high and you re happy and positive, then all that other stuff is irrelevant. Confidence is number one.”
As for her plans for the future, Alba, who is married to producer Cash Warren, dreams about moving her family – which she hopes to expand – out of Hollywood.
“In 10 years, I’d love to be raising my kids on a farm in the South of France,” she says.
And no, she was not inspired by Johnny Depp.
“My mother-in-law has lived there for more than 20 years, and she has a beautiful setup. I want to be able to allow Honor and my other kids, who I hope to be blessed with in the future, to maintain their innocence for as long as possible. There is so much time to be an adult.”