Aside from her iconic role on Grey’s Anatomy, Ellen Pompeo‘s crowning achievement is her three kids, Stella, Sienna and Eli. In between sharing behind-the-scenes photos on set of the hit drama series, you can often find the legendary TV actress posting pics of her children with husband Chris Ivery.
Ellen became a mom when she welcomed her eldest daughter, Stella, alongside the music producer in September 2009. The couple — who tied the knot in 2007 — went on to expand their family when daughter Sienna arrived via surrogacy in August 2014, followed by their youngest son, Eli, whom Ellen gave birth to in December 2016.
While the Station 19 alum said she always considered herself a “super emotional person,” those feelings became “even more intense” after she experienced motherhood for the first time.
“Life can be quite painful for me sometimes because I feel things so deeply, and I feel things even more deeply now that I’m a parent,” she once shared with InStyle. “You worry so much about them … and it’s really hard. We’re living in a crazy, polluted, violent, angry world. There’s a lot to be fearful of for them.”
Although Ellen is already worried about the day when her children are all grown up, she told the outlet teaching them to “not be afraid” is one of her top priorities. “When something doesn’t feel right or seem right, or you see something that isn’t right, speak up,” she explained.
“Don’t worry about what people think of you,” Ellen continued. “I wish someone had told me that when I was young, but you can’t worry about what people think of you, because they are too busy wondering what you’re thinking of them.”
In order to instill confidence in her kids, the Emmy Award winner makes sure to push Stella, Sienna and Eli outside their comfort zones. Ellen noted she likes to “get them involved” in new situations so they are exposed to a variety of different experiences.
“I think if you know how to do a lot of things ― dancing, riding horses, whatever — that’s how you get confident,” she insisted. “When you’re good at things, you have confidence … the more things you’re good at, the more confidence you’ll have.”
Scroll through the gallery below to see all the super cute photos Ellen has shared of her children!