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Blake Lively, Marie Claire UK

Marie Claire/Beau Grealy

Blake Lively's real livelihood centers around one key unit—family.

The Shallows star, front and center on the August cover of Marie Claire UK,  got candid with the magazine, discussing how her upbringing has influenced motherhood and her career.

Additionally, Lively opens up about her and husband, Ryan Reynolds, and their mutual decision to lead as private as possible personal lives as they can while still being public figures.

The actress, pregnant with baby No. 2, said that she is trying to model daughter James Reynolds's childhood off of her own, explaining, "My husband and I chose a profession and a side effect of that is your personal life is public. Our child hasn't had the opportunity to choose whether or not she wants her personal life to be public or not. So in order to give her as much normality as possible, we want her to have a childhood like we had."

Blake Lively, Marie Claire UK

Marie Claire/Beau Grealy

The Los Angeles native continued, "We can't really throw her into the lion's den that is L.A., not that we really want to".

It's no surprise then that Lively and her family live in Bedford, N.Y.—a secluded suburban haven home to many other A-list celebs as well.

Blake Lively, Marie Claire UK

Marie Claire/Beau Grealy

Motherhood officially began for Blake with the birth of James, but the Gossip Girl favorite told Marie Claire that her motherly instincts have been innate since a young age.

"People really expect that you're suddenly a different woman, and I think it strips a woman's identity in a way that is kind of strange, because I've always been innately maternal my whole life," Lively explains, adding, "I wanted to go to a 'Mommy & Me' class before I was a mom."

This isn't particularly surprising, as the blond beauty previously told E! News, "I'm the youngest of five, so I never raised any siblings below me, but I'm always the person who's taking everyone else's kid and putting them on my hip, so I've kinda always been a mama."

Being a mom hasn't stopped Lively from achieving a reasonable work-life balance. "I'm always ambitious about film-making. But I love my personal life so much—and my family so much—that it takes a lot to make me want to leave the house," Blake reasons. "Most of the things I do, I fight for. But to want to fight for something? I have to be really stimulated by it."

To read the feature in full, see the August issue of Marie Claire, out today and available as a digital edition through Apple Newsstand.