Mariska Hargitay Opens Up About Her ‘Crazy, Chaotic’ Life with 3 Kids: It’s ‘Perfect for Me’

In further to a bustling report personification Olivia Benson on Law Order: Special Victims Unit and furthering a work of her Joyful Heart Foundation, Mariska Hargitay is also a hands-on mom of three. And she wouldn’t wish it any other way.

The actress, 54, tells PEOPLE for this week’s cover story that there’s zero improved than being a primogenitor to sons Andrew Nicolas, 6½, and August Miklos, 11, and daughter Amaya Josephine, 7, with her actor father of 13 years, Peter Hermann.

“The thing that’s done me a improved primogenitor is my kids,” says Hargitay, whose eyes good adult during a discuss of her family. “Because they taught me to unequivocally listen. My father is my North Star, and my kids are my teachers.”

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Mariska Hargitay with father Peter Hermann and their 3 children in Nov 2013

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In 2010, years after she gave birth to their first child during age 42, Hargitay and Hermann started the routine of adoption, assembly with an adoption counsel and completing home inspections. In 2011, they became relatives again when Amaya assimilated their family, shortly after she was innate in a U.S.

Then, over a camber of 6 months, their fun doubled, most to their surprise, when they got a call that Andrew had been matched with them. Welcoming two infants in reduction than a year would be daunting for anyone, though Hargitay felt it was only right.

“Our family is so perfect, or during slightest ideal for me,” she says. “Together we’re only this whole, happy, joyful, chaotic, crazy unit. I’ve never famous anything that was some-more right.”

Mariska Hargitay and son Aug in February

Mariska Hargitay and daughter Amaya in Nov 2017

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Hargitay also says her fruit is anything though traditional.

“The beauty is that families are done in so many opposite ways, and that was my existence as a child,” she says of her dual brothers, Miklós and Zoltán, and 3 half-siblings, Jayne Marie Mansfield and Antonio Cimber (from her mom Jayne Mansfield‘s initial and third marriages, respectively), and Tina Hargitay (from her father Mickey Hargitay‘s initial marriage).

Mariska Hargitay on a cover of PEOPLE

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“Growing up, my family was done in such an engaging and singular way, and now we have that with my possess family, and so we know it. It’s been amazing,” a star says.

As for parenting styles, teamwork is how Hargitay and Hermann, 50, make it all work. “Peter and I, we’re so opposite that it’s been extraordinary how we element any other,” she shares. “He knows all we don’t.”

For some-more from Mariska Hargitay, collect adult a latest emanate of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.