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Mariska Hargitay on the ‘Hard’ Balance Between Work and Family: ‘There Are Days I Go Home and Just Cry’

Mariska Hargitay Faye Sadou/Media Punch/

She’s a jack of all trades! Mariska Hargitay got real about the difficulties she faces balancing work and family.

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The Law and Order: Special Victim Unit star, 54, spoke candidly about juggling her personal and professional life while speaking to Us Weekly and other reporters during a Paley Center panel in Beverly Hills on Monday, June 4.

“It’s hard. I’m not going to say it’s easy, it’s hard. I’m learning to [balance]. I try to be super present with where I am,” Hargitay, who plays Olivia Benson on the hit series, explained. “When I’m at work, I’m at work. When I’m with my kids, I’m with my kids.”

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The Emmy winner and her husband, Peter Hermann, share son August, 11, daughter Amaya, 7, and son Andrew, 6. Hargitay couldn’t help but praise her hunky hubby, 50, for his support as she balances motherhood and her career.

“I have an incredible support system with my husband. He’s an actor so he also understands,” she gushed. “I try to keep it organic. The kids come to set all the time. I h’ve worked out my schedule a bit that I have a little more flexibility. I have a great time behind me.”

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Even so, sometimes it can be great burden to bear. “There are days I go home and just cry. There have been days when I didn’t see my kids. Those are the days I’m, like, ‘Maybe I’m done,’” she recalled. “But now, this is a gift of doing something for 20 years. We’re such a well-oiled machine. I go in there and I’m like, Guys, I’ve got a kids thing. I’m out.’ They’re like, ‘Got it, boom.’”

With reporting by Nicholas White

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