Setting a good example for your children is, of course, something we can do while actively parenting. It’s also something we can do when we’re doing things that don’t directly involve our kids at all. Just ask Blake Lively.

In a new interview with PEOPLE, Lively talks about being a fully committed, hands-on parent—but also acknowledges that she wants her three daughters to see her actively engaging in passions and interests outside of motherhood.

“I want to be as present of a mother as humanly possible and I want them to feel my presence, but I also think the best way to be the best mother is to show them that you can have a life and have a passion and have an identity outside of just being a mother,” Lively says.

In addition to being a mother to James, 6, Inez, 5, and Betty, 2, and a wife to Ryan Reynolds, Lively recently launched a non-alcoholic mixer line called Betty Buzz and also has a new partnership with British Airways. Needless to say, Lively is busy. But that’s OK, because she wants her daughters to witness her hard work.

“I mean, being a mother is completely all-encompassing, and that doesn’t mean there are a lot of mothers who don’t have the opportunity to work as well, but just having your [own] identity is, I think, very important,” she explains. “And teaching them that they can maintain themselves and that everything is possible [is crucial].”

When you’re in the throes of motherhood, especially when you have little ones who need so much of you, it’s easy to lose parts of yourself because you’re constantly meeting the needs of other tiny humans. But remembering that you were (and still are) a fully-developed person with interests and hobbies and work is just as important as being fully present with your kids.

Lively says she knows she’s lucky that she’s able to bring her daughters to work with her—which is not something many parents can do.

“So it is very important for them to see me working. I bring them along, though. I mean, it’s amazing they’re not hidden under my skirt right now,” Lively adds with a laugh. “I bring them everywhere. It’s so inappropriate, but I’m very lucky to be at a job that allows me to do that.”