Sandra Bullock may be an Oscar-winning household name, but when it comes to her two children, mum is definitely the word.
The 54-year-old is famously guarded when it comes to sharing her two children with the world. The Bird Box star was secretive about the adoptions of her two children, nine-year-old son Louis in 2010 and six-year-old daughter, Laila in 2015, and she's been keeping them pretty much under wraps ever since.
For the down-to-earth star, staying out of the limelight is not that much of a stretch, but keeping her young children away from the prying lenses of the paparazzi takes some work, and it's work that Bullock is prepared to do.
The mum-of-two, who you won't find on social media, has had to deal with paparazzi and the impact that their stalking behaviour has had on her children – little Laila suffered PTSD from a fear of being photographed – and is not afraid to use lawyers to chase down images when she has to.
To keep the wolves at bay, the Miss Congeniality actor will give an occasional interview where she speaks about motherhood.
In 2015 she appeared with her children on the cover of People, but the media knows, the only stories they'll hear about her children are the ones that Bullock is prepared to share herself.
Sandra Bullock always wanted to be a mum
Bullock admits that she would have got pregnant at 17 if it wasn't for her mother, who she joked kept her "under lock and key" for that very reason.
Speaking with media at an event, Bullock said: "I would have been pregnant or knocked up at 17. I wanted to be a mum at a very young age. So I kind of felt the drive and the desire to. My mother knew that and she kept me under lock and key."
WATCH: Sandra Bullock talks about her kids. Continues after video ...
When motherhood didn't happen for Bullock as early as she had planned, the star began to look at other means to start her family.
It was during her marriage to Jess James that Bullock began the secret adoption process to bring Louis home. In an emotional interview with Hoda Kotb on the Today show, Bullock spoke of Hurricane Katrina, in her hometown of New Orleans being the catalyst for her looking into adoption.
It took over four years, but eventually she and James found Louis, beginning the process of co-adopting him in January, 2010. The pair did not reveal their happy news until April of the same year, after Bullock was awarded the Oscar for playing Leigh Anne Tuohy, who had adopted celebrated American football player Michael Oher, in the biographical drama The Blind Side.
Sadly, just days after the award ceremony, the marriage imploded amid a very public cheating scandal, leaving Bullock to continue the adoption process as a single mother. With the media attention around her husband's infidelity, Bullock was more determined than ever to keep Louis out of the eye of the storm, ensuring her remained away from the public eye.
According to Bullock, it was Louis who decided he wanted to be a brother. In the same Today show interview, she explained that the then three-year-old began telling all of her girlfriends that Bullock would be having a baby girl soon, before the idea had even occurred to Bullock herself.
The adoption this time around was more complicated, Sandra fostered three-year-old Laila before she adopted, and it was the paparazzi who threatened the whole process.
Bullock claims the only reason she revealed pictures of little Laila on the cover of People in 2015 was the fact that the paparazzi had threatened to expose the news of the second adoption.
Speaking with the magazine, Bullock said; "You feel it's very much like witness protection… Unbeknownst to me, a photographer had followed us and took a photo of us in line. The next day, I learned that a photo of her was being shopped around for sale to every outlet around the world. I had promised and legally agreed to protect her from something like this, and here I was chasing down lawyers — having them begging to keep her safe."
In an interview with InStyle magazine last year, Sandra revealed that Laila had developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from her fear of being photographed.
Just don’t call Bullock’s kids "adopted"
In the InStyle interview, Bullock brought attention to the phrase 'adopted child', saying: "Let's all just refer to these kids as 'our kids'. Don't say, 'my adopted child'. No one calls their kid their 'IVF child' or their 'Oh, s**t, I went to a bar and got knocked up child'. Let's just say, 'our children'."
She also gave a rare insight into the personalities of her two children, sharing a little bit about how different they are from each other.
"Lou is super sensitive. I call him my 78-year-old son," said the Speed star. "He's like Shecky Greene, a Jewish Catskills comic. He's wise and kind.
"I saw that when they handed him to me. There was a spiritual bigness to him. I was like, 'I hope I don't eff that up'."
However, "fearless" Laila is another story.
"Laila is just unafraid. She's a fighter, and that's the reason she's here today. She fought to keep her spirit intact. Oh my God, what she is going to accomplish. She's going to bring some real change," Sandra said.
WATCH: Sandra Bullock reveals why she "cried a lot" on Mother's Day. Continues after video ...
Ensuring the children remain humble
It was during the Today Show interview with Hoda Kotb, that the star of Speed explained how she used Christmas to teach her children the joy of giving.
Explaining that she made a decision to limit the gifts the children received after Christmas had snowballed over the years until she felt like her family was missing the point.
"I overdo it, and then I panic that I didn't do enough. Then I get more—and then everyone else has overdone it," she explained, adding that it was the decision to stop overdoing it, limiting the gifts to three small things per child that caused her to be able to relax and enjoy the season.
"We just stopped. Because there's so much happening in the world where people don't have anything. And we said, 'Why don't we just make this about other people?'" Bullock explained, adding that her kids were totally into the idea of giving instead of receiving.
"They were amazing about it. So, Christmas is three small gifts," she said.
Like her motherhood experience, Bullock keeps her love-life on lock-down too.
Not much is known about her relationship with photographer, Bryan Randall, who she began dating in 2015.
Randall has one child, Skylar Staten Randall, from a previous relationship, and is said to be a doting father to her as well as to Louis and Laila.
The pair are thought to have met when Bullock hired the talented photographer to shoot pictures of one of Louis' birthday parties.
It was Randall who shot the People magazine cover photo featuring Bullock and her two children.