Cameron Diaz had some good — and surprising — news to share March 23. “We are blessed and excited to announce the birth of our son, Cardinal Madden,” the actress wrote on Instagram in a joint post with her husband of nine years, Benji Madden. “He is awesome and we are all so happy he is here! We are feeling so blessed and grateful.”

At 51, Diaz is finally living her dream. After retiring from acting in 2018, the Charlie’s Angels star has been hunkering down at her $13 million Montecito, Calif., spread with the Good Charlotte guitarist, 45, and their two children (the pair welcomed daughter, Raddix, via surrogate in December 2019), working on herself and finding her way back to happiness.

Cardinal’s arrival, also via surrogate, just makes everything sweeter. “Cameron and Benji have always wanted to have more kids,” an insider exclusively tells In Touch. “It took a while but they never lost hope. They are overwhelmed with gratitude.”

Being a content mom of two is something Diaz could barely fathom when she was working nonstop. “Getting out of Hollywood saved Cameron’s life,” says an insider. “She’s so much happier now and in such a better mental space.”

By Diaz’s own account, she was burned out before taking a big step back from the limelight. “When you’re making a movie… you’re there for 12 hours a day. For months on end, you have no time for anything else,” she told pal Gwyneth Paltrow during a Goop interview. “It’s so intense to work at that level and be that public and put yourself out there. There’s a lot of energy coming at you at all times.”

The constant scrutiny over the former model’s appearance also took a toll. “It’s toxic,” Diaz confessed to “Rule Breakers” podcast host Michelle Visage in 2022 of Hollywood’s unrealistic beauty standards. “You just start to pick yourself apart.”

The situation was unbearable for the San Diego native. “Cameron felt a lot of pressure to conform to other people’s ideals of what she should look like,” adds the insider. “Although she made some good friends during her acting years in Hollywood, overall, it wasn’t a healthy environment for her to be in.”

Ultimately, she says she was forced to take a good, hard look at her life — and do some work on herself. “I went in and did some really deep, personal healing,” she told Paltrow, adding, “There’s a lot of things I had to iron out, a lot of relationships I had to repair, a lot of relationships I had to build that were absent.”

Falling in love with Madden was a game changer. (They met through Diaz’s close friend and sister-in-law Nicole Richie, who’s been married to Madden’s twin brother and bandmate, Joel, since 2010.) “He’s really taught me to value myself a lot more,” she’s said of her husband. “With our marriage, I learned how to really go all in. Nothing else comes before this. It’s the most valuable thing I have.”

Benji Madden and Cameron Diaz attend a basketball game
Noel Vasquez/GC Images

And it’s something she’s willing to work for. The pair stay connected with couples therapy. “Cameron left Hollywood to focus on her mental health and she’s been a big believer in therapy for years,” says the insider. (In 2011, she credited counseling with helping her maintain “a certain standard of life.”)

It was only natural she’d extend it to include her marriage. “Therapy has helped Cameron’s relationship with Benji. She’s told her friends they go together, and that it keeps the communication flowing smoothly and solves problems before they become serious.”

Some problems have no solutions, however. In late 2023, Diaz shared a surprising tip for a happy marriage: living apart! “We should normalize separate bedrooms,” she said. “I will go and sleep in my room. You go sleep in your room. And we have the bedroom in the middle that we can convene in for our relations.” (She admitted that she and Madden share their room.)

Date nights are another way to stay connected. The duo was spotted at Rob Lowe‘s star-studded 60th-birthday bash in Santa Barbara March 23, and the insider says they often get together with Madden’s brother Joel and his wife for double dates. “It’s fun for them to dress up and go out to dinner sometimes at a favorite restaurant.”

Life in Montecito is decidedly low-key. “It’s so peaceful there and Cameron loves the quaint town, the shops and restaurants,” says the insider.

“She can go about her business in relative obscurity. Cameron and Benji get invitations all the time,” adds the insider, “but they love to stay home and cook meals and spend time with Raddix and Cardinal.”

It’s the perfect place to raise her family away from prying eyes. The couple kept baby No. 2 a secret in the hopes of maintaining “a sense of normalcy,” says the insider, adding, “Cameron’s a big believer in keeping things private — it’s better for the kids and healthier for her and Benji.”

The first few weeks at home with Cardinal have been blissful. Raddix is enjoying being a big sister, and the insider says Diaz and Madden have been very open with her about the surrogacy process. “They’ve described it as a beautiful thing and they talk about it often so their kids will be familiar with the way they came into the world,” reveals the insider, adding that Madden is in awe of his wife.

“He raves all the time about what a good mom she is. She’s funny and she loves to laugh and play,” says the insider. Looking at her full, happy life, Diaz certainly has no regrets. “She’s overwhelmed with gratitude,” says the insider. “She feels so blessed.”

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