Liv Tyler: ‘Having Children, I Learned About My Own Strength’

09/22/2015 at 02:45 PM ET

She was already a successful actress, but Liv Tyler says she never knew the full extent of her strength until she became a mom.

“My favorite thing about being a parent is that I learn so much from the push-and-pull dynamic of mother and child,” she tells More magazine for its October cover story. “Having children, I learned about my own strength.”

The 38-year-old actress, who welcomed son Sailor Gene in February with her boyfriend, sports manager/agent David Gardner, hints that part of that strength comes from the ability to juggle kids and career — a skill The Leftovers star likens to another creative profession.

“I feel like I’m conducting a giant orchestra, because there’s so many moving parts. It’s like, ‘Over there, you guys do that!’ And then, ‘Over there, you do this! All together now!’ ” Tyler explains. “It’s kind of what it feels like to be a mom, isn’t it? In the modern world?”

Liv Tyler MORE magazine
Jan Welters/MORE Magazine

Tyler, who characterizes her own childhood as the daughter of Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler and former model Bebe Buell as “eccentric,” also confirms that as a mother, she’s made a personal pact to never value her career over her kids.

“I didn’t see how I could go away for three months to make a film and be the mother I wanted to be,” she explains.

But a conversation one night with her 10-year-old son Milo William left the mom of two encouraged she could juggle both.

“[He said,] ‘Mommy, I want you to go forth and make some movies,’ ” she recalls. “[I told him,] ‘But what about you?’ ‘I’ll be okay,’ [he said]. ”

Liv Tyler MORE magazine
Jan Welters/MORE Magazine

Tyler split from Milo’s father, Royston Langdon, in 2008, and while she doesn’t name him specifically, she tells the magazine she’s learned a lot from past relationships.

“I had this philosophy that you should only get married once. But then, of course, that changes,” she says. “I definitely believe we have lessons we learn through our relationships. You’re meant to work through and mirror each other. It’s the thing in someone that drives you the most crazy that is maybe a part of yourself.”

Happy birthday baby @davidgardner 🎈💛🎂🎈💛🎂🎈💛🎂🎈💛🎂

A post shared by Liv Tyler (@misslivalittle) on

For now, Tyler and Gardner — whom she refers to as her husband — are working hard to find time together. But with her home in New York and his in London, it hasn’t always been easy.

“We’re doing everything we can to be together, but right now because of work we’re going back and forth,” she shares.

Happy happy birthday to our david !!!!! @davidgardner

A post shared by Liv Tyler (@misslivalittle) on

Liv Tyler MORE magazine
Jan Welters/MORE Magazine

— Kathy Ehrich Dowd

FILED UNDER: Liv Tyler , News , Parenting

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charlotte on

I wish her lots of happiness! love her, and of course, her father 🙂

Caroline on

She always seems so kind and sweet. I’m sure she’s a wonderful mother. I’ve read that her own mother was often in Europe when Liv was growing up, returning home for holidays and birthdays. Liv has her priorities straight. Children should always come first.

Rose on

That’s a good head on those shoulders. For someone who has come from one of the most bohemian and wild of bohemian and wild families, her level-headedness is a great accomplishment.

I’m so glad she and Drew Barrymore emerged from their parents’ “Studio 54” World, grounded.