Where co-parenting is concerned, Evan Rachel Wood‘s got the whole thing down pat.
“I think any separation, whether it’s amicable or not, is always difficult. But we’re always doing our best, and the most important thing is our son always comes first,” Wood tells PEOPLE of how she and estranged husband Jamie Bell share parenting duties of their 3-year-old son, whose name she has kept under wraps.
The actress, who currently plays mysterious veteran game host Dolores Abernathy on HBO’s highly acclaimed sci-fi drama Westworld, says it’s all about conscious perspective.
“At the end of the day, he’s our priority and what matters,” says Wood, 29.
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The mother of one adds that the parenting dynamic she shares with Bell revolves around making his needs front and center as opposed to tapping into anything negative between the two of them.
“Whatever issues the parents have, you’ve just got to get over that and put it to the side,” she says. “Another reason why kids are a gift: They get you out of your stuff and you let go of the things that don’t serve you or them much faster.”
Her son, Wood says, has “opened so many doors” for her. And according to the former True Blood star, the best part of motherhood is what he has taught her.
“It’s no joke when people say your heart keeps growing every day,” she explains. “The more your heart grows, the more open you get, the more understanding you have of people and emotions, and the deeper you are in tune with yourself.”
She continues of how her little guy has helped her in her own career, “I think he taught me a lot about deeper emotions. I think that that’s certainly made me a better actor and given me more to draw from and given me a deeper understanding of myself.”
And how is Wood handling dating as a single mom?
“I’m doing my best. Doing my best,” she says with a laugh. “I’m very satisfied, very happy. It’s always interesting being a single mom and dating. That comes with its own challenges.”
“But again, everything is an opportunity to learn and grow, and I think I’m just taking it all one day at a time.”
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- With reporting by KARA WARNER