Liv Tyler is settling into her new London lifestyle.
The actress and fiancé David Gardner made the overseas move a year ago with their brood — daughter Lula Rose, 13 months, and son Sailor Gene, 2½, plus Tyler’s 12-year-old son Milo William and Gardner’s 10-year-old son Gray — and recently opened up to Red magazine for their October cover story about the process.
“I was really ready for a change,” says Tyler, 40. “I will always be a New Yorker, but having a lot of children in that city is hard and the city’s changing.”
“And London’s got so much to offer,” adds the star, who lives in the Notting Hill district. “Most people at 39 are settled in their ways and I was just like, ‘Wow!’ It comes with challenges of course. It’s been a big change for Milo.”
Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Babies newsletter.
RELATED VIDEO: Liv Tyler Welcomes Daughter Lula Rose
For the Empire Records star, those challenges have come in the form of learning to navigate new jobs in a new home environment, while simultaneously being present for four kids.
“[Commuting for a job I got early on] was so good for me and David was just like, ‘I’ve got this,’ ” she says. “He was home every night for dinner and bedtime, and holding down the fort. He drops the boys at school every single morning, while I’m standing there at the door in my pajamas, covered in food, with both babies in my arms.”
But it’s just part of life for Tyler, who in part connected with Gardner because they had the same goals for how they wanted to balance their work and home lives.
“We both wanted to have a family and children and a partnership and love,” she explains. “Our jobs are high stress and high energy and constantly moving, so it’s really just the family part we’re on the same page about, which is amazing because I know that’s often quite tricky for couples.”
FROM PEN: Katherine Heigl Introduces Baby Joshua
Tyler recently turned 40 with a low-key outdoor affair, surrounded by the likes of pals Kate Moss and Sadie Frost (“The idea of a big birthday party just made me feel stressed out,” she says). And though she admits knowing herself “so much better” is “an amazing feeling,” the star is still learning how to navigate parenthood as it happens — especially when it comes to organizing events.
“It’s so tricky going away on vacation with so many. We’re not the kind of parents that are gonna be like, ‘You stay here and go to bed, we’re going out.’ We always want to do everything together,” Tyler shares.
“But then going out to dinner with, like, 10 people … The babies need to eat immediately and then they’re completely restless throwing food all over the place,” she explains. “And the minute the boys finish, they’re like, ‘We’re off now.’ You’re left trying to enjoy a glass of wine and your meal with food flying everywhere.”