"I feel like I'm conducting a giant orchestra, because there's so many moving parts," The Leftovers star says of juggling her personal and professional lives

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?”

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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]. ”

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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.”

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.

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— Kathy Ehrich Dowd