March 16, 2012 11:00 AM

Jordan Strauss/WireImage

New motherhood hasn’t made January Jones‘s cold and unhappy Mad Men character any more relatable to the audience — or to the actress that plays her.

In fact, welcoming son Xander Dane last September has allowed Jones to realize that her role onscreen couldn’t be more different than life off.

“If anything, I understand her even less. But in terms of mothering, I don’t carry anything ‘Betty’ home,” the actress — who was sporting new light pink streaks in her hair — tells Hollyscoop Wednesday at the show’s season five Hollywood premiere.

The first-time mom began filming the latest season when she was already eight months pregnant and credits her strong support system with her ability to manage the day-to-day balance.

“It was difficult just to be [a] working mom, and juggling all that, but everyone made it work,” she says. “[The show’s creator] Matthew Weiner was great about it, the show was great about it.”

But even the best accommodations don’t completely erase all the pain of leaving her baby boy behind when she heads to the set.

“You just miss your child when you’re at work, but I think it’s really important to have something for yourself,” Jones, 34, reasons. “It keeps you sane and it makes you a better parent. It makes you not take it for granted.”

Allowing herself to enjoy each moment with Xander, Jones reveals her 6-month-old is meeting his milestones — and learning how to melt his mama’s heart.

“He’s eating solids, and jabbering away, and rolling over,” she shares. “He’s becoming more of a little person. He’s quite the charmer!”

— Anya Leon

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