Splitting up is hard — add to that a young child and Hollywood fame that keeps you in the public eye, and the process becomes immensely more complicated.
Rachel Bilson didn't shy away from that fact when talking to PEOPLE about her life as a mom to 3-year-old daughter Briar Rose with ex-boyfriend Hayden Christensen, whom she dated for 10 years before they parted ways last September.
"No matter what I'm dealing with or how much it hurts or how much anger there is, it's just about her."
"We're still kind of trying to figure it out," she said of their "work-in-progress" coparenting dynamic. "It's a tricky one. And I don't know that there is any right way, necessarily."
The actress said that, at this point, they keep the explanations simple and put her needs first.
"We say Mommy has a house and Daddy has a house, but she's pretty young to have an in-depth conversation," Rachel said. "Most important for me is that Briar is OK and secure and stable. No matter what I'm dealing with or how much it hurts or how much anger there is, it's just about her."
As a child of divorce, she hopes to glean some parenting tips from her own mother: "My mom was a great mom," she said. "My parents went through a divorce, and she showed me nothing but love, so I was totally secure and OK when she did. Briar needs to feel loved from the people she loves the most. She has that love that is unconditional, so I think we're doing OK."
And despite any hardships with Hayden, she loves seeing elements in her daughter of both her and her ex: "She's strong-willed and pretty funny like me, and she's super athletic like her dad!"