Angelina Jolie Says Her Kids 'Saved' Her: 'I Would’ve Gone Under in a Much Darker Way Had I Not Wanted to Live for Them'

The actress is mom to Maddox, 22, Pax, 19, Zahara, 18, Shiloh, 17, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 15, with ex-husband Brad Pitt

<p>Tim P. Whitby/Getty</p> Angelina Jolie

Tim P. Whitby/Getty

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie is sharing how motherhood “saved” her.

In a new interview for Vogue’s digital cover, the actress, 48, opened up about how her six children pulled her through a difficult time.

“I was 26 when I became a mother,” she told the publication. “My entire life changed. Having children saved me — and taught me to be in this world differently.”

“I think, recently, I would’ve gone under in a much darker way had I not wanted to live for them,” she continued. “They’re better than me, because you want your children to be. Of course I’m the mother, and hopefully that safe place for them and that stability. But I’m also the one that they laugh at — and I see them taking over so many different aspects of our family.”

Jolie shares Maddox, 22, Pax, 19, Zahara, 18, Shiloh, 17, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 15, with ex-husband Brad Pitt. The two first announced their divorce in 2016 before becoming legally single again in 2019.

<p>Monica Schipper/Getty</p> Angelina Jolie and her six children

Monica Schipper/Getty

Angelina Jolie and her six children

Related: Angelina Jolie Will Produce 'Outsiders' Broadway Show with Help from 'Thoughtful' Daughter Vivienne, 15

Elsewhere in the interview — which was to promote the opening of the creative collection, Atelier Jolie, in New York City — the humanitarian also shared her desire for her kids “to be their own people.”

“I don’t tell the kids how to dress. Even when they were little, I just put things in front of them,” she told Vogue, adding that she also never forces her children to attend public appearances. “Nobody has to go anywhere if they don’t want to, and if they don’t want to dress up, they don’t have to.”

The Eternals star touched on a time when she was “hurt” and revealed how fashion ended up coming into play.

<p>Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic</p> Angelina Jolie with Maddox, Vivienne, Zahara, Knox and Shiloh at the Los Angeles premiere of the Eternals


Angelina Jolie with Maddox, Vivienne, Zahara, Knox and Shiloh at the Los Angeles premiere of the Eternals

Related: Angelina Jolie Steps Out with Son Pax and Daughter Zahara While Apartment Hunting in NYC: Photos

“After I went through something where I was hurt, I had a therapist ask if I would try wearing a flowing garment,” she told Vogue.

Jolie went on to explain she felt "vulnerable" and was not "strong enough to be soft" and "assumed" she had been projecting a "tougher look" by wearing pants and boots. "Now I wonder if I don’t know what my style is because I’m still understanding who I am at 48," she said. "I guess I’m in transition as a person."

She added, “I feel a bit down these days. I don’t feel like I’ve been myself for a decade, in a way, which I don’t want to get into. We had a lot of healing to do. We’re still finding our footing.”

When it comes to the November opening Atelier Jolie, which Zahara and Pax have been heavily involved in, Jolie said, “I think part of this has also been therapeutic for me — to work in a creative space with people you trust and to rediscover yourself. I’m hoping to change many aspects of my life. And this is the forward-facing one.”

<p>Annie Leibovitz</p> Angelina Jolie on the Vogue digital cover

Annie Leibovitz

Angelina Jolie on the Vogue digital cover

In a 2021 interview with PEOPLE, Jolie opened up about how her children’s “kindness”  has “been very healing to me.”

"They're pretty great people, and because there's so many of them, I think they've had a very significant effect on each other,” she said. “It's not like I'm the head of anything. I'm very honest with my kids. And I'm very human with my kids."

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The mom of six also explained how her priority is to "be there to support and develop all the different aspects of who they are."

"I have six very individual human beings in my home,” she told PEOPLE. “I am so excited about all the different stages and feelings and curiosities that they go through. Why wouldn't you be? We're supposed to help them figure out who they are. And you can't figure out who they are if you don't enthusiastically develop with them."

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Read the original article on People.