The actress separated from Brad Pitt in September 2016 and says that her family is only just beginning to heal.

LOS ANGELES – Angelina Jolie says her divorce from Brad Pitt has been the “hardest time” in her life.

The 42-year-old actress separated from Pitt – with whom she has six children, Maddox, 15, Pax, 13, Zahara, 12, Shiloh, 11, and nine-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne – in September 2016.

Speaking to Vanity Fair for its September issue, Jolie says that her family is only just beginning to “heal”, starting by settling into a new home with her brood.

“It’s just been the hardest time, and we’re just kind of coming up for air. [This house] is a big jump forward for us, and we’re all trying to do our best to heal our family,” she said.

But despite going through a difficult separation, the actress and director insists her home life with Pitt was not “negative” in any way, and she’s thankful the pair were able to stay civil for their children.

She said: “[Our lifestyle] was not in any way a negative. That is and will remain one of the wonderful opportunities we were able to give our children … We’re all just healing from the events that led to the filing … They’re not healing from divorce. They’re healing from some … from life, from things in life.”

And Jolie – who married Brad in 2014 after almost a decade together – has said she aims to remain strong for the sake of her children and will not cry in front of them, as she doesn’t want her brood to be “worried” about her.

“[Brad and I] care for each other and care about our family, and we are both working towards the same goal. I do not want my children to be worried about me. I think it’s very important to cry in the shower and not in front of them. They need to know that everything’s going to be all right even when you’re not sure it is.”

Jolie also revealed she was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy late last year.

The condition causes temporary weakness or paralysis in the face.

She managed to cure her condition – which caused one side of her face to droop – using acupuncture and has said she didn’t treat the ailment for a long time because she was so focused on putting her family first.

“I can’t tell if it’s menopause or if it’s just been the year I’ve had. Sometimes women in families put themselves last until it manifests itself in their own health.”

The actress won’t stop putting her brood before her own health though because she believes being so dedicated to her family is what “completes” her as a “woman”.

She said: “I actually feel like more of a woman because I’m being smart about my choices, and I’m putting my family first, and I’m in charge of my life and my health. I think that’s what makes a woman complete.”

Jolie says she is making the most of becoming a single parent by working on becoming a “really good homemaker” and “reading bedtime stories” to her brood.

“I’ve been trying for nine months to be really good at just being a homemaker and picking up dog poop and cleaning dishes and reading bedtime stories. And I’m getting better at all three.”