Rumer Willis Says Motherhood Allowed Her to 'Tap Into a Power Greater Than' Herself (Exclusive)

The actress chats with PEOPLE about her life as a mom to baby daughter Louetta and starring in Cleobella's "Do It Like a Mother" campaign

<p>Jess Hines</p> Rumer Willis in Cleobella

Jess Hines

Rumer Willis in Cleobella's "Do It Like a Mother" campaign

When Rumer Willis was just a kid, she knew for certain she was meant to be a mom someday.

"It was never a question for me," the actress tells PEOPLE on the Los Angeles set of Cleobella's "Do It Like a Mother" campaign in late March. "I always knew."

When she welcomed her daughter Louetta (with boyfriend Derek Richard Thomas) in April 2023, Willis, 35 — who is the daughter of Bruce Willis, 69, and Demi Moore, 61 — says it "was one of the most validating experiences of my life."

"My mom had me when she was 25, so I think as 25 started approaching and I had no boyfriend, I was like, 'Oh my God,'" she recalls. "Then 30 hit, and I kept telling everyone, 'Well, maybe I'll just do it by myself.' I could feel like her little spirit around me and so knew that that was my path."

"When I would share that with people, even when I was in my late 20s, they were like, 'You're so young. You have so much time. What's the rush?' " she continues. "I'd be like, 'No, no. You don't understand. This is it for me.' As soon as I had her, it was like everything really clicked into place. It was exactly what I thought it would be. It also gave me a gift of knowing to trust my own intuition about what is right for me. I've never been happier in my life that I have this tiny little niblet."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. 

<p>Jess Hines</p> Rumer Willis

Jess Hines

Rumer Willis

Related: Rumer Willis Says Daughter Louetta ‘Loves’ Going to See Grandpa Bruce Willis: ‘It’s So Sweet’ (Exclusive)

Now, motherhood is Willis' "favorite thing ever." That becomes remarkably clear during Willis' time on set with Cleobella, as she effortlessly manages to multitask breastfeeding Louetta, getting her makeup done and talking about her journey, all with a smile. It's her own version of what the campaign promotes: "doing it like a mother."

"I feel like we're in an era that is really waking up to the power that is in motherhood," she says. "I know, for me, giving birth in my house and having that moment and going through that, you just tap into a power greater than yourself. I think when you give birth and you go through that transition into motherhood that it really deepens that power in yourself. Then you go through postpartum, and it's this weird, shared, lonely journey sometimes because there's so much that people don't talk about. I think what we've really lost in our society is a lot of the community of support in motherhood. So I think, for me, what's so important, especially coming up to Mother's Day, is I want to create a more intentional community for women to be able to share their experiences, share their choices."

When Willis has a moment of brain fog during the chat, she makes a point to call it out, rather than pretend it didn't happen.

"No one tells you how bad the mom brain is," she says with a laugh. "It's so bad. I was so quick. I was so sharp. Now, I'm like, 'What's the word?'"

But mostly since becoming a mom, Willis says she's realized all that she's "capable of."

"Motherhood is so dynamic because it can push you to your limits that you didn't know that you could face," she says. "When you have those nights when you're so exhausted and your kid is sick and you haven't slept because you are also sick and you're like, 'I don't know how I can take care of this little person or breastfeed this person or feed them,' and then they start crying, and you have this moment of, 'All right, they need me,' and you just find a little bit more toothpaste in the tube. I'm also blessed she's the most glorious little munchkin. She's so sweet and smart and not fussy. She's very well-behaved."

Related: Rumer Willis Says She Feels 'Sexier Than Ever' as Mother's Day Approaches in New Sultry Snaps: 'Unstoppable'

Louetta was a pro as she posed with her mom during the shoot. While Willis acknowledges she has definite "star power," she'll be happy with whatever path she chooses later in life.

"I want her to feel so confident in herself and be able to always trust and know on such a deep level the value of who she is, that she never feels like she has to compromise herself no matter who she's in front of, whether that's a guy that she's dating one day or a girl, whoever she ends up wanting to date," she says. "If I'm saying something and giving her advice and she doesn't agree with it, I want her to have enough confidence and trust within herself to disagree with me and to not be afraid of me. I want her to trust her voice."

<p>Jess Hines</p> Rumer Willis in Cleobella's "Do It Like a Mother" campaign

Jess Hines

Rumer Willis in Cleobella's "Do It Like a Mother" campaign

Willis also remains cognizant of how she treats herself, as the impact of that will eventually trickle down to Louetta.

"Parenthood just really forces you to look at any of your stuff that you weren't wanting to look at or you were not ready to deal with, it just doesn't give you an option," she says. "You can have those moments of intrusive thoughts of, 'Oh my gosh, is my baby going to fall in the bathtub?' That kind of thing. So I really try and focus on where I'm putting my energy, because I feel like your actions follow your thoughts."

"If I'm having a hard time or if I'm struggling, I try and remember, 'Would I ever talk to her that way?' " she continues. "If she was crying and couldn't figure something out right away, would I be like, 'You're doing such a s---- job. Get it together?' Never. I'm just being more gentle with myself and being more patient."

Related: Rumer Willis Celebrates 'Amazing' Baby Daughter Louetta as She Opens Up About Motherhood

Willis says that was especially important to keep in mind after giving birth.

"I vacillate between looking like an 11-year-old skateboarding kid, but then I'll try and put on my dresses, and my boobs got so much bigger, so none of my dresses fit," she says. "I've tried to really give myself a lot of grace with my body. I know that we have this really toxic culture of feeling like we need to get back in shape after three months or just in this ridiculous amount of time, but your body just went through the most insane hormonal, literally bones moving-shift in our lives. I just think it's a little crazy, especially if you're breastfeeding, to try and force your body into doing something. I feel really grateful that I've just allowed myself the generosity of letting my body shift and change and seeing what works and not restricting myself at all because I know if I do then that's just translating to her,"

<p>Jess Hines</p> Rumer Willis in Cleobella's "Do It Like a Mother" campaign

Jess Hines

Rumer Willis in Cleobella's "Do It Like a Mother" campaign

She admits that it can be challenging sometimes to find things that work style-wise, and that's why she often turns to Cleobella. She teases that there's more to come with her and the brand in the future.

"I feel like when I'm out, I have to find a dress or a top with buttons because I have to be able to breastfeed," she says. "I've been out a couple times where I've not had those kind of dresses and you're putting your kid all the way up in your dress. Things have moved or are a little rounder or fluffier and you're trying to just figure out who you are. I feel like I've had not an identity crisis, per se, but you go through such a huge transformation because you never go back to who you were before you're this new person. Allowing yourself the space to discover who that person is, I think, is cool."

"The only thing I ever really did before [giving birth] makeup-wise when I would leave the house is I would get eyelashes," she continues. "I didn't even do that for almost an entire year because I felt like my beauty was so much more about how I was feeling about myself and so much more about the love that I was holding for myself for giving birth at home and the power that I felt and the strength and just looking at this little person that I literally built from scratch. I went out for Oscars week, and I did a couple events where I had makeup on, and I was like, 'This is so weird.'"

Related: Rumer Willis Showers Daughter Louetta with Kisses in Cute Video ‘My Tiny Sunshine’

This Mother's Day, Willis says she'll likely be surrounded by her family.

"We have such a powerful, huge batch of women that I would love to just spend the day with them again," she says. "It was so great last year, and now that she'll be a year old doing it, which is crazy. It's wild when people say to you, 'It goes by so fast,' and you're like, 'Yeah, yeah, totally.' I'm sure I'll blink an eye, and she'll be 6."

Right now, Willis says Louetta is into music.

"She loves music, which is not surprising, since her dad and I both sing and are musicians," she says. "She loves music and has rhythm. I went to this silly thing in Tucson, Ariz., where they did an astrological genealogy type reading, and they were just talking about how many of her planets or whatever were in her creative houses."

<p>Jess Hines</p> Rumer Willis in Cleobella's "Do It Like a Mother" campaign

Jess Hines

Rumer Willis in Cleobella's "Do It Like a Mother" campaign

As soon as Louetta arrived at 9:25 p.m., Willis says one of her sisters did her astrology chart "immediately."

"She is a double Aries and a Scorpio rising, so I was like, 'Okay, I see you needed to wait to come in the most intense life chart ever so you could just be this spicy little child,' " she says. "Everybody who I tell that to, they're like, 'Oh, okay.'"

Related: Rumer Willis Says She’s ‘Leaning in to My Mama Curves’ While Wearing a Bikini on Vacation

When it comes to motherhood, Willis wants to remind others that "there's no right way to do it."

"It's all what works for your family," she says. "I have friends who had all-nighters and ones who had their moms come and stay with them at their house or didn't let anybody in the house for the first 45 days when their child is born. When anybody asks me advice, I'll say a couple of things because I just feel like I have things share, but then what I always end it with is, 'And don't listen to anything that I said and just do what feels right for you.'"

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.