Reese Witherspoon always puts her family first.

The 35-year-old actress is proud of the way she and ex-husband Ryan Phillippe have maintained a good relationship for the sake of their kids Ava, 12, and eight-year-old Deacon.

She said: "My ex-husband and I co-parent really well. We really balance each other's schedules and just communicate a lot.

"Nothing's more important for me than family. I definitely love having a career, but I just love being a mom - it's how I was raised."

Reese - who is now married to Hollywood agent Jim Toth - also admitted she often feels surprised by the fact her kids are so different to herself.

She told Britain's Glamour magazine: "Now that they're school age their personalities are emerging and it's always sort of a revelation that they are nothing like you."

Ryan has previously spoken of how "proud" he is that he and Reese are hands-on parents,

He has said: "I imagine it would have been more difficult if we weren't as hands-on as we were or allowed them to be raised by nannies - I think then they would become assholes.

"But you're constantly educating them - we have two incredible little people that we've raised. I'm proud of us for that fact."