08/10/2009 at 01:00 PM EDT
Kyra Sedgwick may feel less overwhelmed by her Los Angeles-based acting work these days, but that doesn't make her any less homesick for husband Kevin Bacon and the rest of her family in New York.
"I remember the first few years it was like I was in an ocean and constantly getting tumbled over. I thought I was going to drown," Sedgwick, 43, tells September's Ladies' Home Journal
about her work since 2005 on the TNT drama The Closer
, for which she is again nominated for an outstanding actress in a drama series Emmy.
"It's not like that anymore ... but the homesickness – missing the kids, missing those life moments – that gets harder and harder." Welling up, she adds: "I'm just a teary mess about that part of it."
Sedgwick has long been conflicted about the arrangement – six months in L.A. each year, away from her husband of 20 years and their children: son Travis, 20, and daughter Sosie, 17. The upside, of course, is her own professional success and satisfaction. But she also sees silver linings in the family dynamic.
"My primary relationship was always with my mother, and I think it's that way for most girls," she says. "This [bicoastal living] has forced a situation where my daughter is having a great relationship with her father. It's beautiful to see."
Sedgwick revisits another familiar theme in the interview: how she managed to have the wherewithal to commit to Bacon, who turned out to be her soulmate, when she was just barely out of her teens – particularly given her own broken home.
"I don't know how at 22 I went, 'Yeah, that's the guy,' and was actually right about it," she says. "Usually you pick someone who has all the worst qualities of your father or something. Someone was watching over me when I picked Kevin, because I couldn't have been that smart."