Hilary Duff Is Comfortable Telling Her Kids "No" While Social Distancing, Mom Guilt Be Damned

Karenna Meredith
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 23: Hilary Duff attends D23 Disney+ Showcase at Anaheim Convention Center on August 23, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 23: Hilary Duff attends D23 Disney+ Showcase at Anaheim Convention Center on August 23, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Hilary Duff started social distancing with her family in March, and since then, she's learned a lot about what works for her kids, 8-year-old Luca and 20-month-old Banks, and what works for herself. It's a confusing time to be a parent, let alone a kid, but she and her husband, Matthew Koma, are finding ways to make it work. In partnership with beverage brand Creative Roots, the Younger actress opened up to POPSUGAR about abandoning mom guilt, how she prioritizes self-care as a parent on those "never-endingly long" days, and the importance of wearing a mask.

Related: Never Let the Fear of Striking Out Keep You From Taking This Hilary Duff Movie Quiz

On making sheltering in place manageable for kids

Hilary is amazed at how resilient kids are during this unprecedented time. "I think it's harder for the adults," she admitted. "I know my son misses his friends, and he's definitely had a few social-distance play dates. We're trying to find balance over here, but my son at least understands what's going on, the reason why we stay home, and it's become normal.

"The days seem really never-endingly long, and I'm like, 'How many times can we go for a walk, or swim, or set up an obstacle course in the backyard?' It's lucky to have all of those things, I know, but we obviously want to go back to normal just like everybody else."

On making sheltering in place tolerable for herself

Parents need just as much TLC as kids do these days. Although Hilary is "full-on" with Luca and Banks "all-day, every day," she's also embracing new at-home hobbies and making self-care a priority. "I have started to learn how to play guitar," she said. "Twice a week I take a 45-minute Zoom guitar lesson. And that has been . . . well, first of all, I don't even understand how people play the guitar. It's so hard. But it's been really nice for my brain to not be thinking about the kids for 45 minutes.

"And I started tie-dyeing, which has been really fun. When they go to bed at night, I go outside, pour a glass of wine, and just tie-dye my little heart out."

In addition to her creative outlets, Hilary strengthens her mind and body by exercising. "My husband and I take turns working out. That's very important to me," she said. "I've always liked to work out just for my mental well-being. And sometimes my son will work out with me, which is cool."

On saying "no" at home

As a working mom, Hilary can end up feeling guilty when she takes time for herself. "Whenever I'm with them I'm like, 'Oh yeah, I'll play that game! Oh yeah, I'll go play an exhausting round of tag in the backyard after I'd worked for like 15 hours,'" she said. "'Yes, I'll do that thing you want to do. Yes, we can build that Lego.'"

Being at home, however, has given her more freedom to set boundaries. "It's been liberating to tell them both 'no,' you know?" she said. "I have no problem being like, 'Actually I need to take 20 minutes, and I'm going to read something, or I'm going to return emails, and you both do this. And then we'll make a plan to do this.'"

On the importance of wearing masks

Over July 4 weekend, Hilary posted a passionate Instagram calling out partygoers who refused to protect themselves and others. "It's embarrassing that we are worse than ever because people need to party and Karens won't wear masks!" she wrote.

Hilary reaffirmed the need to wear masks in our interview, reminding people that "it's not that hard." The CDC recommends children ages 2+ wear masks. Her 8-year-old understood the importance "off the bat" and her toddler is even comfortable wearing a mask for a short period of time. "[Banks] will wear her mask for 15 or 20 minutes," she said. "If a 20-month-old, who can't have a conversation yet, can do it, everybody can do it. It's just insane to me that it's been such a struggle."

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