When asked how she's doing (she's good, by the way!) Hilary Duff says the coronavirus pandemic has completely changed the social norms around, "How are you?"
"I used to feel bad before all this happened, if I was having a crappy day and someone was like, 'How are you?' I would be like, 'I'm doing good!' I just wouldn't really ... open up because you don't want to have to put your weight on anybody," Duff tells Bustle.
"Now it's perfectly fine to be like, '... Today feels tough to get through,'" she says, pointing out that everyone is having their good and bad days lately.
Duff is at home with her husband, Matthew Koma, her 8-year-old son Luca (whom she shares with ex Mike Comrie), and her 18-month-old daughter Banks. And while you may be getting glimpses into Duff's life through her Instagram Stories — including the debut of her new blue hair — Duff also told Bustle all about her new hobbies, adjusting to a different schedule, and how Mother's Day will be unique this year.
Duff On Her Social Distancing Hobbies
Duff says she's not nearly as busy with work as she was before the pandemic, and she spends most of her days taking care of her kids, who follow separate schedules on weekdays due to their age difference. Duff chaperones Luca's online schooling while Koma watches Banks; Koma and Duff split house chores when they're not busy watching the children.
When she gets time to herself Duff, like many others, has picked up a few new social-distancing hobbies. She and some of her close girlfriends have started a "very slow-reading book club." Separately, Duff has been reading Wendy Mogel's The Blessing of a Skinned Knee and The Blessing of a B Minus. Both books are about incorporating Jewish teachings while raising children.
Aside from a few books, Duff has also picked up the guitar, a gift from Koma for her 30th birthday a couple years ago. Duff admits she's hardly touched it in the past two and half years, but she's starting to play now. "I've been doing online classes twice a week, and I've been practicing every day for 10 or 15 minutes and I'm finally getting calluses on my fingers," Duff says. "It's really hard, and I don't know how anyone plays the freaking guitar, but it feels good."
Duff On Adjusting To Life At Home
Even though Duff has no problem finding activities to fill her time, she struggled with doing the same for her kids at first. Early on, she created schedules for them, making sure they had something to do at all times, but it left her and Koma exhausted at the end of the day. "After three weeks I finally got in the bath and exfoliated my whole body and shaved my legs and I was like, 'Oh my God, I shaved my legs. That was crazy,'" she says.
Now, she's more comfortable with a relaxed day. "It's OK that some days aren't filled and I'm not entertaining my kids always," she says. "Sometimes we're just going to sit in the sun and try to appreciate that."
Duff On Mother's Day This Year
Even with a busy schedule, Duff is still planning to celebrate special days, like Mother's Day, although it'll look different this year — whether that means FaceTime calls or bringing outside activities inside.
To drive home this idea, Duff teamed up with Kohl's for its Amazing Mom Contest, which will award 10 grand-prize winners with gift bundles worth more than $500 on May 4. “I've created a really fun list of things that I use daily and that I love that they offer at Kohl's," Duff says. The full bundle includes: a NutriBullet Nutrient Extractor Blender; Apple AirPods; a Victrola Portable Suitcase Record Player with Bluetooth; Elizabeth and James Hammered Bangles & Beaded Stretch Bracelet Sets; an Elizabeth and James Knotted Soft Hobo Bag; a 3-quart Instant Pot Duo Nova Pressure Cooker; and one 8” Food Network Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Skillet. (The Instant Pot has been particularly useful for Duff lately, she says.)
To enter the contest, participants nominated a mom in their life and submitted a 300-word essay on why they deserve to win. Nominees whose moms win will also receive a $500 Kohl's gift card.
Although this Mother's Day may not look like what many people had expected, Duff says it's all about remembering the spirit behind the holiday. “I just want to make sure that we know that mom is wearing extra hats right now — and mom always wears the most hats, you know?"