Hilary Duff was the original Teen Queen of the Disney Channel. Before Miley’s country twang took over Hilary’s bright smile and cutesy down to earth acting had tweens the world over wishing someone would draw a 2D animated character of them who popped up and expressed their true feelings, just like Lizzie McGuire's did.
Unlike other celebs who found fame young, Hilary didn’t party up a storm, have a provocative phase, debut an extreme makeover, or spiral downward in a string of bad decisions (I’m looking at you, Lindsay Lohan). Instead, Hilary kept her stiletto's on the ground and acted in a few films (The Cinderella Story, Beauty and the Briefcase), released albums, went on tour, co-authored books, sold out a clothing line, and created a perfume— all by the ripe old age of twenty-one! With not much left to accomplish in life, it's understandable that she felt ready to settle down and start a family. At 22, Hilary wed pro-hockey player, Mike Comrie, and voila, little Luca Cruz Comrie was born! Unfortunately, it didn’t work out with the hubby and when Luca was two, they filed for separation.
We all know starlets can have some kooky ideas about parenting (remember Alicia Silverstone feeding her baby chewed-up food directly from her mouth?) and although Hilary's kept her girl-next-door reputation in check, she's definitely made some interesting decisions when it comes to raising Luca. Check out number one on the list...
20 She Saved Her Son’s Belly Button
I’ve heard of mom’s keeping the placenta after birth so it can be turned into pills or cutting a lock of their baby’s hair off to stuff in the family scrapbook, but I’ve never heard of someone keeping the belly button after it falls off! Is that a thing? Mike Comrie didn’t think so. Hilary told People magazine, “You know what was a big milestone? The belly button falling off. That was a huge one. And then I wanted to keep it but my husband was like, ‘No, that’s gross, you can’t keep it!’ I’m like, ‘I’m totally keeping it,’ and I secretly kept it.”
She added that “It’s in a Ziploc bag in the back of my makeup drawer. Luca’s going to think I’m a freak!”
Turns out, Hilary might not be unique in carrying out this practice, since she is not the only mama to preserve the stump of the umbilical cord. According to Modern Mom, this is a popular practice done in Asian and African cultures and by moms everywhere who want to cherish the organ that kept their baby alive and fed for nine months. However, this might turn into the new big trend in North America thanks to Hilary's admission. Maybe it will become as common as keeping a lock of the baby's hair.
19 She’s Still Figuring It All Out
When we see pics of celebrities looking all glam for a night out, we get the impression that their lives are perfect, and that they’ve got it all figured out. Well, that’s probably because we aren’t usually privy to the images where the moms haven’t showered in three days, and the kids are throwing temper tantrums at Target. We forget that celebrities lives, and their kids, aren’t perfect, that they’re really just like us (with whiter teeth and a few nannies in tow). Hilary admits to Parents Canada that “Parenting is definitely harder as your child gets older. They start to have an opinion and say ‘no’ 300 times a day, so I'm just trying to figure things out day by day. We (retired NHLer Mike Comrie) and I are very calm parents, and Luca is a really mellow kid, but he'll still have meltdowns or tantrums. If we get worked up while Luca is getting worked up, then there’s no balance, so we try to be strong with him when we need to."
Sounds like your average kid testing his boundaries, and your average parents trying to figure out how to deal with it.
18 Likes Her Alone Time
It seems like all moms suffer from not getting enough time to themselves. Kids camped out in front of the bathroom door, asking them to play as soon as they step in the door after a long day of work. Everyone needs time to rest and recuperate, especially moms who magically balance it all. Hilary understands the importance of focusing on herself too, which is something more moms need to remember!
She tells Parents Canada, “Spending some time away from your child is important, too. In the beginning working on the new album was tough. I felt a lot of guilt and missed my baby when I was away, but I also felt weird because sometimes I enjoyed my alone time. When Luca was about 10 months old, I started thinking that I could break away a little bit. It’s great because I found myself back in there somewhere buried under my new important role as mom and I thought ‘there I am.'"
17 Got a C minus on Star’s “Celebrity Mom Report Cards”
Some people think that compared to other celeb moms Hilary’s doing only a so-so job. According to Star Magazine, Hilary Duff deserves a C- on their "Celebrity Mom Report Cards" because "she has a tough time telling her son, Luca, "no," and an even tougher time disciplining him." They go on to add, "She can’t be bothered to say “no” to him, and he has learned that if he just throws a huge tantrum, he can have whatever he wants. She thinks that it is funny.”
Sometimes, she’s probably so tired, she just gives in. Or maybe, she doesn’t take Luca’s antics so seriously and chooses to find the humor in his outbursts? Either way, we know that all kids throw tantrums because none are angels (sorry moms!) so let's ease up on the single mom. And PS, this isn’t even a real report card, so who cares what these so-called insiders think? Hilary seems like a cool and collected mother who is able to handle her son even when he is in the middle of a tantrum.
16 Christmas Stresses Her Out
Every parent wants to give their kid the coolest toys at Christmas, but Hilary takes it one step further, admitting to Us Weekly, "We have very over-the-top Christmas. We like to pretend we don’t, but we do.” What stresses her out about the holiday, other than the shopping, wrapping gifts, baking, and crowds? "Kids change their mind about what they want every five minutes."
It's not surprising that Hilary goes overboard during the holidays, considering her first studio album was called Santa Clause Lane. I know that she can afford to buy Luca every item on his Christmas list, but if she does that every year he might turn out, dare I say, a little spoiled? She's definitely not alone though, as many parents of little ones go overboard in the present department to ensure maximum happiness Christmas morning. I have faith that she's also teaching little Luca about how the most important thing about Christmas isn't the gifts, but the time we spend with family and the spirit of giving.
15 On-Again Off-Again Boyfriend
Hilary's currently dating music producer, Matthew Koma, for the third time! They date, they break up, they get back together, he goes on tour, they break up, he comes back, they get back together...Hilary tells The Talk that she understands why Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber got back together. "Timing is such a big deal… third time's a charm!" She continued, "I think that you have history and a past with someone and love, and just because it doesn't work out the first time, the second time, as long as there's not too much damage done, then, it can always work out again."
The pair spends weekends together and has been spotted out with her son, Luca. Hopefully, Luca doesn't get too confused every time Matthew makes a comeback. Even better, maybe the third time is a charm and Matthew sticks around forever! I wonder how Mike Comrie, Luca's dad and Hilary's ex-husband, would feel about that?
14 Co-Parents With Ex-Husband
Hilary and Mike Comrie, a former NHL player, were married in 2010 when she was 22, but sadly, by 2016, they were divorced. The Talk's Sharon Osbourne asked Hilary, "Looking back, do you think you were too young when you got married?” to which Hilary replied, "I do."
Now, the mom and dad of four-year-old, Luca, co-parent together, meaning they share custody. Duff tells Redbook, "Some of my friends tell me, 'God, it must be so nice, you get a break from your kid because you share him,' but in reality, 'I'm divorced and it sucks.'"
We feel your pain Hilary, having your kid half-time may sound like a winning deal, but we know that inside it hurts that you can't keep him close to you at all times. But it also looks like she has a great co-parenting relationship with her husband as they are frequently snapped hanging out together for the sake of their son. Despite their difference it seems like they try their best to come together for the sake of their son, which is very commendable and selfless.
13 Loves To Shower Her Son With Kisses
Hilary's come under a lot of slack lately for posting the picture above on social media. Fans don't think it's appropriate that she kisses her son on the lips. Well, Hilary put the haters in their places by snapping back, "For anyone commenting that a kiss on the lips with my four-year-old is ‘inappropriate’ go ahead and click a quick unfollow with your warped minds and judgment.”
Last summer, Victoria Beckham came under fire for kissing her young daughter on the lips. Since Posh Spice clearly can't do anything wrong in life (case in point, she was a Spice Girl, she married David Beckham, and she designs and wears amazing clothes), then I'd say you're in good company and should continue to show your baby you love them, even if it means kissing them on the lips at Disneyland! It is bizarre how quickly people jump to judge and criticize others, but all Hilary is doing in this picture is showering her kid with love.
12 Drinks Cows Milk & Eats French Fries
A girl after my own heart! Instead of following the latest health craze, Hilary eats and drinks what she wants! Duff tells Delish magazine that she loves cow's milk which is "so rebellious," and "I love French fries with salad. If I'm ordering a salad and it's really healthy and clean, I'll always be like, 'and can we have an order of French fries for the table?"
I think that might be Hilary's mic drop moment. She's healthy with a side of real girl cravings and how can you not love that?! I think it's safe to assume that her son Luca, gets to enjoy the fun foods in life, like ice cream and French fries, in moderation. And when he's asleep? "I like to have a beer, or a glass of wine—or two, or three," she laughs.
Same girl, same.
11 She's A Working Mom
Hilary paused her career when Luca was born but a couple years later the urge to get back into the workforce returned. Since 2015, she's been starring on the television show, Younger, with Sutton Foster. The show films in New York and can mean that she's away from her son for weeks at a time. One time, she spent four months filming and confided to Hello Magazine that "I missed [his pre-kindergarten graduation]. I wanted to die."
Like all working parents, Hilary feels a lot of guilt at leaving her son to go to work but she loves what she does. Can a working woman really balance family and career? She breaks it down for Redbook magazine like this, “I think you can to a certain degree, but fully loaded, pedal-all-the-way-down is tough. You’re missing out on something, either on the career or on the family.” It's a balancing act, but we think you're doing great!
10 Writes A Daily Gratitude Journal
In this crazy busy world, it can seem like we're speeding through life without taking a moment to breathe. It's so easy to complain and can take a kick start to remember what we're thankful for, what makes us smile. Taking the advice of many self-help gurus, Hilary has started to keep a gratitude journal where she can jot down a few things every day that bring her joy.
She told Redbook, “I’m kind of addicted, my last one was, ‘I’m grateful for the skip in Luca’s step." As she should be, he looks like a healthy and happy kid, no doubt because she and ex-hubby, Mike Comrie, shower him with love.
It's reported that gratitude journals can lower stress levels, help you sleep better and keep you focused on what's important in life. I think Hilary's onto something and we should all pick up a pen and find the bright side of our day.
9 Won't Let Charlie Sheen Babysit
Does Charlie Sheen even babysit his own kids?
Hilary starred alongside Charlie Sheen in the 2012 indie film, She Wants Me. When asked by OK Magazine if she would let him babysit little Luca, she was quick to reply, "Of course, I would never let him babysit my kid. I think everyone is really cautious about who they leave their kid with.”
She's definitely an over-protective mama who knows better than to leave her kids with the Sheen, so phewf! The bad news is I'm now imagining Charlie Sheen babysitting, and it looks a lot like his scenes with the kid in Two And A Half Men. There are probably very few parents out there who would think about Charlie Sheen when in need for a babysitter. Also, Charlie Sheen is probably busy living his best life anyway, and he probably would not be available to babysit.
8 "Leans Out"
Apparently "leaning out" is the opposite of YOLO, instead of trying to do a million activities in one day you take a proverbial chill pill and just...don't. As a concept it feels like the birth child of a slacker and a yogi and I have to say, I like it! Why are we always looking at twenty-four hours and calculating how much more we can get out of it, how many more appointments or errands or accomplishments we can stuff into it? Why aren't we looking at time as something that's not disappearing but something that's worth relishing. Hilary knows what's up, according to Redbook magazine, she says, “As I get older, I feel more comfortable ‘leaning out...I don’t need to cram every day full because I can and because I’m capable.”
This is such a great life lesson, a reminder to soak in and savor the moment at hand. For Hilary, at such a young age, to be so zen about stepping back out of the rat race (and L.A. traffic, since she doesn't have any plans) is really admirable. Perhaps she's so mature because she's been working since she was a pre-teen. She seems to really grasp the idea that life isn't a competition. It seems that the current crop of mothers feel pressured to enroll their kids in music lessons, sports, Kumon, volunteering initiatives but what's missing amongst all the activities is time for their kids to be bored, to use their imaginations and to rest. Time for the hard-working moms who drive them everywhere to sit back and enjoy watching the sunset. It's so great to see that Hilary is taking a step back, clearing the schedule and letting her little family move at its natural pace.
7 She's A Rule Breaker
Back when Hilary was sixteen she started dating the singer, Joel Madden, from the band, Good Charlotte (he's now Nicole Ritchie's husband and they have two children together). At the time, Joel was actually eight years older than her, which made him, gasp, twenty-four! At the time, no one made a big fuss about how Hilary was underage (except maybe her parents?), and they went on to date for three years. She kept her good-girl reputation even though she was clearly hanging out with grown-ups and doing things Lizzie McGuire would never even dream of. Hilary explained on the Love Bomb Podcast that, "It was so all-encompassing. It was so intense. It was my life," Hilary said. "It was like every minute of my day. It was pretty major."
That's not Hilary's only time breaking the law, turns out she's a repeat offender! MTV News reported that she told TIME magazine that “I used to lie about my age to get into clubs and stuff... but I think they would all know how old I was anyway,” she dished. “I was pretty well-known by the time I was trying to get into clubs, and they would just let me in anyway.”
Naughty, naughty Hilary. No wonder Luca is going behind your back and teaching his little cousin Ryan, Haylie Duff's daughter, to climb on top of your car! Babyology reports that both Hilary and Haylie posted photos of this on Instagram and Hilary took the blame. “Cousins stick together. Dubs trubs @haylieduff I’m apologizing on Luca’s behalf for teaching that angel of yours that it’s cool to climb on cars." Looks like Luca is following in his mom's footsteps already.
6 Let Her Son Do Her Make-Up
I'm gonna say it, Hilary Duff is one cool mom. When Luca was barely two years old she let him play make-up artist for a day, and he probably did a better job than that girl at Sephora you always rave about.
This pic shows Hilary's great sense of humor, as he's aiming to put the lip gloss on her mouth and misses. She's genuinely enjoying the game and not getting uptight about the fact that there's lip gloss on her cheek, or that her baby is wasting expensive make-up. It's so refreshing to see pictures where a mom is having fun and not taking life too seriously, as so often they can be worn down from the daily grind. Luca is lucky to have a mom who encourages experimentation, self-expression, and a good attitude.
5 She Is Work-Out Goals
We already know that Hilary eats well, and we can tell from her pictures that she's more fit than Wonder Woman, which is saying a lot because Gal Gadot is pretty bad-ass (and a fellow mom!). She didn't always feel great about her post-pregnancy body though, Hilary tells Women's Health Magazine, "I wasn't one of those women who just could nurse and lose the weight... If we can just try to celebrate being individuals, and try to feel good instead of trying to fit in, I think that would be huge."
It must've been hard for Hilary, gaining the pregnancy weight in the public eye, then not being able to trim down and post a sexy look-my-abs-came-back-four-
What I think is so commendable though is that despite not being naturally slim any longer, Hilary persevered and took a year to lose the thirty pounds she gained while pregnant. No crash diet, no all day exercising, just good old fashioned determination and a steady routine with her trainer. Hilary's not the only woman to struggle with her post-baby bod, or pre-baby bod for that matter, there are plenty who can relate and wish that diverse body types were more a la mode. Or, even better, that we focused less on looks and more about what's on the inside. Sounds like that's what Hilary is going to teach little Luca to focus on.
4 Hangs With The Girls
If there's one thing about motherhood that Hilary understands, it's that she needs to make an effort to see her girlfriends. She tells Women's Health Magazine that, "For me, celebrating myself means taking time for myself. I love to take baths, and go out with my girlfriends, and treat myself to something that I've lusted after for a while."
By carving out time with her friends and indulging in some much-needed girl talk Hilary's bound to be a better mom to Luca. She'll have engaged in a grown-up activity, exhaled the stress away and can go home feeling supported. When a girl's got her pals behind her she feels like she can conquer anything, even a toddler's tantrum. As a single mom I imagine her relationship with her friends is especially important.
According to She Knows, "studies have shown that feeling connected to the world around you— socializing, going shopping, and taking part in events in your city— is good for your heart and staves off depression." So what I'm hearing is that going shopping with my friends has actual health benefits. I guess buying a stiletto a day really can keep the doctor away. I think shoe-aholic Carrie Bradshaw may have been onto something.
3 Stopped Nursing, Started Campaigning
Hilary gushes about loving the nursing experience to People magazine, “It’s such a wonderful bonding time,” and adds, “Just to have your baby thrive and knowing that you’re doing that and you’re responsible — it’s such a rewarding feeling.” She also opens up about how she felt judged by other moms when she stopped nursing Luca at seven months and supplemented with formula. Everyone's body is different, everyone has the right to make different choices, and as Hilary says, "you're formula fed baby still goes to college." You know what else a formula fed baby will do? EVERYTHING. Except eat their mushy peas because all babies hate mushy peas.
Hilary and her older sister Haylie were so inspired after becoming moms and seeing first-hand the harsh criticisms new mothers faced that they started Similac's Sisterhood of Motherhood campaign called Sisterhood Unite, which encourages moms to support each other instead of pass judgment. As the saying goes, women should be pulling each other up, not pushing each other down into the diaper genie. Isn't it about time women learned that we all play for the same team and that even though we're feminists we need to be cheerleaders too? I think so.
2 Proud Of Her Workout Routine
Hilary Duff is proud of her body, which is a rare thing to say or hear these days, probably because women are comparing themselves to the skinny, six foot tall models strutting down the Victoria Secret Fashion Show runway. It's hard to step into the sun in scraps of spandex fabric and feel good about going for a swim when you're feeling like your arms are too flabby and your thighs don't have enough gap! Hilary isn't sitting out beach life on the sand though, even though she's not perfect she's out there playing with Luca and having a blast. She's even posting Instagram photos of it! By doing so, the brave blonde soul is teaching her son to respect women, in all their shapes and sizes.
Her latest Instagram pic and rant was directed at the "body shamers" that would be judging her cellulite and "celeb flaws." The internet LOVES that she attacked before being attacked and is applauding her for calling out what's wrong with how society views the bodies of mothers. Her message is a poignant one because it speaks to all women, "My body is healthy and gets me where I need to go. Ladies, let's be proud of what we've got and stop wasting precious time in the day wishing we were different."
Hats off to you Hil. Everyone can relate and wishes they were confident like you so they too can enjoy their vacation without worrying about being mocked for their totally-normal-less-than-
1 Mama Bear To The Rescue
Like all moms, Hilary is very protective of her kid and will go Revenant on you if you mess with him, she is a mama bear, after all. To prove it, she tells Parents a story of when a little kid on the playground was pushing Luca so she moved him to a different section. The little bully returned, pushed him again, to which Hilary responded, "Hey! Whose kid is this?!" It turned out the nanny was there with the kid, and I was like, "If you know she's a little aggressive sometimes, you need to keep a better eye on her." The over-protective stance was new to her, "It's funny though, because my inner Mama Bear came out. That's not something that had happened to me before!".
It may have been the first time mama bear roared but it certainly won't be the last. Luca's only five, which means he has a whole lifetime of mean kids to encounter. Hilary's natural instincts to keep her little cub safe will undoubtedly surface again. One day though, Hilary's going to have to curb the impulse to protect her son and let him learn how to do it by himself. Until then, beware of the GRR!
References: huffingtonpost.com, sheknows.com, lifeandstylemag.com, okmagazine.com, elitedaily.com, digitalspy.com, glamour.com, mtv.com, hellomagazine.com, popcrush.com, people.com, instyle.com, usmagazine.com, redbookmag.com