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Hilary Duff became a mother at 24. At the time, she got a lot of comments that sounded like, “You’re a baby having a baby!” But the actor says the timing felt right to her and that’s all that matters. Though Duff loved being a “young” mom, there were also some challenging parts. Like the fact that she was, all of a sudden, in a drastically different place in her life than all of her friends.

Hilary Duff and son Luca at the world premiere of "Disney's Planes"
Hilary Duff and son Luca | Christopher Polk/WireImage

Hilary Duff doesn’t know what it’s like to not be a young mom

In an interview Duff did with Parents in 2012 just after she gave birth to her first child, Luca, she spoke about the realities of young motherhood.

“I don’t really know what the alternative is,” she said. “I do have a lot of energy, I feel great, and I had a really easy pregnancy.”

Duff told the publication that she was on a two-week “high” after giving birth. Then she became exhausted. Still, though, she tended to her baby’s every beck and call.

“I’ll step up to the plate when there’s a screaming baby and he needs something,” she said. “It’s an automatic reaction: ‘What?! Anything. I’ll do it!’”

The actor was particularly determined to master the notoriously difficult art of swaddling.

“I think that there hasn’t been too much that has been extremely challenging for me, but the swaddle was important,” she said. “I said to myself, ‘I’m gonna figure out this damn swaddle if it’s the last thing I do! And it’s gonna be good and he’s not going to be able to break out of it!’”

In 2012, Duff spoke about wanting to have more children, but also wanting to take her time.

“I want to have more kids and I’m looking forward to doing that, but I’m not in any rush,” she said. “I think sometimes maybe if you start a little later you’re in a hurry to get all the kids you want, and I have a little time to spread that out.”

‘I was so ready to be a mom’

Though many people made comments to Duff that she was so young to be having a baby, she didn’t necessarily agree, or care. In an interview with Cosmopolitan in 2020, Duff was asked if she feels like she missed out on her 20s, having her first child at 24.

“I felt like I was so ready to be a mom,” she said. “Everyone was like, ‘Oh. My. God. You’re a baby having a baby.’ But I felt like I had done so much and I was so ready for something more and something that was personally mine.”

Hilary Duff felt a disconnect with her friends after her first baby

At the same time, though, Duff admits that it “was one of the loneliest times in my life.”

None of Duff’s friends, at the time, had children. So she didn’t have anyone her age to relate to that she was close with.

“I remember when Luca was a newborn, my friend came round and was talking about hooking up with a guy at a club and I had a baby on my boob and I’m searching for a breast pad so I don’t leak,” she remembers.

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“She looks at me and she’s like, ‘I don’t even know what to talk to you about because anything I’m going to say is not as important as what you’re doing,” Duff continued. “Like, who are you?!’”

After that interaction, Duff felt like she lost her friend.

“She doesn’t relate to me anymore and I don’t relate to her,” she thought.

Of course, now, many of Duff’s friends have children and they’re back to having a lot more in common. A lot has changed for Duff, too. Today, she has three children and is married to Matthew Koma.