I had the pleasure of chatting with actress/singer Hilary Duff earlier this week (Lizzy McGuire!). She was in Toronto for a special event at SickKids Hospital for Duracell’s “Powering Holiday Smiles” campaign — which donated 20,000 batteries to hospitals across Canada to power up both medical devices and playroom toys.
NOTE: From now until December 27, for every pack of Duracell Quantum AA-16 batteries you buy, Duracell will donate $1 to Children’s Miracle Network (with a minimum of $25,000). Check out www.facebook.com/Duracell for more details.
Hilary was so warm and friendly — I had a great time talking to her! Here’s what she says about being part of this charitable initiative, being a hockey wife, parenting in the spotlight, MOM GUILT, and more!
Haley: What made you want to become part of this great cause?
Hilary: They approached me and told me about the campaign and that they were working with Children’s Miracle Network. I started doing my research and was so touched by the work [the network] does and what they have accomplished over the past 30 years. The families that they touch and help, the research they do, the money they raise is just amazing; I couldn’t say no. I became conscious of Duracell and the importance of batteries — which is often something you don’t even think about. What is a toy without a battery? I know what my son is like when he has a toy that isn’t working properly because we don’t have any batteries on hand. It’s the end of his world! This is something I really wanted to be part of. Hasbro was generous enough to donate toys to playrooms in many children’s hospitals across Canada, and Duracell has made it really easy for Canadians to get involved. From now until December 27th, when customers purchase a 16 pack of Duracell batteries, a dollar goes to the Children’s Miracle Network.
Haley: How will you teach your son to give back? I know he’s still young, but are you sharing this experience with him?
Hilary: Yeah, I am! I am trying. He’s still 20 months, so he’s a little young to understand. When we were growing up, my mom was always super involved in children’s charities and helping the homeless. Every Christmas, we’d adopt a family and cook them dinner. We’d drop off toys and she’d host holiday parties. She’d instill these kinds of values in us, and I want to pass this on to Luca. Right now we’re learning all about sharing! He’s good at sharing — he’s so sweet. We donate a lot of toys.
Haley: Aww, I love that. Now, tell me, what is it like to be a hockey wife; and what’s it like now that your husband (Mike Comrie) is retired?
Hilary: I was a hockey wife for a short amount of time, but I was a hockey girlfriend for a long time! Now that he’s retired, I’m not a hockey wife anymore, but I might soon be a hockey mom. My husband, Mike, is great. I’ve had wonderful experiences and have learned to love the sport. There’s this great sense of camaraderie.
Haley: I’m getting that from my son, too — he loves hockey. Just wait til those 7 a.m. practices start! What’s the hardest thing about being a mom and a public figure?
Hilary: I think being watched all day, every day, and having my photograph taken all the time is what’s the hardest. It’s not ideal. I can handle it because I am used to it, but I don’t think it’s fair for kids to have to deal with it. Luca is a little too young to understand what’s going on, but kids should be able to be kids for as long as possible, and I really want to fight for that.
Haley: Totally. Are you fighting for that? How will you fight for it, and what can we, as members of the media, do to help?
Hilary: Yeah, I mean, I know Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner did that whole thing in court, and I was surprised they didn’t try to rally together as many people and moms as they could. I totally will be an advocate for them. I believe a law is being passed in January so that taking pictures of celebrity children will be restricted in some way. I’m not sure if it’s going to happen or not. For the media, keeping it positive goes a long way [here, Hilary references a magazine that graded the best and worst moms in Hollywood — both of us shared how horrified we were by it]. You know, being a mother is something moms are the most proud of. You want to shout it out to the world, but not when it is being taken advantage of.
Read more: How I met Alyson Hannigan: The interview!>
Haley: If you could give one piece of advice to a new mom, what would it be?
Hilary: I remember putting so much pressure on myself. I would feel so guilty taking an hour to myself to nap, I couldn’t sleep. I thought it was my absolute job to be there with Luca every second. If there was a bad feeding, or if I couldn’t get him to stop crying, whatever it was — I’d end up feeling guilty. Sometimes, there are perfect days, and then there’s that one bad day and you end up feeling like it’s completely your fault. My piece of advice would be: As a caring mom, you are enough for them. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. When one thing goes wrong, don’t beat yourself up! It’s a mommy skill.
Celebrity Candy: Follow along as Haley Overland delivers the latest scoop on celebrity families — plus sweet celeb interviews! You can’t have too much of this candy, so check back often.