Tie-dye jeans, butterfly hair clips, body glitter, and crimped hair were my life back in 2001 — because of my obsession with Lizzie McGuire. I remember showing my hairdresser a picture of Hilary Duff's bangs and layers ripped straight from a preteen magazine, telling her that I wanted "to look exactly like this, please." My 8-year-old self liked Hilary; 20 years later, I have a bona fide girl crush on her. She's just so damn relatable!
If you know me IRL, then it should come as no surprise that when Hilary announced in October that she was pregnant with her third baby (and second with husband Matthew Koma), I felt an itch. An itch to have a third baby, too.
My husband and I have two kids, ages 3-and-a-half and almost 2. We both come from big families — I have five siblings and my husband has four — so we always talked about having a lot of kids too. I personally want four, and he wants no more than five (or what will fit in an SUV). But, over the last year, buying a new home, dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, feeling the national unrest as we address decades of systemic inequality, our thoughts have been more uncertain. Should we bring another child into this world? Will we be able to afford it if one of us loses our job? Or both of us do? Do we have the mental and emotional energy to give to another human right now? Another reason having a third baby gave me pause: it sometimes feels like the world is set up for people to only have two kids. Why else are family four-packs common in radio sweepstakes? And why else do most cars have room for only two kids? These questions are heavy and definitely shouldn't be answered lightly. But for me, no matter what life throws at me, I still had a desire in my heart for another baby or two — and so does my husband. It was more a matter of "when" than "if."
Look, I know it sounds silly for a fully grown-up person to let a celebrity influence such a major decision. But this is really no different than getting pregnant at the same time as your best friend. Here me out: if Hilary Duff can have a third baby, so can I!
As a preteen, Lizzie McGuire going bra shopping with her mom gave me confidence to go bra shopping with my mom. As an adult, Kelsey from Younger inspired me to go for my dreams while dressing fabulously. But more importantly, Hilary Duff — through her Instagram Stories and public statements on parenting struggles — has encouraged me to be more open and honest with my motherhood journey, as well as give myself more grace.
From her house that shows signs of living with little ones to her colorful hair, Hilary Duff makes mom life fun and glamorous. She's also a huge activist for sustainability and is dedicated to normalizing the conversation around menstruation. But it's her fun posts featuring her playing games with Luca, whom she gave birth to in 2012 with then-husband Mike Comrie, and laughing with Banks, who was born in 2018, that really make me admire who Hilary is as a person. She just seems so fun-loving, stands up for what's right, continues to have a career and a personal life, and works as the chief brand officer for Happy Little Camper. She sounds like the ultimate mom friend!
I've loved following her growing bump, struggles with pregnancy cravings, and third-trimester insomnia, and it's reminded me of how much I miss being pregnant. My husband and I have been thinking about the right time to bring a third baby into our family for a while, and why not now? Having another baby is right for us, and we can't wait to see where this journey takes us. This is what dreams are made of — who cares what inspired us to go for it, right?