“I try to be patient and they try to be patient with me, but we’re only on day 11,” Witherspoon said during an Instagram livestream. “I don’t know what’s gonna happen.”
The Little Fires Everywhere actress joined Miley Cyrus for her new Instagram series “Bright Minded,” in which the singer aims to provide light to her 105 million followers during the uncertain times surrounding the pandemic. While Cyrus noted that she only has her dogs to take care of, Witherspoon pointed out that she’s staying put with her husband, Jim Toth, and three children who are all different ages — Ava Phillippe, 20, Deacon Phillippe, 16, and Tennessee Toth, 7.
Reese Witherspoon out and about
Reese Witherspoon out and about
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 01: Actress Reese Witherspoon is seen on November 1, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by UMV/Star Max/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 01: Ava Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon during the WSJ Magazine 2017 Innovator Awards at Museum of Modern Art on November 1, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Gonzalo Marroquin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 16: Actress Reese Witherspoon arrives at ELLE's 24th Annual Women in Hollywood Celebration at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on October 16, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 16: Reese Witherspoon (L) and Ava Phillippe attend ELLE's 24th Annual Women in Hollywood Celebration presented by L'Oreal Paris, Real Is Rare, Real Is A Diamond and CALVIN KLEIN at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on October 16, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for ELLE)
Reese Witherspoon during filming of the Graham Norton Show at the London Studios, to be aired on BBC One on Friday evening. (Photo by Isabel Infantes/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 21: Reese Witherspoon attends the 'Home Again' special screening at The Washington Mayfair Hotel on September 21, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Actress Reese Witherspoon poses in the press room at the 69th annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Reese Witherspoon attends the HBO's Official 2017 Emmy After Party at The Plaza at the Pacific Design Center on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by C Flanigan/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - SEPTEMBER 17: The cast of Big Little Lies, Shailene Woodley, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, and Zoï¿½Kravitz at the 69TH PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS, LIVE from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles Sunday, Sept. 17 (8:00-11:00 PM, live ET/5:00-8:00 PM live PT) on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Trae Patton/CBS via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 15: Actress Reese Witherspoon is seen on September 15, 2017 in Los Angeles, California (Photo by SMXRF/Star Max/GC Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN -- Pictured: Reese Witherspoon -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0732 -- Pictured: Actress Reese Witherspoon during an interview on September 7, 2017 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Reese Witherspoon seen on the streets of Manhattan on September 7, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Reese Witherspoon is a guest on 'Good Morning America,' Thursday, September 7, 2017 on the ABC Television Network.
(Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 06: Reese Witherspoon attends The Cinema Society with Elizabeth Arden & Lindt Chocolate host the after party for Open Road Films' 'Home Again' at The Skylark on September 6, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 29: Actress Reese Witherspoon attends the premiere of 'Home Again' at Directors Guild of America on August 29, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 29: Reese Witherspoon and Ava Elizabeth Phillippe attend the premiere of Open Road Films' 'Home Again' on August 29, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/ WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 25: Actress Reese Witherspoon arrives at HBO 'Big Little Lies' FYC at DGA Theater on July 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic for HBO)
D23 EXPO 2017 - Saturday, July 15, 2017 - The Ultimate Disney Fan Event - brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Image Group LA / Disney via Getty Images)
MINDY KALING, OPRAH WINFREY, REESE WITHERSPOON
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 28: Reese Witherspoon is seen on June 28, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by BG004/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 23: Reese Witherspoon is seen on June 23, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by BG004/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 08: Actress Reese Witherspoon attends the AFI Life Achievement Award gala at Dolby Theatre on June 8, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 04: Kate Hudson and Reese Witherspoon at the Goldie Hawn And Kurt Russell Honored With Double Star Ceremony On The Hollywood Walk Of Fameon May 4, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: Reese Witherspoon attends 'Rei Kawakubo/Commes Des Garcons: Art of the In-Between', the 2017 Costume Institute Benefit at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: Reese Witherspoon attends the 'Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between' Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for People.com)
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She went on to explain that Deacon is upset about being separated from his girlfriend, while Tennessee is happy to have both his older brother and sister home. The actress sympathized with oldest child Ava, one of many students forced to come back from college and do online courses from home.
“I think a lot about people who are coming home from college,” Witherspoon explained. “That’s a time when you are trying to individuate. You have to actually kind of move away from your parents’ ideas, you have to move away from their structure, their routine, create your own. And now you’re having to go backwards. And that must be so frustrating to lose that independence.”
One of the ways that the whole family copes with their different frustrations is by setting boundaries, especially when it comes to getting their work done.
“I think it’s really important to designate space. My husband and I are both working from home and all three kids are doing school online. So everybody has a room that has a little area and there’s a privacy sign there, so when the privacy sign is on and your headphones are on, you can’t interrupt,” Witherspoon said. “You have to have rules ... It’s really important to post them on the wall for your family, just so we respect each other’s space.”
When it comes to moments of stress or uncertainty during this time in particular, Witherspoon expressed that she likes having her kids home to give them a hug. Hilary Duff, who later joined Cyrus’s livestream, shared a similar sentiment. “We’re trying to look at this time as a gift,” Duff said of her and husband Matthew Koma staying home with their two children.
Witherspoon also said that she turns to her friends. “I have like five girlfriends and I’ll just text any one of them,” she said. “We try to connect every day.”