"We talk about everything in my house in terms of women's issues and things that affect us ladies," Busy Philipps tells PEOPLE

By Morgan Smith
August 11, 2020 12:11 PM
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Busy Philipps
Busy Philipps
| Credit: Simon Russell/Getty

Busy Philipps is juggling a few different roles these days: actress, author, mother — and even summer camp counselor.

The former Busy Tonight host, 41, has been spending a lot of time outdoors with daughters Cricket Pearl, 7, and Birdie Leigh, who turns 12 on Thursday, as they stay home amid the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

"A lot of summer camps have gone online but I can't ask my 7-year-old to get on one more Zoom thing," Philipps tells PEOPLE. "They've been stretched to their limits … I don't even want to get on one more Zoom!"

The actress says she and husband Marc Silverstein, along with their two daughters, temporarily moved in with another family so their children could play together.

"Our kids have just been so starved for other kids, you know? We wanted them to be able to have some semblance of a 'normal' summer," she says.

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Busy Philipps on Parenting in Quarantine and Preparing for the Upcoming School Year
Busy Philipps for Warner's
| Credit: Courtesy of Warner's

So far, that has meant a lot of pool time, bike rides and crafts led by Philipps — but she admits her kids have "started to revolt" against the latter. "I get it: If it's your own mom, maybe it's not as fun," she says (though the crew did have a lot of fun creating "fake volcanoes" by dunking Mentos in Diet Coke, adds the former Dawson's Creek star.)

One of the projects keeping Philipps busy during lockdown is a new campaign with bra and lingerie brand Warner's and Olga by Warner's Intimates cheekily titled "My Girls" — a fun ad that was produced, filmed and staffed by an all-woman crew, right before stay-at-home orders were announced throughout the country in March.

Philipps says she has sworn by Warner's comfortable bras since college. She and Birdie have also begun talking about when, and if, the preteen wants to start wearing one.

"There was a lot we didn't talk about in my house; bras just kind of showed up in my drawer one day," she tells PEOPLE of her own adolescence. "But we talk about everything in my house in terms of women's issues and things that affect us ladies, so Birdie was very comfortable to come say to me that she thought she needed a bra."

RELATED VIDEO: Busy Philipps Answers Your Most Candid Mom Questions

Next, Philipps is preparing for the Monday launch of her new podcast, Busy Philipps Is Doing Her Best, which will cover the way people change course in their lives and achieve unexpected positive outcomes — shifts a lot of individuals have had to make, Philipps notes, during the ongoing pandemic.

"We all need to remember that we're doing our best, especially in uncertain, tragic times," says the Cougar Town and Freaks and Geeks alum.

It's a reminder Philipps gives herself as she joins millions of anxious parents preparing for the upcoming school year. Cricket and Birdie will be attending classes online, per California Gov. Gavin Newsom's mandate last month — a transition the mother of two calls "complicated."

Cricket, who is entering second grade, "doesn't thrive" on Zoom, Philipps says, so she plans on connecting with her child's teachers for the upcoming school year and taking some of the instruction on herself.

"I don't know quite yet how the school year is going to look and what we're going to do," says the star. "We're all going to have to lean into being creative [and] support these teachers and what they need from us."