October 15, 2012 11:00 AM

Stefanie Keenan/WireImage

She may be enjoying play dates at the park with women a decade older, but Hilary Duff couldn’t be happier with her decision to enter into the motherhood club in her twenties.

“I don’t have a lot of people my age who have babies. So I’m at a totally different spot than a lot of my friends,” the new mom to 7-month-old Luca Cruz tells Parents.

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

And with more babies on the brain, Duff is able to soak up time with her son before expanding her family with husband Mike Comrie any further — a luxury that older moms may not get, she says.

“I want to have more kids and I’m looking forward to doing that, but I’m not in any rush,” Duff, 25, explains. “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.”

Navigating her way through life as a first-time parent hasn’t always been easy — following a two-week “high” after Luca’s birth, she hit true exhaustion — but Duff has been more than willing to tackle even the toughest challenges.

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

And while some moms meet their match when it comes to swaddling their newborns, the singer wasn’t willing to accept defeat.

“I think that there hasn’t been too much that has been extremely challenging for me, but the swaddle was important,” Duff shares. “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!'”

One area where Duff has felt the heat? The public’s opinions on her body after baby.

“When you see, ‘Hilary Debuts Post-Baby Body!’ you want to tell people, ‘No, actually, I was just going out to get a coffee,'” she muses. “There are some women who look the same right after — I think they are freaks of nature! I don’t know how that happens. I’m not one of those people.”

Instead, Duff has taken a slow and steady approach to her postpartum weight loss.

“It takes your body nine months to get there — really 10 months,” she says. “So I’m trying to be patient, but I’m working hard. And I think now more than ever, I appreciate my body and what it’s done for me.”

— Anya Leon

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