Reese Witherspoon has a full house these days, and everybody is trying their best to be respectful of each other's boundaries

By Maria Pasquini
March 26, 2020 12:25 PM
Reese Witherspoon and family
Reese Witherspoon/Instagram

Reese Witherspoon has a full house these days, and everybody is trying their best to be as respectful of each other’s boundaries as possible.

The Little Fires Everywhere star, 44, opened up about what her experience with social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic has been like thus far while appearing on Miley Cyrus‘ Instagram Live talk show Bright Minded: Live With Miley on Thursday.

“I definitely have good days and bad days,” said Witherspoon, who is sharing a house with husband Jim Toth, as well as 20-year-old daughter Ava, who’s come home from Stanford University, and sons Deacon, 16, and Tennessee, 7.

Although Ava is continuing her collegiate studies online, Witherspoon acknowledges how difficult it must be for her to go from having “all this independence” to being back at home full-time.

“She was living her own life. Now she can’t see her friends,” she said, adding that things have also been difficult for her teenage son who “can’t see his girlfriend” and is “feeling really isolated.”

“I think a lot about people who are coming home from college — that’s a time where 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 and their routine, and create your own and now you have to go backwards. That must be so frustrating to lose that independence,” she continued.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories

Reese Witherspoon and daughter Ava Phillippe
Craig Barritt/Getty Images
Reese Witherspoon and son Tennessee
Reese Witherspoon/ Instagram

RELATED: Reese Witherspoon Jokes About Working from Home & Forgetting ‘to Mute Yourself on the Conference Call’

As Witherspoon and her children negotiate having to share space, the actress says everybody is trying to be as respectful and understanding as possible.

“I try to be patient, you know, and they try to be patient with me, but we’re only on day 11,” she added. “I don’t know what’s gonna happen. I don’t know.”

However, while their current living situation may not be ideal for her eldest kids, her youngest is over the moon about it.

“[He’s] so happy because his 16-year-old brother and sister are home all day,” she added.

RELATED VIDEO: Family Recreates Disneyland’s Pirates Of The Caribbean Ride While Social Distancing

Like many, Witherspoon and her family are learning how to set boundaries.

“I think it’s really important to designate space,” she added. “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.”

“You have to have rules,” she continued, noting that they post those guidelines “on the wall for your family, just so we respect each other’s space.”

Reese Witherspoon and sons
Reese Witherspoon/ Instagram

Although there have been challenges, Witherspoon is also appreciating getting to spend so much time with her loved ones.

This week, the actress had “one of the best birthdays ever,” which she was able to spend with her entire family.

“So many thoughtful, beautiful, heartfelt messages from so many of you!” she wrote alongside a sweet family selfie. “Some poems, a home cooked meal, a wonderful performance from my friend, a long nature walk with my family…all gifts from the heart. 🥰Thank you to all of you for making me feel so LOVED! I’m a very lucky lady. 💕💫🎂”

In her own birthday tribute, daughter Ava wrote: “happy birthday to this living legend! I love you beyond words, and I’m endlessly grateful to share life with you today and everyday ❤️✨.”

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.

Advertisement