Drew Barrymore, a name well-known across Hollywood, juggles multiple hats — from being an acclaimed actress and successful talk show host to a devoted mom. The roles that she values the most are those of being a mom to her daughters Olive, aged 10, and Frankie, aged 9. According to what she told Ellen DeGeneres, the birth of her second daughter helped Drew find her life purpose:
“I thought, ‘Oh, I realize I was put on this planet to be a good woman so I could raise good women.”
Drew’s not one to keep her parenting journey under wraps; rather, she takes pride in sharing her experiences. To Drew, it’s vital to be honest with her kids. She doesn’t paint an overly rosy picture of the world but allows her kids to see the world in its true colors – the good, the bad, and everything in between:
“What I do not want to do is take my kids’ sense of security and safety away — that’s me robbing them of something by keeping them informed. But they are very informed. They know exactly who is doing what and what is happening, and they are incredibly tuned in on our world.”
She herself has been open about her tumultuous childhood, specifically her struggles with addiction and the subsequent rehabilitation she went through at the tender age of 14. She takes these experiences and uses them as a compass in her own parenting, helping her daughters understand that it’s normal to face hardships and overcome them.
However, this openness doesn’t translate to lax discipline. On the contrary, Drew firmly stands by the importance of setting boundaries. She is determined to ensure her daughters grow up with a grounded understanding of the world, despite their Hollywood upbringing. For instance, she avoids spoiling her children with excessive gifts. Speaking to Entertainment Today in 2022, Drew revealed why she doesn’t buy her kids Christmas presents:
“I always take them on a trip every Christmas. I don’t get them presents, which I think at their ages they don’t love, but I say, ‘I think we’ll remember the place and the photos and the experience, and that’s what I want to give you.’ They get plenty of things throughout the year, so I’m not like some weird, strict, cold mom who’s like, ‘You don’t get any gifts!’ I just feel like a better gift would be a lifetime memory. I’d rather invest in that than in a doll house or something. It all evens out, and it’s fine.”
An essential aspect of her parenting approach is the emphasis on communication. She makes it a point to have open discussions with Olive and Frankie about their thoughts, feelings, and experiences, no matter how big or small. Drew recognizes that these dialogues play a crucial role in their emotional development. Even when she can’t communicate with them properly, like when Olive threw tantrums on their Disneyland trip, she tries to resolve the issues with humor.
Drew’s approach to maintaining a work-life balance is also notably pragmatic. She is open with her daughters about her professional commitments, ensuring they understand why she might be away at times. In a now-deleted Instagram post, the actress said:
“I don’t say ‘I have to go work’ with a grimace on my face because I fear it will make her feel negative about something a lot of moms must do to provide. My friend once said, ‘Never make your child feel like work is the bad thing taking you away from them,’ and I realized a lot of us tend to do that to try to make our kids feel better and that work is the yucky thing taking us away.”
When her daughters aren’t pleased with her travels, Drew uses hard-copy calendars to help them cope with the stress. Recalling how a calendar resolved the issue between her and Olive, she said told TODAY the following:
“Will and I were thrilled because it calmed her. She felt in the driver’s seat. We have this calendar we hand back and forth. It’s a marvelous tool. I like a traditional calendar, and that makes total sense to me. My kids and I share paper calendars.”
Despite being a hard-working mom, Drew makes it clear that her kids are her priority, famously stepping away from acting for several years to focus on motherhood.
Barrymore’s parenting philosophy is a blend of honesty, discipline, open communication, and a balanced approach to work and family. She uses her life experiences to shape her parenting style and ensures her daughters grow up with a realistic understanding of life’s ups and downs. We hope Drew’s approach to parenting gives you inspiration!