Drew Barrymore has been in the public eye for much of her life as an actor, producer, author, advocate, and entrepreneur — and not to mention a Hollywood star who we’d all like to hang with on the weekends. She may be famous, but she has this true-to-life, genuine quality about her that makes you believe she’s just like us.
Now, as a mom of two daughters, Olive, 5, and Frankie, 3, she’s also open about the highs and lows of parenting, co-parenting with ex-husband Will Kopelman, and getting through each day as a working mom. It’s not an easy task by any means, but as the Santa Clarita Diet star recently said, it’s all about “the balance.”
“I like that I’m fulfilled as a person, and it makes me so much more excited to just be and do kid things and focus the entire time I’m with my kids,” she told Working Mother of her multiple ongoing projects.
But as any working mom knows, the lines between career and home are blurred now more than ever.
“Sometimes I feel like the two are pulling in different directions, and I feel really torn and freaked out in my head and my heart and kind of all over the place,” she said.
And while the “working mom guilt” is ever-present for many of us — regardless of how at peace we feel about our choice (or necessity) to remain in the workforce — it’s difficult to always reconcile those feelings fully, leaving us tirelessly second-guessing and overthinking every single decision we make.
In typical Barrymore form, she found the perfect analogy for how she feels about her work and the importance of what that time away from her kids does for the relationship as a whole.
“It’s almost like a relationship between a couple,” she explained. “Like, ‘Please go out there and have something to bring back to the table to talk about, because if we’re staring at each other 24/7, there’s really not a lot new we’re going to bring to this. It’s good and healthy to go out into the world and cherry-pick different things, and you bring that to your home, or from your home you bring that focus and love into your work.”
Both of these things, she said, “feed the other.”
It’s such a simple sentiment, but it’s so true. If you are constantly with anyone — a significant other, a friend, your kids, your employer — and give all your energy to one thing, there isn’t always an opportunity for perspective or fresh idea to bring to the relationship. It’s hard to keep things thought-provoking, and if we lose this as parents or as people in general, not only will we suffer, but so will our kids.
“I think if you did nothing but work, you’d be exhausted and resent work,” said Barrymore. “And if you do nothing but [be with] your children, you’d be exhausted by that. It is a balance.”