As a busy mom juggling both her decades-long career in Hollywood and as a parent to her two daughters — Olive, 9, and Frankie, 7, Drew Barrymore is getting real about why she’s not about that ‘looks perfect on Instagram’ kinda life.
In an interview with U.K. magazine YOU, the talk show host explains why she doesn’t want to “come across as someone who has their sh*t together,” and instead embraces the “messiness of life” when it comes to co-parenting Olive and Frankie with her ex-husband, Will Kopelman.
Explaining how she’s maintained her signature boisterous, refreshingly real personality despite being in the public eye since she was a young child, Barrymore shared, “I’m unguarded because I don’t want to come across as someone who has their sh*t together. I’m not a total clown but I don’t relate to people who glide through life or parenting. I relate to struggle, conquering it, the humor, the messiness of life. I can’t stand fakeness.”
As a child of divorce herself, Barrymore shares that divorce was her “worst fear,” telling the magazine, “It was something I never wanted to put my own children through.” Of her split from Kopelman, she added, “I felt broken. Truly, honestly broken.”
When the couple parted ways in 2016, Barrymore reveals she had a “nice long, juicy” nervous breakdown, but she knew she had to keep things together to support her young children. “You have to believe during this roller coaster of life that you will get back up, but there was something very high stakes about this as my children were involved. Being a parent is the most important thing, but raising babies is terrifying and exciting and very hard.”
She also admits she had a learning curve when it came to becoming a parent, recalling that she “didn’t have parents.” She added, I was the ‘parent’ to [her parents, actors John and Jaid Barrymore]. It was all totally upside down. So I didn’t know what I was doing.”
Now, Barrymore welcomes learning all she can along the way. “When people would talk to me about parenting, I felt like an outcast,” she admits. “It took years for me to finally pluck up the courage to say: ‘Can you speak to me as someone who is desperately trying to learn? Can you teach me?'”
“There is so much pressure in life, particularly on mothers, to get it right, to get it perfect,” she continues. “I’ve traveled the world and I’ve seen many different styles of parenting. It confuses me when people get so righteous about parenting. It makes me feel defensive and small and inadequate. I’ve got love and humor, but we’re all learning on the job.”
Of co-parenting with Kopelman, she adds, “Will and I have worked so hard over the years. I can’t tell you how hard it was. People who make co-parenting look easy… well, good for you. He and I really tried and it was messy and painful at times but we kept our eyes on the prize of our kids. It was always about what is best for the girls.” Admitting that it’s taken “five years to function this way,” she notes, “I’m so glad we got there and didn’t give up. High road, baby. Less traffic.”
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