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Drew Barrymore Reveals She ‘Idealized’ Her Life with Kids Before Divorce

Drew Barrymore is the definition of resilient. The actor and talk show host has discussed her painful past as a drug-addicted child star in Hollywood, and the guilt she’s experienced while raising her daughters as a single mom. In her debut lifestyle and cookbook, Rebel Homemaker, Barrymore also revealed her struggles and triumphs while navigating a divorce from ex-husband Will Kopelman. 

The Drew Barrymore Show host penned an intimate, candid look into her life within the pages of Rebel Homemaker. The actor, who shares daughters Olive and Frankie with Kopelman, opened up about the most raw, vulnerable moments of her life — like navigating new motherhood as a working mom, raising two young children while getting divorced, and idealizing a life with kids that might not be a plausible reality. 

Barrymore shares her desire to put motherhood first, even despite working so hard for the career she has spent a lifetime building. “As of two years ago, I was in my mid-40s, I had two young daughters and I was about to start a talk show,” Barrymore wrote in Rebel Homemaker. “ I’d spent the previous decade trying to pivot in my occupational aspirations so that I could keep all the research I have done in my life with me, and not negate my life’s work. But I also knew that being a mom was my first priority, and it would never be second to work again.”

The mom of two shared some relatable, tough feelings that are involved with divorce — and adjusting to the new family dynamic she never thought her own children would experience. “My daughters were born and I brought them through the threshold of our home thinking we would be there forever,” Barrymore wrote. “I idealized it all — that my kids would have it different than I did. My kids would be able to come back to their childhood home when they were older, and they would be able to sleep in the rooms they were raised in. But then, guess what happened? Life surprises you, and through marriage as well as divorce, I would find myself somehow on the island of Manhattan.” 

The talk show host looked back on her time living in New York City as “hard,” detailing another struggle divorced parents face while refiguring custody and living situations. “It was a hard time,” Barrymore recalled. “Lightless, grey, wet, soggy days trying to find a rental apartment, wishing I could run back to California so badly, but I knew that would separate my daughters from the other half of their family, and I would do no such thing.”

Barrymore offers hopeful, heartwarming insight after her own realization about creating a new home for herself and her daughters — a mindset that developed post-pandemic. “And probably the most important thing I’ve come to realize is that as much as I was always looking for an anchor in the form of a home, I’ve fallen in love with the saying ‘Home is where the heart is,’ because anywhere my girls and I are together, we will find happiness.”

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