Drew Barrymore is not only a busy actor, she’s head of her own beauty company and a mum to two little girls. Suffice to say she is very busy, and at times this can make parenting very challenging.
Work-life balance, the Drew way!
It’s okay though, because Drew’s a clever cookie. She’s got systems in place to ensure her daughters, three-year-old Frankie and five-year-old Olive, know what to expect when their mum’s away and are able to deal with it as best they can. Luckily for us she’s willing to share her nifty know-how.
Firstly, she doesn’t FaceTime with them when she’s out of town or held up at work. Nope. She says it’s not helpful, although she hopes this will change.
“If you ever want to correspond with Olive, don’t face time with her. I learned that the hard way,” Drew explained on Instagram. “My face time would come out of nowhere into her world, and it would be so disruptive. Neither of us felt good after. But she’s young and that will change when she gets older”
Keep it positive
Drew also tries to set a really positive example when it comes to heading off to work, letting her girls know that it’s great to be productive and have interests away from home. No eye-rolling or feet-dragging on the way to the office at Chez Barrymore.
“I always explain to her that I love my job,” Drew writes. “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. It’s a good intention, but I am convinced I need to take a different approach.”
“I want to empower my daughters to think work is good and necessary,” Drew explains.
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Mum guilt 101
When it comes to mum guilt, Drew faces the familiar battle on a regular basis and daughter Olive is the one she worries about most.
“I feel guilty as hell for being away (and what mother doesn’t?!) But I try … to empower me and my kids into something more positive. I don’t blame work, I own the responsibility. I will be patient when she is upset if I am away.”
Drew says that without her daughters’ father, Will Kopelman, and his commitment to be there for his girls as much as possible, she’d be pretty lost.
“I also would like to say that I am so lucky for her father. Because as I go through these struggles as a woman and a mother, I also have the fortune of knowing she is safe and happy and loved. Playing and continues her normal stable amazing life with her amazing dad. And not all working mom’s have that luxury. So I say to Will Kopelman thank you for always being the best dad and supporting and enabling me to do what I need and want to do.”
Perhaps foreshadowing comments calling her lucky, Drew confirms she is fortunate but reminds us things haven’t always been like that for her.
“I know that’s not everyone’s situation. And I never take it for granted. I never had family growing up.”
Tools, tools, tools!
When it comes to helping her children grasp where she is and when she’ll be back home to snuggle them, Drew says analogue tools like calendars and globes are super helpful.
“Olive has a working mom. So, I came up with a couple of systems. One of which is THE CALENDAR,” she explains.
“It has been very successful recently. I circle with a sharpie every day I will be traveling. And I ask her to mark the day with an ‘X’ once it’s done. That way she can see that I am gone at first, still away in the middle, and then coming back towards the end. She now has a good sense of my geographic place from the globe. She knows when I am leaving and coming home.
Hang in there!
Drew urges other parents to mix things up, call in the helpers when they can and not lose hope if things go pear shaped, because WE’VE GOT THIS!
“When you find something that does work for you and your family, big or small … Celebrate. Because the next obstacle is on its way! And then we reinvent again! That’s what moms do!