Drew Barrymore handling her grumpy 5-year-old is mum goals: “5 going on 13”

Drew Barrymore for Flower Beauty

Drew Barrymore is a firm favourite with the Babyology team and readers alike, and her relatable and compassionate approach to dealing with a stroppy five-year-old Olive is an excellent illustration of why we love her.

“She’s mad because mom has been out of town”

Setting the scene, Drew explained she’d been away for work in New York with newly-engaged Gwyneth Paltrow, speaking at the In Goop Health event. On returning home, Olive was feeling a little cross that her mum had not been around. Drew explained that patiently giving the five-year-old some time to sit with these resentful feelings was her preferred approach.

Posting a photo of her cute, pink-haired daughter, she said she’s teaching Olive that these transitions – which she calls “re-entries” – can take time. She says she’s prepared to wait as long as it takes for Olive to work through her upset feelings. Instead of micromanaging her daughter’s feelings, she simply accepts them and gives her space.

“Sunday in the park with Olive. She’s 5 going on 13. She looks like a 90’s grunge girl. And has the attitude to go with it. She’s mad because mom has been out of town. I’m teaching her the word “reentry” and that it can take a day,” Drew wrote.

“Let her get her mood out of her system and I tell her I understand. And as soon as we can, let’s get back to our adventurer life. I am kind, patient and loving, because I truly do understand. By last night she came to my bed, and crawled in and we were back in each other’s arms.”

Speaking from experience

Drew’s had some heartbreaking battles with her own mother, so when she says she empathises she’s speaking from experience.

A seven-year-old Drew was only a titch older than Olive when she starred as Gertie in the Spielberg classic ET.  It’s fair to say her life then promptly spiralled out of control with discos, drinking and drugs front and centre. Drew ended up in rehab at the tender age of 14, becoming legally emancipated from her mother at just 15 and subsequently moving into her own apartment.

Of course, since then she’s turned her life around, under her own determined steam. She’s carved out a successful career, written a couple of books, married then divorced and now successfully co-parenting with the girls’ dad Will Kopelman AND launched a wildly successful beauty company, Flower Beauty. Phew.

Mum life rules

Drew says that at the end of the day parenthood is the role that’s made her blossom and shown her true love.

“My daughters are so fulfilling that I feel like my cup is just avalanching over. If love took on a physical analogy form, I’d be an overstuffed turkey or piñata.”

“I don’t think I would have ever known that I could be this content, this whole, without being in a romantic relationship. That would have been a surprise to my younger self,” she adds, saying she is “not that different from the kid in the pictures wearing giant poofy dresses.” 

Drew’s other daughter, three-year-old Frankie, has not caught up to her sister yet. She’s still pretty uncomplicated or “light as a feather” as Drew puts it. Also she has a great jacket highlighting the joy of cheese, everyone! So there’s that. :)

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