As if we needed another reason to love her more than we do. Mum of two Drew Barrymore has revealed she suffered from postpartum depression after the birth of daughter Frankie, proving that while the Hollywood actress had a very unreal childhood, as a mother she is just like you and me.
She says she sensed she wasn’t feeling quite right after the arrival of her second daughter. “I didn’t have postpartum the first time so I didn’t understand it because I was like, ‘I feel great!’. The second time, I was like, ‘Oh, whoa, I see what people talk about now. I understand’,” she says. “It’s a different type of overwhelming with the second. I really got under the cloud.”
While her depression was “short-lived, probably six months,” Barrymore, 40, says she is grateful for the experience, which constantly reminds her to live in the moment.
“It’s really important. I was in the kids’ class with Frankie and Olive this morning and I started fretting about some piece of work news that was just stressful,” she tells People. “You know, in like the Broadway Babies class and it’s the one-hit wonders day, and they’re singing I don’t even know what song, and we’re all doing our lollipop drums and I just thought, ‘Save it until after class’. One thing at a time.”
Her “perfect and totally imperfect” life with art consultant husband Will Kopelman and their girls, Olive, 3, and Frankie, 18 months, appears to be completely normal and not at all impacted by fame.
Only days ago Barrymore posted a picture on her Instagram account of Olive’s third birthday cake, with the touching message: “Happy birthday to one of my two daughters, who are simply put, my whole universe. There is no end to my love for them. Three years old. Best three years of my life.”
Work and motherhood still pulls her in all directions, but Barrymore says she had to work out where she was needed the most. “50/50 would be ideal but life doesn’t work like that. Life is messy,” she says in the People interview. “It was just really challenging and I felt overwhelmed. I made a lot of decisions and I definitely changed my work life to suit my parenthood.”
Barrymore has put acting on hold for now but still has other projects on the go, including a new book, Wildflower, a collection of autobiographical essays. She says she wants her daughters to know that working hard is OK.
“I want them to see that work can be a good, positive, fun, happy thing…but I have to put them first. I don’t know if it’s good enough for anyone but I’m doing my best.”
Post-baby depression is real and can happen to anyone, with Barrymore one of many celebrities to reveal they struggled after having children. Nashville star Hayden Panettiere checked in to a medical facility earlier this month for treatment for postpartum depression. Her daughter Kaya is 10 months old.
Blue Lagoon actress Brooke Shields wrote the book Down Came The Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression as a candid account of what she experienced after the birth of daughter Rowan in 2003.
(via People, images via Drew Barrymore’s Instagram)