“My older daughter Olive is all about dressing herself now, which is such a change. It’s like, ‘Oh my God, I don’t get to dress you anymore?’ Not that kids are easy to dress because they’re really not,” the actress, author, director and producer tells PEOPLE.
“This morning I was running late, and I was like, ‘Olive, can you get yourself dressed? And I’ll get [younger daughter Frankie, 2½,] and we can all leave for work together.’ Just being able to say that sentence is very surreal: ‘Can you go get yourself dressed?’ ”
Barrymore, 41, adds that Olive is still coming into her own as far as what she likes to wear — and that no two days are ever the same with her fashion preferences.
WATCH: Story Behind the Story: Drew Barrymore Spending the Holidays with Ex Will Kopelman
“Sometimes it’s crazy combinations and sometimes it’s girly-girl. I think she gets that from me and her dad,” she says of her daughter with ex-husband Will Kopelman. “Her dad’s much more into [her] looking like a little girl and I’m a total tomboy.”
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Barrymore is a newly minted brand ambassador for Crocs, and she admits her family is a huge fan of the famously colorful and comfortable.
“My kids like Crocs. I’m a mom, I know what hipsters like,” she jokes. “I feel like they can span a lot of different categories and tastes. Crocs are such versatile shoes and being a mom of two, it’s important to be comfortable in what you’re wearing. You will not see me without these for a while.”
She adds that there is a certain level that she feels seeing her kids in the shoes, too.
“They like the light-up ones, and they’re running around the house going, ‘Where’s my Crocs?’ This is full circle. I’ve always said if you make it personal, it’s a lot more meaningful,” The Wedding Singer star says.
“I feel like Crocs [have] come into my home, and seeing my little girls run around in them and wonder if they should do the strap in the front or in the back and discuss it amongst themselves — it makes me really happy.”
Aside from their love for shoes, Barrymore says her daughters are extremely creative — not surprising consider their mom is know for her whimsical talent.
“They are very artsy-craftsy, which is good. I like that,” she says. “We definitely love our movie time. I’m not a parent who doesn’t let their kids watch TV. We definitely rock some Dumbo first thing in the morning.”
In fact, the mom of two‘s perfect day — when she’s not working, that is — involves some TV time.
“Waking up with the kids, watching Dumbo or Tom and Jerry and either making breakfast at the house or grabbing them and going out to breakfast, just the three of us,” she explains.
“I always bring little activity kits for them and we just sit there, the three of us girls, and it’s so peaceful and fun,” she continues. “I just look around at them, and I just marvel. I can’t believe I’m getting to have breakfast with my daughters. This is so cool. Not a moment of it slips by me of how special it is.”
When it comes to finding balance, the Hollywood veteran says the secret is to stay flexible and do what works for her family.
“My daughters came to work with me for the first half of the day before they went to school. Right now, I’m like, ‘How fast can I get home so I can jump in bed with everybody?’ ” she says.
“Then there are days when you don’t work. You know when your balance is off, and usually, if anything, my work suffers more because I’m always hanging out with them. You just do your best.”
For more from Drew Barrymore, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.
- With reporting by JODI GUGLIELMI