Drew Barrymore 'Felt Very Overwhelmed at First' Balancing Work and Homeschooling Her Daughters

"It was weird to be a mom and a teacher and a provider and a friend," Drew Barrymore tells InStyle for the magazine's Badass Women Issue

Drew Barrymore InStyle
Drew Barrymore for InStyle's Badass Women Issue. Photo: Photos by Drew Barrymore

With almost eight years of parenting and a lifetime of Hollywood experience under her belt, Drew Barrymore has proven she can juggle it all — but at the end of the day, she's still human.

"Between homeschooling and working, I felt very overwhelmed at first — and I hate feeling overwhelmed," the actress and mother of two, 45, told InStyle in her cover story for the magazine's August Badass Women Issue, about how she is handling life amid the coronavirus pandemic with her daughters Frankie, 6, and Olive, 7½.

"It was weird to be a mom and a teacher and a provider and a friend. I felt sad for a while that I was all I could offer my children. Then I realized that I had to get out from under it," Barrymore said.

"I have so much empathy and patience for everyone but myself, it's sick," added The Drew Barrymore Show host, laughing.

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Drew Barrymore InStyle
Drew Barrymore for InStyle's Badass Women Issue. Photos by Drew Barrymore
Drew Barrymore InStyle
Drew Barrymore for InStyle's Badass Women Issue. Photos by Drew Barrymore

Barrymore explained that she doesn't "watch the news in front of" her daughters, whom she shares with ex-husband Will Kopelman, "because I worry about the images." But at the same time, the Never Been Kissed actress doesn't "believe in bringing" Frankie and Olive up "in any type of bubble."

"We all marched in the Women's March," she said. "I was speaking to a wonderful educator, Britt Hawthorne, and she said if you're talking to your kids about George Floyd, talk about how this has affected the world. It's not to flower things up in an unrealistic way but to focus on the outcome of something."

While "Frankie was already out of school when it happened," Barrymore told InStyle that her older child's school "always puts everything on the table without telling the parents first."

"So as you're grappling with how to talk to your kids about something, they walk in and say, 'We just got told everything,' " she explained. "They're very aware, and we're reading a lot of books and discussing it."

Drew Barrymore InStyle
Drew Barrymore covers InStyle's Badass Women Issue. Photos by Drew Barrymore

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"Olive's teacher said, 'When you're sitting around the dinner table, you should talk about it.' But I'm a single mom — we eat around the tiny kitchen island, usually watching a cartoon and chitchatting," she continued, adding with a laugh, "I was like, 'Oh my God, when you're sitting down for a family dinner?' Me and Norman Rockwell."

And her girls, Barrymore said, are what she's "most proud of" in her life: "Nothing in my life's journey was like, 'It's gonna happen for you.' And having kids was not something I wanted to get wrong. So I waited a long time."

The August issue of InStyle is available on newsstands, on Amazon and for digital download on July 17.

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