Like many working mothers, Drew Barrymore wants to be a good example for her daughters. But her busy travel schedule can sometimes be stressful for the family. In an Instagram post, she shares how she helps her daughters understand her career and why mom is away sometimes.
“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,” Barrymore said on Instagram. “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.”
Instead Barrymore — who co-parents her children when her ex Will Kopelman — wants to show her daughters how fulfilling her career is. Barrymore currently stars in the Netflix series, "Santa Clarita Diet."
“I try a way to empower me and my kids into something more positive. I don't blame work, I own the responsibility,” she said.
While it’s important for Barrymore to show Olive, 5, and Frankie, 3, that she enjoys working, Olive experiences some stress from her mom’s erratic travel schedule. But Barrymore developed a system that helps Olive cope while she's away — the calendar.
“It’s a marvelous tool,” Barrymore told TODAY. “I like a traditional calendar and that makes total sense to me. My kids and I share paper calendars.”
Barrymore circles the days she’ll be traveling on the calendar and at the end of each day, Olive crosses off that date.
“I wanted to give her a tool, so she could understand and gage life when I am working,” Barrymore explained. “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."
Being able to see how long her mom is gone helps Olive feel more comfortable.
“It calmed her. She felt in the driver's seat,” Barrymore said.
What’s more, Barrymore enjoys seeing Olive working hard, following through on a task.
For Barrymore, these exercises help her teach Olive and Frankie what’s important.
“I’m trying to balance life to make it as great as it can be,” she said.