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Drew Barrymore's working mom hack helps daughters deal with her busy schedule

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.

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Drew Barrymore on playing a zombie mom on 'Santa Clarita Diet,' and being a real mom off set

Play Video - 5:50

Drew Barrymore on playing a zombie mom on 'Santa Clarita Diet,' and being a real mom off set

Play Video - 5:50

“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.”

Olive has a working mom. So, I came up with a couple of systems. One of which is “THE CALENDAR”. It has been very successful recently. I circle with sharpie every day I will be traveling. And I ask her to mark the day with an X once it’s done. 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. I always explain to her that I love my Job. 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. 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. It’s a good intention, but I am convinced I need to take a different approach. I want to empower my daughters to think work is good and necessary. And can even lead them to road of their dreams. I feel guilty as hell for being away (and what mother doesn’t?!) But i try a way to empower me and my kids into something more positive. I don't blame work, i own the responsibility. I will be patient when she is upset if i am away. But i wanted to give her a tool, so she could understand and gage life when i am working. Like a hand made calendar. And watching my daughter follow through with as an exercise, is so rewarding. And calming to my concerns about teaching her to grasp life. I also send her a postcard everyday at Summer camp where she walks to a mailbox and pulls out my hand written card. She knows what stamps are. And snail mail. And then she carries them in her back pack. And has even started to write me back. And we save them all in a box. Like I said, I’m trying to balance life to make it as great as it can be, and we have to find ways that are authentic and true to who we are. I tried a few methods at first... and if you ever want to corespond with Olive, don’t face time with her. I learned that the hard way.

A post shared by Drew Barrymore (@drewbarrymore) on

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."

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“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."

Bryan Bedder / Getty Images
Drew Barrymore attends the in goop Health Summit on January 27, 2018 in New York City.

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.

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