In the 1980's, Drew Barrymore was Hollywood's wild child, literally. Without parents to guide her, the elementary-school-aged actress spent more time at Studio 54 than she did on a playground. She smoked cigarettes at age nine, drank alcohol at 11, and did enough drugs to land herself in rehab by age 14. But now that troubled youth is the mother of two daughters, Olive, 2, and Frankie, 9 months, and determined to be the parent she never had.
In the latest issue of More magazine, Barrymore actually credits her difficult childhood with teaching her to be a better mother. "I didn't really have parents, you know?" Barrymore says. "In a way, maybe that was a detriment to my youth, but it'll be the biggest asset to my adulthood." Determined to be a "good, present parent," she's cut back on her acting and producing roles to work a more "normal" job as a beauty industry exec at her cosmetics line, Flower Beauty. She says the gig lets her wake up with her kids, go to work, and come home in time for dinner and bedtime, just like any working mom. "As you add more onto your plate, particularly family, things have to fall off, or you won't be a good parent," says, Barrymore, who is determined to be a "good, present parent."
For someone who emancipated herself from her absentee mother and abusive father at age 15, I think Barrymore's choices are pretty powerful. Sure, she's had a lot of advantages and opportunities others haven't, but she seems like a down-to-earth mom with her priorities in the right order despite her seriously messed up upbringing. Without having my own parents as role models for how to raise my daughter, I think it would be pretty hard to know what to do sometimes. I often think, "What did my mom do?" when trying to figure out how to deal with my child because my mom was pretty great. So, Drew, if you ever need any parenting advice, I'm sure my mom would be happy to chat with you.
Ellen Sturm Niz is a New York City-based editor and writer who, even though she knows it was wrong, wishes she had hung out with Drew Barrymore at Studio 54 just once. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+ to see more of her articles about kids and parenting, home design and DIY projects, and food trends and menu ideas.
Image via Drew Barrymore's Instagram.