“It’s like constantly playing mental chess on how to get something done in that moment, and I hope I’m doing it as gracefully as possible,” the Never Been Kissed actress quipped to InStyle in July 2015 of parenthood. “It’s so amazing—after your kid is crying for 12 hours, you’ll start laughing and you love them even more. But the next day, the stupidest thing will throw you. Everything surprises you constantly.”
Barrymore first became a mother in September 2012, welcoming daughter Olive with then-husband Will Kopelman. The actress later gave birth to the couple’s second little girl, Frankie, nearly two years later.
Barrymore and the art consultant ultimately split in April 2016, remaining amiable coparents. The Drew Barrymore Show host, for her part, opted to take a step back from acting to prioritize motherhood.
“It was a no-brainer to me so that I could be present and raise my kids myself,” the Charlie’s Angels actress revealed during an appearance on SiriusXM’s Andy Cohen Live in March 2021. “I didn’t want to be on a film set asking the nanny how the kids were. I was like, that is not my journey. … [But] I think I went way too far the opposite direction. I was so knee-deep into mothering my kids. I was like, I don’t know who I am anymore. … And if I can’t remember that I’m an individual with a skill set, I might die.”
For the former child star, returning to TV in Netflix’s Santa Clarita Diet between 2017 and 2019 helped Barrymore remember her true identity outside of being a parent. “It reminded me to not lose the baby with the bath water in that I don’t want to be filming all the time because I want to raise my kids,” she told host Andy Cohen in 2021. “It’s like, you are this person. Don’t ditch who you are for your kids. I think that’s a recipe for disaster and parenting.”
Kopelman, for his part, ultimately moved on with Vogue fashion director Alexandra Michler, whom he wed in August 2021. The couple announced nearly two years later in February 2023 that they are expecting their first child together.
“My kids’ dad is happily remarried [to] the most wonderful woman in the world. My kids have the most extraordinary stepmom. Our processes have been different,” the Ever After star said during a January 2022 episode of her CBS daytime show when asked about attempting to date as a single mother. “Their side of the street is so functional and whole and happening, and I think I’ve been on the sidelines in a beautiful, honoring purgatory. I’ve been saying that it’s me, it’s my choice. … I don’t think I’ve said out loud that it’s really because I have two daughters.”
Scroll below to see Barrymore’s rare family photos with her daughters: