Barrymore, who shares daughters Olive, eight, and Frankie, seven, with her ex Will Kopelman, spoke candidly about the realities of motherhood during an episode of “Dear Drew” on Entertainment Tonight.
For the Mother’s Day-themed episode this week, fans asked Barrymore questions related to the role, with the first question asking the 46-year-old what one thing she never expected when she became a mother.
In response, Barrymore revealed that she thought motherhood would be “a little more romantic and cosy,” but that instead she was “just terrified”.
“I didn’t expect to feel like I was in such a fight or flight mode for a very long period of time. I thought it would be a little more romantic and cozy, and instead I was just terrified,” she recalled. “I was so under slept, I couldn’t eat, I was nervous all the time, and no one really talked about how intimidating and overwhelming it can be ... so I wasn’t really prepared for that.”
Barrymore also said that she felt she was alone in feeling that way, continuing: “I felt alone on that, so if there’s other moms out there that felt like that in the beginning, you are not alone, I felt like that too.
“For any mom who felt casual and capable, you are a superhero! I wish I could have been like you.”
Another fan asked the 50 First Dates actress how she avoided feeling “mum guilt” when finding time for herself.
According to Barrymore, she finds time for herself by planning it around her children’s schedules, explaining that she will enjoy “me time” when her daughters are busy with school or at playdates.
“That helps absolve the guilt,” she said. “Like while they’re in school or at a playdate, and somehow that feels a little less guilty.”
In response to a question about being “more present” while spending time with one’s children, Barrymore acknowledged that it can be frustrating when a parent is told to be more present.
“You know, as a parent, when you’re not leaning in enough,” she assured viewers with children. “The only advice I have for a mom to be present is when she is by herself. That’s when they should be present!”