Just when you thought Drew Barrymore, 38, had it all… not so!
“It sucks when you’ve worked really hard for certain things and you have to give them up because you know that you’re going to miss out on your child’s upbringing,” she said, “or you realize that your relationship has suffered.”
Yes, it sucks. And it is wonderful to hear Drew speaking candidly about a struggle so many women today face. As mom to six-month-old Olive and new wife to art consultant Will Kopelman, Drew’s given up a lot of the career stuff she’s passionate about — particularly directing.
“I can’t direct right now because I would miss out on my daughter,” she said. “It was heartbreaking to let it go, but it was a clear choice.”
“I was raised in that generation of women can have it all,” she said, “and I don’t think you can.”
“I think some things fall off the table,” she added. “The good news is, what does stay on the table becomes much more in focus and much more important.”
So true. And I think many of us need to hear this perspective right now. Indeed, with the rise of women like Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer in the media, there’s more pressure on women than ever to get in there, or to “lean in” there — which is awesome and much-needed, but at the same time not realistic for everyone and, certainly, a massive challenge for many of us.
For Drew, the answer has been working from home. She has two successful businesses on the go right now: Barrymore Wines and Flower Cosmetics.
“The work-at-home component is brilliant,” she said. “I was doing all my business meetings between 12 and 2 because that’s when my daughter was napping, and it helped tremendously!”
But, when she’s not able to work from home, the guilt sets in.
“I feel guilty all the time — but you combat it by being a superhero,” she said. “When you go out there in the world you have to remember, ‘I’m doing the best I can, I’m doing it for them, and I’m going to be there for them too. I’m just going to figure out the balance.’”
Yes, when I think about it, I’m pretty wracked with guilt most of the time, too. But I’m used to it and, like Drew, I assure myself regularly that I’m doing my best. I’m doing the best I can, I tell myself, and the best I can do is different every day.
What do you think? Can women “have it all”? Do you feel more pressure than ever to “do it all”?