Drew Barrymore is one of those rare Hollywood A-list celebrities who seems so incredibly relatable — like she could legitimately be our coupon-clipping, Crocs-wearing bestie.
That feeling was confirmed with a set of recent Instagram posts, in which the working mum opened up about her struggles with travelling now that her 5-year-old daughter Olive is old enough to know what's going on.
Like any resourceful friend, the star shared "a couple of systems" that work for her family (she shows her kids where on the globe she's going and sends them postcards to they know "what stamps are, and snail mail"). Her strategies are genuinely good, practical ideas for any parent trying to balance career and family.
1. She refuses to FaceTime
"If you ever want to correspond with Olive, don't FaceTime with her. I learned that the hard way. My call would come out of nowhere into her world, and it would be so disruptive. Neither of us felt good after. But she's young, and that will change when she gets older. And I am old school.
2. She uses an old-school paper calendar
"It has been very successful recently. I circle with Sharpie every day I will be travelling. 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."
3. She never, ever says, "I have to go to work"
"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 mums 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 don't blame work, I own the responsibility. I want to empower my daughters to think work is good and necessary."
4. She focuses on who's with her kids, not how she's not there
"I never had family growing up. And that's also a support system I cherish every day of my life — I love my family and everyone in it. Because they form these little girls, too. I am always so calm and content when my girls are with their family. I see it as time with them, and not about that I am not there."
5. She celebrates the smallest of parenting victories
"I'm trying my very best. And it's not easy. But worth every moment. And when you find something that does work for you and your family, big or small . . . celebrate. Because the next obstacle is on its way! And then we reinvent again! That's what mums do!"