Drew Barrymore on the Ups and Downs of Co-Parenting With Her Ex: ‘That Wasn’t the Plan’

Talk show host and overall icon Drew Barrymore shares her two daughters, Olive and Frankie, with her ex-husband, Will Kopelman. Though she said, “That wasn’t the plan,” she confessed co-parenting with an ex comes with a silver lining. She also shared some of her notes on raising her daughters to be strong women. And she disclosed a couple of the relatable “hits and misses” she’s experienced as a single parent.

Drew Barrymore in a white sweater, posing in front of a white heart
Drew Barrymore | Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for Baby2Baby

Drew Barrymore on the triumphs and challenges of raising her daughters to be strong women

In her lifestyle book, Rebel Homemaker, Barrymore explained how growing up as a Hollywood icon left deep impressions on her. Even at a young age, she noticed how beauty standards could be particularly harsh on and damaging to actors, especially women.

More specifically, she saw how some women worried about their bodies and image and realized she didn’t want to live like that. Now, she wants to teach her daughters the importance of knowing they’re enough for the world so they will feel secure in themselves.

When asked by Parents magazine to name a “great thing about raising strong women,” Barrymore answered, “I’ve never felt it wasn’t okay to be one.”

But, on the other hand, raising strong women comes with a present-day obstacle. “We live in a modern world,” she explained, “so it’s a challenge to make sure we don’t overexpose our kids while allowing them autonomy.”

Drew Barrymore on the upside and downside of co-parenting with an ex

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In Rebel Homemaker, Barrymore confessed she had ideals about a life with a happy and lasting marriage. But that wasn’t how it worked out for her. She and Kopelman married in 2012 and had Olive that same year followed by Frankie in 2014. They split in 2016, and Barrymore said she was forced to reevaluate her life through the eyes of a single parent.

She shared a few thoughts with Parents magazine about co-parenting with Kopelman, who remarried in 2021. And she pointed out an upside and a downside to splitting the kids’ time between them. “Both parents get a day off,” she noted as a positive benefit. As for the downside, she said, “You miss them when you’re apart because that wasn’t the plan.”

Drew Barrymore’s parenting hits and misses

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In Barrymore’s Parents magazine interview, she confessed to a “parenting miss” for her reaction when one of her kids tried to give her instructions on a complex task. She said, “[I lost] it when Olive tried to tell me how to drive.”

And when it came time to list a “parenting hit,” the same daughter came to her mind. “Getting … Olive to help me load and unload the dishwasher,” she shared.

But she said her daughters join her in the kitchen for more than chores, and there are more successes and failures in there. “Olive and Frankie are both using the Beautiful Blender under my supervision to make delicious smoothies,” she said of a cooking success. On the other hand, she also shared, “We failed pancakes really hard the other day.”

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