Drew Barrymore has been a household name for just about as long as I can remember (we were the same age when ET came out!). A successful actress, filmmaker, and businesswoman (add wine and makeup to her list of endeavors), she's got money, fame, and fortune, and now, a new baby.
But there's something the new mom says she doesn't have. Barrymore says she doesn't have "it all" -- and neither do any other women.
It's an endless debate right now, it seems: Do we as women just need to listen to Sheryl Sandburg and "lean in" -- or is having it all a false ideal of something that is simply not possible? Feeling like we can't truly have it all is something most moms can relate to ... but maybe what we need to do is redefine what we mean by "all." Because, honestly, what else IS there?
When it comes to the question of whether Drew Barrymore has it all, she says, "I can’t and I don’t." Barrymore's daughter is only 6 months old, which means she's had to make some life choices that put her baby first:
I can’t direct right now because I would miss out on my daughter. It was heartbreaking to let it go, but it was a clear choice ... 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, or you realize that your relationship has suffered.
It does indeed suck -- but does that mean Barrymore really doesn't have everything? Is she making these sacrifices forever? Won't there be more opportunities, and doesn't she have a great reason to make the choices she's making? When we talk about having it all, aren't we really talking about being able to have both a family and a fulfilling career -- and the ability to balance our lives so our relationships aren't neglected and we have at least a little bit of free time for ourselves?
Even with the resources at her disposal, Barrymore still has to give some things up and turn down career opportunities in the interest of being there for her family. I feel some of the same pressure myself -- this is the time when I could be really furthering my own career, but I want to be here for my daughter, so I balance and juggle, accept some offers and turn down others. Though I know there's more I could be doing to get ahead, I'm OK with that, even if it means in the long run I don't get as "far" as I might have if I made my life all about work. I'm still doing something I love doing, but in such a way that I don't feel like I'm missing out on these precious, fleeting moments of raising my little girl.
Having the option to create a flexible career, to earn money, and to do work that's meaningful to me, all while making my family my number one priority, well, that's what's important to me. It's my professional life that gets redefined always, that takes a back burner every time when it comes to a conflict between work and family. But I'm glad to be able to make that choice. It might not sound like I truly have it all -- but to me, it's what it's all about.
Do you feel like you can have it all?
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