Drew Barrymore: Women Cannot Have It All

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Speaking to Us Weekly at a fashion conference on Thursday, Drew Barrymore made some comments that may land her in trouble with feminists around the country.

Drew Barrymore Photograph

Since giving birth to daughter Olive last September, the actress said she has had to give up "so much" in her professional life in order to be a mother.

"You know that you're going to miss out on your child’s upbringing or you realize that your relationship is going to suffer if you work night and day and weekends," Barrymore said.

Barrymore has no regrets about movies she's passed on or projects she cannot produce, saying one gets "instinctual" regarding the balance of one's career and one's family life.

But she disagrees with females who claim it's plausible to take good care of a child and succeed at the top of the business game.

"Unfortunately, I was raised in this like generation of like, 'Women can have it all,' and I don’t think you can. I think some things fall off the table."

"The good news is, what does stay on the table becomes much more important."

So don't look for Barrymore to get behind the camera as a director any time soon.

But do look for her to read to her daughter each and every night.

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How about being fair and saying noone can really have it all or at least not all the time and do it well. It helps if you have another person or persons who are also a part of your children's ability to grow up in a safe and happy environment while you and others also attain career and other outside activities - Balance is the key as well as knowing that you don't have to do everything all the time. What is right for one person isn't always the same for everyone.


Wow, I didn't realize that Hollywood liberals were capable of recognizing a fabricated concept. Good for you Drew, you sound like a good mother.


I'm a believer of woman's equal rights and woman ability of having drunken nights. I also believe that woman ought to have equal fights (all woman must be drafted to the military and add sign selective service form). Since woman are to be treated equal, why should I have to open the door in courtesy and say "woman first". Why should I have to pay for dinner when you beautiful woman are my equal!


You can bring home the bacon and cook it up in a pan, but it is incredibly hard. It is an absolute lie that you can do it all and do it well. I've tried, I've had it and gave up my job at the to of the heap, to be a cog in the machine. My kids were turning out like the nannies, not like me. My kids have turned out great, no regrets.


Easy to say when your already worth 100 million!

@ Ron

Touche' Ron!!!! :)


Having a child and choosing to be a responsible parent and raise the child is "having it all"!


How funny that she said something from personal experience that's totally true and all the whiners come out. If your a married couple and want a family you have a choice. 1. 1 parent stay home and raise your kids or 2. both parents work, throw your kids in daycare and let someone else raise them for you. Don't sit back and chastise Drew for her honest, very thruthful comment...

@ Rich

I was chastising her for trying to speak for ALL women is all. And name calling ("whiners") just makes you look bad. Far from whining, I was stating my own points of view. I hope you have a nice day. :)


She is not disagreeing with feminists. She's disagreeing with Sheryl Sandberg and all the other corporate types who say that women just need to act like 1950s fathers and merely say hello to their children when they have vacation time. Feminists argue for a more systemic work/life balance. Drew Berrymore is saying that motherhood makes the work/life balance evermore important: a child's future well-being is at stake. The U.S. is schizophrenic on the subject. We dote on children and childhood and yet force women who can't afford to quit working (unlike Drew Barrymore) to neglect their children.

@ Debra

I so appreciated your post, Debra. I was one of the lucky ones who got to stay at home for more than a year taking care of my child. After that, the hospital I spent a decade at had a European Child Care Center there where full-time employees could pay to place their children in. She was a mere 5 minute walk from me. So, there was never a time where I was neglecting my child. She ALWAYS came first. Hospitals are one of the few places that give time and space to Moms. I fought for and won the battle where we can now take I think it is 12 weeks to stay at home with your children today. However, France has us beat by a milestone on this - they get 12 months to take that Maternity Leave...hopefully one day the USA will get it. :)


I just want to add that I raised a wonderful daughter, mainly by myself - she is 32 and is a very.good.mother, her son being her priority and she works full time for a hospital system. My father used to say "whatever is worthwhile in life takes a lot of hard work." As a result of that, I have always had it all, for what little I wanted. It all depends on how much you want in life. There are the humble who don't need much to thrive and be well and happy. Have a nice life!


Drew: Please STFU about this already - just because perhaps you can't have it all, does not indicate that many women cannot have it all of what THEY want in life. You have set women back by these stupid ideas. I seem to remember also when you bared your bosom on Late Night With David Letterman to David....how many countries would have allowed THAT? So STFU about what women can and cannot have in the good old USA. You are just ONE WOMAN and cannot and should not EVER speak about all women. Geesh, I used to like you so much - but these archaic ideas in the 21st Century have totally turned me off on you.

@ FloridaGuest

why don't you STFU

@ Mike Thefish Hunter

Florida guest, your comment says it all. Sure women can do it all (little sacasim there) and YOU can have all you want out of life. It's your kids that suffer with you not being there and letting someone else who doesn't care as much as you (hopefully) do raise your kids. Sure have it all at YOUY Kid's expense....

@ Rich

there you go again, assuming that you know ANYTHING about my life or the life of my child. Suggest you research European Child Care Centers - and suggest you start with Sweden - where I toured many Child Care Centers in 1972 there - they (Swedish government and Swedish women) were far more advanced above anyone else with TOP NOTCH QUALITY child care and child care workers. The USA Hospitals that offer child care followed in their footsteps. Now, it's time to quit responding to each other, don't you think? Between you and I, it is getting you and I nowhere. Enjoy your day, if you so choose to do so :).

@ Mike Thefish Hunter

Was I speaking to you? Nope, I was speaking directly to Ms. Barrymore! So do us all a favor and MYOB. Unreal that posters feel the need to respond to posts they don't seem to agree with. Get a life.