I may not be a Hollywood superstar, but I relate to every inch of what Drew Barrymore said in a recent interview about how she's coping with the stress of coronavirus' quarantine and its impact on her family.
Barrymore, who shares daughters, Olive, 7, and Frankie, 5, with ex-husband Will Kopelman, talked to the Today Show's Savannah Guthrie about the stress she's experiencing trying to simultaneously play the roles of teacher, mom, actress, and founder of Flower Beauty, the beauty company she founded.
Like many of us, her quarantine game started strong. Barrymore said in the interview, "I just tried to find routine with my kids. Go on a bike ride, take a car ride, break out the chalk and do hopscotch, board games, do seeding things in little cups and make signs and be inventive."
But that approach didn't last long.
"And then school started. And it all went out the window. The minute I thought, 'Oh, I'm three weeks in. I've got this,' I cried every day, all day long."
Barrymore is not alone. Moms across the country are reporting increased levels of stress. A recent Pew Research Center survey found women are reporting higher rates of psychological distress right now, compared to men, likely because they are taking on more of the schooling duties.
For Barrymore, the tears also came with personal growth, a new appreciation for the support system in her life, and finding a new normal. "It was the messiest plate I've ever held in my life to be the teacher, the parent, the disciplinarian, the caretaker . . . I didn't think I needed to respect and appreciate teachers any more than I did."
I'm with Barrymore. The overly formal, hour-by-hour schedule my husband and I created in the early days of the quarantine to direct our four kids fell apart within the first week. That was followed by a period of, um. . . chaos, in which most rules went out the window and I started an argument with my husband to cope with the stress. The last stage (to date) was acceptance and embracing this challenging season of life.
"I don't know if there are good days and bad days," Barrymore added. "I think there are good hours and bad hours . . . I march in the army of optimism and I'm looking for recruits."