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The Time Drew Barrymore And I Shared Coffee And Dished About Parenting

Photo by: iStock

Well, not really, but let me explain. I’ll begin by admitting that I do not get celebrity worship. Not at all. Celebrities put their pants on, one leg at a time, just like the rest of us; the difference is that some of them are incredibly talented, and have achieved successful (public) careers because of their talents. I am tired of major news outlets (not to be mistaken for entertainment news outlets) reporting about celebrities…doing things that we all do every day (having babies, getting married, parenting mishaps, etc.). Since when did this become a part of news reporting? When I was asked to write for a parenting magazine, with a heavy emphasis on celebrity parenting news, I came up with a list of celebrity parents I would like to sit down with, share a coffee, and dish about parenting.

I’m drawn to Drew Barrymore for a myriad of reasons; we’re around the same age, we both found our mates and had children at a late age (and within a year of each other), we’ve both experienced growth through sobriety, and I generally feel that we’d have a lot to talk about over a cup of coffee.

I admire the career Drew has forged, belying the odds and turning her child acting career into successes as an adult. Actress, director, screenwriter, businesswoman, producer, author; Drew is talented in so many areas, and I really admire her tenacity. As a parent, Drew’s been incredibly vocal about creating a different childhood experience [than her own] for her daughters.

While I don’t follow entertainment news closely, I can’t help but take notice when a celebrity makes headlines with parenting-related topics. I relate to those celebrities who have undergone a transformation of sorts after becoming a parent. I think about the person I was before children, self-absorbed with a limited world-view (in a sense), and how becoming a parent has changed me for the better. Having my son forced me to tap into parts of myself [that were always there], and offered a beautiful, new way for me to grow.

I think about Jessica Alba, who was inspired to create a natural product line after becoming a mom; her company name, The Honest Company, redolent of transparency in products, but also of her as a parent. Motherhood was the impetus for me to forge a career in freelance writing, enabling me to contribute to our household income while staying home to raise our son; had I never become a mother, I would likely have continued my static career in publishing (and felt unrewarded as a result).

I am far from the “perfect” mom (what is “perfect” anyway?), and frequently share about it; incredibly important in a time when social media makes it easy to paint an idyllic picture of parenthood. I discovered a level of patience and understanding that I couldn’t have imagined possessing, had I not had my son.

My successive miscarriages have also taught me that there is beauty to be found in being grateful in the moment. I admire celebrities who use their influence for positive change, a perfect example of which are Kristen Bell and Dax Shepherd, fighting hard to establish a No Kids Policy with the media, after becoming parents and attempting to protect their children. Or, celebrities who weather sharp criticisms, judgement, and mommy wars because their parenting choices are made public; kudos to Alicia Silverstone (author of The Kind Mama) and Mayim Bialik (author of Beyond the Sling) for both sharing about and remaining true to their attachment parenting philosophies, despite the media and general public weighing in.

I can’t even imagine what it would be like to parent with the media waiting to catch a misstep or cast judgement on my decisions (no pressure!).

The idiom, “walk a mile in my shoes” rings true for each and every one of us, but assuredly resonates much stronger when you’re subject to the unrelenting scrutiny of 24-7 media. If you were to ask any of these famous parents, I’m sure that they never meant for their celebrity status to leach into their personal lives, in terms of their parenting practices or violating their children’s privacy. I think the example that always comes to mind for me is that of Suri Cruise, being verbally assaulted and harassed by the paparazzi…for a reaction and a photograph. Disgusting, really, I would definitely lose my cool if that was my child being terrorized by photographers and strangers.

Each of these celebrities are famous because they’re talented and/or make contributions to worthwhile causes (not just because, if you know what I mean), and I like their down-to-earth perspectives on parenting. I’d love to have the opportunity to chat about parenting with any of them over a cup of coffee, shoot, let’s make it a play date! So, ladies, if you’re ever in the Philadelphia area, get in touch -let’s make a (play) date!

Lauren B. Stevens is a former publishing rep-turned-writer, whose work can be found on Scary Mommy, The Huffington Post and, among many other sites. When she’s not chasing her precocious preschooler, she’s crafting content for businesses and dabbling in a bit of creative nonfiction. You can find her essays published in multiple anthologies and on her blog, lo-wren. You can also follow Lauren on Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter

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