I have a mom crush on Drew Barrymore. I don’t know her, but judging by photos I think our styles are relatively similar, apparently, we both have bubbly personalities, and we are, in fact, both moms to toddlers. Ms. Barrymore announced Tuesday the birth of her second daughter Frankie Barrymore Kopelman with husband Will Kopelman. She has another daughter, Olive, born in 2012.
I am still wrangling a toddler boy and staying happy with that for the time being while I learn to get peanut butter out of his hair.
I saw a picture of Barrymore at a celebrity event recently, looking fabulously large and perfectly poised to be a mom of two girls. Then I was disappointed. As I write this, I don’t have invitations to celebrity events in my mailbox, my hair is in a knot on the top of my head, and I am sitting in a ratty sweatshirt and a pair of well-worn house slippers.
She looked ferocious. I look feral (credit where credit is due – this term comes from the team at the blog Eating over the sink). And thinking about our differences makes me discouraged, knowing that – despite our potential similarities – I will never look or be like Barrymore, or any celebrity mom.
Now, before we start into affirmations, I know that my insecurities are rubbish, and that as a mom I should put them out of my mind. We are told this nearly everyday as moms, every time some insecurity creeps into a conversation.
I also know that many celebrity moms also have times where they are sitting around in ratty sweatshirts and slippers. The big difference is, that every once in awhile, they get swooped out of run-of-the-mill motherhood and into the world of celebrity motherhood. That is a beautiful, done-up, no-peanut-butter-in-the-hair world.
And seeing them in that world feeds our imaginations and makes us think that everyday is photo shoots and easy living, even when it is not.
Celebrity motherhood has become a big deal, and big business. We see “bump watch” alerts online almost daily, celebrity magazines that devote full spreads to the “hottest” baby gear for celebrity kids, and pages with images of celebrity parents at the park, getting ice cream, doing generally mundane activities while looking pretty well put together. Except when they are not, when the tabloids then post a spread titled “Bratty Celebrity Kids!” which is too far back in the magazine for me to read before it’s my turn to start unloading my grocery cart.
Those of us who don’t personally know these celebrities only get one side of the picture, or – more realistically – a sliver of the real picture.
So, the truth I have learned about all moms is this: Motherhood, like a good film, is more about embracing this juicy role, not the actress who plays the part.
We should let songs move us, good books inspire us, and a good joke make us laugh because they are inherently inspiring or funny, and not because of the person who shares them.
Let's start looking at celebrating celebrity parents through the lens of appreciation for the role, not the lens of the paparazzi. I will still appreciate Barrymore's fantastic style and the fact that we are both moms to little kids, but I will start with the assumption that she probably puts on her well-worn house slippers one foot at a time like the rest of us. Since we really only know the truth about our own experience, we can only truly admire what is good in our own lives, and not anyone else’s.