Why Drew Barrymore Is Determined to Be a 'Present Parent'

Actress credits her troubled childhood for making her a better parent.

Jan 28, 2015— -- After a less than perfect childhood, Drew Barrymore is determined to be a very different parent than her own.

"I didn’t really have parents, you know?" the 40-year-old mother of two told the February issue of More, already on newsstands. "And therefore the kind of parent I will be is a good, present parent. In a way, maybe that was a detriment to my youth, but it’ll be the biggest asset to my adulthood."

By age 14, Barrymore was already living on her own, following two stints in rehab for drug and alcohol abuse, and had written an autobiography about her tumultuous childhood with her parents, actor John Drew Barrymore, the son of film legend John Barrymore, and aspiring actress Jaid Barrymore.

Her relationship with her mother has always been complicated, though it seems to be getting better.

"[I] look after her. That is how I feel good about [our relationship]," she told More.

Last month she told Marie Claire, "I've always been empathetic toward my mom, and I was even more so when I had a kid and we had a really amazing conversation about it," Barrymore, 39, said of her mother Jaid. "However, it hasn't enabled me to lessen the distance. It's the hardest subject in my life."

Barrymore, who is mom to Olive, 2, and Frankie, 9 months, has no regrets about stepping back from her acting career since the births of her daughters.

"I love the beauty industry because even on a workday I can wake up with my kids, go to work, come home, bedtime—there’s a normal life there," said the founder of Flower Cosmetics. "And it’s exciting when you have to go on a business trip, as opposed to a film where you’re gone for months. I can’t do that right now. As you add more onto your plate, particularly family, things have to fall off, or you won’t be a good parent."