Throughout her decades-long career in Hollywood, Drew Barrymore has learned a lot about herself and those around her. In a new interview, the beloved 50 First Dates actress opened up about societal standards and how giving birth forced her to embrace and love her body.

“I felt the most beautiful right after the birth of my daughters,” the 44-year-old beauty — who is the mom of Olive Barrymore Kopelman, 7, and Frankie Barrymore Kopelman, 5 — candidly revealed to InStyle for the magazine’s 25th anniversary issue. “My daughters are 5 and 7, so they love their bodies at this point. I think we all did at that age because we weren’t inundated with societal messages or comparisons.”

Drew Barrymore and Will Kopelman out and about, Los Angeles, America - 25 Jan 2015

The brunette beauty — who has been in show business ever since her role in 1982’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial — also dished that having children taught her to be strong. “I was built to have these girls, and I have never fallen prey to the Hollywood stigma about how a woman is supposed to look,” she explained. “That’s the dumbest thing. I love girls and women. They rule my universe.”

Although it now seems like Drew has parenting in the bag, she bravely admitted that it wasn’t always as easy as it looks. “When I had my first daughter, Olive [in 2012], I was terrified all the time. I wanted everything to be perfect,” the Santa Clarita Diet star said of her daughters with ex-husband Will Kopelman. “It’s the most high-wire, high-stakes, scariest, beautiful, important thing you’ll ever do. I couldn’t sleep or eat. I’ve never cared so much about anything.”

Prior to having kids, Drew was looking for a new path. “I was overworked, stressed and fantasizing about what a different life would be,” she confessed. “Shortly thereafter I started having kids. That’s one way to have a major life change. The best one I’ve ever had in my life.”

Nowadays, she’s just enjoying watching her kids grow up — all while teaching them to truly love themselves. “You realize this is about their journey, and you’re there to keep them safe, keep them laughing, and help them figure out who they want to be,” she gushed. “I still feel like I have so much to learn, but we’re having the time of our lives. Maybe they’re just getting better, or maybe I am.”

We couldn’t imagine Drew being a better mama even if she tried!