Drew Barrymore has always been open about her crazy childhood, but now, she's sharing even more details in her new book, "Wildflower."
The 40-year-old star has written a collection of autobiographical essays that reflect on her life, which includes stories about pre-teen drinking and clubbing, being institutionalized at 12, living on her own by 15 and becoming a mom to her daughters, Olive, 2, and Frankie, 1.
"I'm certainly not known for being boring," the actress tells PEOPLE in a new interview. "But I also think things that are emotional and raw are also a lot lighter than they seemed. Someone once said to me, 'But your life… it's so sad.' And I was like, 'Well, no, it's not to me, but I could see how you would think that.' My life is amazing."
The former child star reveals that she wrote the book with husband Will Kopelman for their kids.
"When I first started having children, people were like, 'Well, what are you going to tell them about [your upbringing]?' And there was always a connotation and insinuation of, 'You should be ashamed,'" she tells the mag. "But that's crazy. [My daughters] are going to know I'm not some holier-than-thou person who just doesn't want them to live. I just want to guide them in the best way possible."
One way she guides them is by having them help out in the kitchen!
"She loves helping," the proud mom says of Olive. "If she burns herself, someone will say, 'You are the biggest a-hole, why did you let her near a stove? I'm just trying to figure this all out."
Barrymore has managed to figure out how to balance motherhood and work by making her girls a priority. "Not everything gets 100 percent all the time," she admits. "I got into trouble saying, 'You can't have it all' so I changed it to, 'You can't do it all.' But you just can't. It's not physically possible. I'll do my best. I'm a workhorse, I always have been, I always will be. But work is very much second to my kids."
"I really love it being all about the kids," she declares. "Maybe that's my compensating for not having parents myself or a childhood but right now, the focus is about how we're figuring things out as parents."
Check out more of Drew's interview in the latest issue of PEOPLE, on stands Friday.