During an interview with ABC News's Amy Robach, the 38-year-old actress discussed how motherhood has put her in "a different mind frame."
"I celebrate that I had any sense of freedoms at a certain point, because I don't feel like that now," she said. "The best kind of parent you can be is to lead by example, and whatever I've experienced in my life is a part of my story and I'm proud of that. But it's someone who wakes up early, works all day, believes in charitable work."
However, Barrymore doesn't want 18-month-old Olive, or her future daughter, to make the same choices she made. The Charlie's Angels star explained that while she posed for Playboy at age 19, she wouldn't want her daughters to do anything like that.
"I would not let her [pose for Playboy]," she told Robach, "My life choices are not supposed to be the gateway to somebody else's. That's my journey."
Barrymore -- an actress, a director and an entrepreneur -- called motherhood the role of a lifetime.
"It's a ride. I'm tired, but it's the best ride I've ever been on in my life," she said.
Barrymore is married to art consultant Will Kopelman and is currently working on a photography project called "Find It In Everything," a compilation of photographs she's taken of various shapes that look like hearts.
"I started finding hearts in things -- whether it was like, a tree I was passing, a straw wrapper on the ground, I think the heart has one continuous line, which is very powerful," she said.