A Child-Centered World
While most grandmothers admire their daughter for maintaining high-wire juggling act, they're dismayed by how little time is left for her marriage and herself. "I remember my own mother saying to me, 'Your husband comes first,'" says Caron. "If you said that to young moms now, they would say, 'What? The child comes first!'" Indeed, our survey showed that more than a third of grandmothers feel their daughter's life revolves around her child's needs and wants.
"If she's not doing something business-related, she's with the kids or the whole family," says Columbus, Ohio, grandmother, Nancy Larson, 57, of her daughter Christiana. "I rarely hear her say that she did something alone." Larson wishes her daughter, mom of two kids, 1 and 4, had time to nurture her female friendships, read, or develop hobbies. "Her husband seems able to make time to play computer games, paint ball, and guitar," she says. "Even though Christiana is an independent thinker and competent professional, I think she sometimes gets the short end of the stick."
Finding Time for Yourself
Teamwork Tip: Listen up on this one, because while it's true that the struggle to balance work and family leaves many moms without personal time, it's critical to carve some out. "If you do some things for yourself, you'll have more patience and energy for your family," Caron says. "You'll be a better mother and wife, not to mention a happier person." Your mother is also wise in suggesting you nurture your marriage.
"It erodes the relationship when you take the child to every restaurant and on every vacation," Caron says. "Parents need adult time together." Go ahead and tell your mother she's right, that you really ought to go out for a manicure or on a romantic getaway with your husband, and perhaps she'd be kind enough to babysit to help make it happen.