5 Moms & Grandmas On What Modern Women Get Wrong About Life & Money

By | Thursday, May 06, 2021

While millennial women have taken great strides to undo the wrongs before us, and rewrite the narrative of what it means to be a “modern woman,” we can’t take all the credit. After all, those before us still taught us a lesson or two, even if that lesson was on what not to do.

With mother’s day right around the corner (May 9, folks!), we recently spoke to five different mothers and/or grandmas who opened up about what they feel this generation gets wrong about marriage and money and well, let’s just say not a single one held their tongue.

Check out the responses below!

1. “I think the mindset that having a partner validates who you are is the biggest mistake I see.”

“I think the mindset that having a partner validates who you are as a member of society is the biggest mistake I see. Also, I commonly see women thinking about getting married as if it is a fairytale when it should be seen as a working partnership. Learning to be emotionally and financially independent before entering a long-term relationship is important. Knowing who you are beforehand is key. Otherwise, you can get trapped into being who you think the other person wants you to be, instead of knowing who you are and what you need. Lastly, red flags cannot be “fixed.” Consider them well. No matter how insignificant they may seem, they will only be magnified in time.”

– DeEtte, 50, Mother of 1 daughter, Personal Traimer

2. “You don’t make him a sandwich because you’re ‘supposed to.’ You do it as an act of love.”

“The most common thing I see younger women get wrong today is turning their nose up at traditional relationships. I see women protest things like making their significant other a sandwich. You don’t make him a sandwich because you’re “supposed to”, you do it as an act of love. You don’t do things while expecting something equal in return. A relationship will never be 50/50. It will go through phases and stages and one is always giving more than the other. Not to mention, when kids are involved, it can’t be 50/50 because women carry the burden of bearing children. 

“Second, social media envy is big these days. I see younger women get upset that their significant others do not post heartfelt “happy birthday” or “happy anniversary” posts on social media. The bottom line is that is not how most men show love. They show love by checking your tires before you go on a road trip. Social media is no representation of real life, anyway.”

-Leslie, 49, Mother of 1 daughter & 2 sons, Grandma of 1 granddaughter, Substitute Teacher

3. “This generation is losing its human touch.”

“This generation of online shopping — not even just for clothes or devices, but also for everything from groceries to prescriptions to takeout — I find that it’s losing the human touch. This generation, they don’t like to interact with people face-to-face, and I think it will affect them in the long run. And when it comes to money, you have to budget yourself. Do the things that you have the resources for, do what you can afford. Don’t go into debt just to keep up with the Joneses. For example, I would love to renovate my bathroom and my kitchen but I don’t have the money at the moment. But I’m not going to take out a loan just to do it.  Live within your means; you don’t need a fancy car and you don’t need the most expensive cell phone plan to survive. 

As a refugee, I learned how to manage my finances very early in life. I know how to live on the most frugal of budgets. Even to this day, I price-match all my groceries and use coupons, even though I’m not in poverty anymore and it’s not a necessity. Keep things simple and be happy with what you have.”

-Caridad, 62, Mother of 2 adult children, Early Childhood Educator

4. “Cancel culture is pervasive in the younger generation.”

Everything for the current generation is instantaneous. If they can get something now, they will forgo everything and just run after that to get immediate gratification. But, it is important to work towards a larger goal and take baby steps rather than take a giant leap that may not give someone what they’re really looking for. And, there are no shortcuts in life. You have to have the patience and the wherewithal to accept things the way they are instead of jumping to conclusions or making judgments about others. Cancel culture is pervasive in the younger generation because of this mentality.”

– Priya, 51, Mother

5. “It’s not a handout; it’s your husband.”

“I’ve told you this before but I think young women today place too much value on money. Of course, you need money to survive and it’s a means to an end but you don’t need to measure your worth by how much you have and give it as much power over you. I see so many independent women who refuse to accept any bit of help because they feel the help will undermine all that they’ve done for themselves. That’s silly. I’m all for education and being able to sustain your life with or without a husband.

“At one point, I carried our home with my income alone. But when your father met me, I was top of my class at my school [in Haiti]. I always loved school and he loved that. Like he says, ‘I love smart women.’ When we came to America, we had nothing. At one point, I worked in a factory in the late 70’s and early 80’s and he was a cab driver in New York. We both started college together but your father dropped out to do taxi full-time [since there was great money in it back then], while I went to school full-time. This meant he paid all the bills and that was fine. I was a wife and a mom by 21 and still graduated at 23. I never looked at the help from your father as taking away from what I also did for our home. And he made sure to remind and thank me every day. We both had our strengths.

“I love seeing so many women your age have their own things because it reminds me of myself, but accept the help. I’m not saying from any and everyone because nothing in life is free, so you have to be careful who you say yes to. But from your boyfriend, fiance, whatever. It’s a partnership. Stop looking at what your partner should do for you as help. It’s not a handout, it’s your husband. You’ll get in your own way trying to prove your point for the wrong reasons.”

-Marie, 62, Mother of 2 adult children, BSN/Charge Nurse 


Keertana Anandraj is a recent college grad living in San Francisco. When she isn’t conducting international macroeconomic research at her day job, you can find her in the spin room or planning her next adventure.

Image via Unsplash


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