In Franklin Lakes, NJ, Caroline Manzo seems like the mother who all other moms on the block strive to emulate — but the protective matriarch says that wasn't always the case. The Real Housewives of New Jersey star says that when her children were young, she confesses it was a struggle to balance her sanity and husband Albert's long working hours.
"Before we had the kids, we always made time for each other, even if it meant going to a diner for eggs at three o'clock in the morning! Naturally, things changed once we became parents," Caroline tells MSN. "At the ripe old age of 28, I found myself spending the bulk of my days and nights alone with three children. I'm not going to sugarcoat it — there were times when I just sat and cried out of sheer frustration, exhaustion and even boredom."
What helped Caroline turn into the secure woman (and ham game referee) that she is today?
"For those of you who are facing similar struggles today, you need to know one thing: it's temporary," the fiery red-head advises. "Find other moms in the same situation as you. Trust me, they're out there! Not only does it benefit the kids to interact with other children, but it also allows you time for adult conversation, friendship, and maybe an understanding shoulder to cry on when you need it." Oh, sweet Caroline.