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Maria Shriver and daughter Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt on their new relationship as mother and grandmother

“She runs a tighter ship than I did.”

Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt, 34, idolizes her mother, TODAY special anchor Maria Shriver.

She wore her mother’s wedding veil when she married “Jurassic World” star Chris Pratt in 2019. She called Shriver "my role model in everything" in a sweet Mother's Day post in 2023. And she even named her firstborn "Lyla Maria" in honor of her mom.

But that doesn't mean that their relationship is always totally seamless, they tell, especially when it comes to parenting styles.

“My daughter has more of a schedule than I ever had, so I’m adhering to her. She runs a tighter ship than I did,” Shriver tells

“We always made sure we were home for naptime and for bedtime on time, and my mom was very thrown off by the emphasis I put on that because that was not something she did with us growing up,” Schwarzenegger Pratt says with a laugh in an interview with “It was kind of: you nap where you nap, maybe you don’t nap, maybe you go to bed at 6, maybe you go to bed at 8. She was very relaxed about all that.”

Shriver and her daughter say they have learned that boundaries, respect and open communication are the keys to their relationship. Those lessons extend all the way down to the nitty-gritty, like what to serve for lunch.

Shriver laughs, “I’m not serving Lunchables. I’m not doing that. I know better now.”

Image: Today - Season 68
"I really loved working with Katherine. it was such a joy for me to do this project with her," says Shriver.Nathan Congleton / NBC

Schwarzenegger Pratt says she wants to raise her children — Lyla, 3, Eloise, 1, and Jack (an 11-year-old from her husband's first marriage to actor Anna Faris) — exactly the way she was raised.

Can that standard be difficult for a new mom to live up to?

“I’ve never looked at it as anything other than a huge gift,” Schwarzenegger Pratt says simply. “My mom and I are incredibly close.”

'The Grandmother Project'

Shriver is teaming up with her daughter on a four-part digital series called “The Grandmother Project.” In partnership with Babylist and Nuna, the series will feature celebrity mother-daughter pairs to dive into the joys and challenges of raising a multigenerational family. 

“We saw all these people experiencing the ups and downs of their new roles in life and not talking about it,” explains Schwarzenegger Pratt. In ‘The Grandmother Project,” the mother-daughter duo talk to pairs like Gayle King and her daughter Kirby Bumpus, and Camila Alves McConaughey and her mother-in-law Kay McConaughey.

Shriver points out that grandparents are interacting with their kids and grandchildren in a variety of different ways: as live-in caregivers, as paid babysitters, as “nurses” when kids are sick from school, as virtual playdates and more.

“There’s a lot of grandparents who are asking questions, trying to find out how parenting has changed since they were parenting, “ Shriver.

“I’m figuring it out as I go along and I’m asking people who are ahead of me what did they learn, what did they wish they would have known, what works, what doesn’t,” Shriver says.

She says with a laugh that her other children (Christina, Patrick and Christopher) are “very opinionated” about what Shriver should and shouldn’t do as a grandmother.

Shriver picks up Lyla every Friday and they often spend time at the playground. In fact, her workouts are now tailored to the goal of being able to lift the 3-year-old, climb on the jungle gym and play hopscotch.

She says, “I have snuck a piece of candy here and there,” but she always remains mindful that her grandchildren are not her children and therefore, “I’m not in charge.”

Sunday dinners

"When we were growing up, we had family dinner every single night," says Schwarzenegger Pratt. Thankfully, Schwarzenegger Pratt adds, her husband now finds Sunday dinners just as important as she does.

“It’s really special. Kids are there and everyone’s engaged in meaningful conversation,” he told in February 2024.

As the Schwarzenegger kids grew up, went to college, moved out of the house or got involved with projects outside the family, they intentionally made it "a huge priority" to gather once a week.

"We all gather at my mom's house every Sunday, we come with all the kids, we bring everybody and we also go into it with the understanding that my mom brings new and exciting people sometimes, we bring friends sometimes and everybody knows that's where we are on Sundays," Schwarzenegger Pratt says.

Schwarzenegger Pratt says that after seeing her mom step into the grandmother role and provide this family environment for her kids, she now has "a whole new level of love and respect and appreciation."