Many thanks again to Zara Lewis for providing this guest post!
What does it mean to be a part of the sandwich generation? Basically, you find yourself in a position when you have to take proper care of your own kids as well as your elderly parents. It’s not something that should be thought of as a bad thing per se, but it is what it is. And it comes with a bit more responsibilities for you. If you have some difficulties in coping with this situation, I’ll be glad to share some of my experiences with you. I hope that you’ll find the following text helpful.
I can’t stress enough how useful it can be to have a clear schedule and week plan when you’re stranded between your own family and parents, let alone other chores and tasks. Of course, you won’t be able to follow the schedule perfectly every time, but the biggest concern when you have many things on your mind is the possibility to actually forget something. If you use to-do lists and reminders on a daily basis, you’ll be able to tend to various tasks more diligently. Also, I found that time stamped to-do lists work great in minimizing my tension and reducing anxiety. Once you put everything on paper, you can clearly see that there’s enough time for everything and everyone in your day.
Be honest and open
You may be a people-pleaser, but if you realize that there’s no way to get everything done and to fit a ton of duties in one day, simply don’t do it. This is especially true for sandwich generation comrades who have small kids. And just like you love your child, your parents cherish you and their grandkid the most. Don’t feel pressured to visit your folks every single day if you can talk to them and explain what problems you’re facing. On the other hand, if your kids are old enough to go to school on their own, they will also understand that you can’t devote all your time to them.
If you’re worried about your parents living alone or are totally against retirement homes, there’s nothing wrong with having your parents live with you. But, it’s essential that you really think this decision through. Is your home spacious enough for two new members? Is it safe for them? What does your family have to say about this? Having your parents stay at your home is very cost-effective but it also means that you will all be living under one roof. Are you ready for that? On the other hand, your parents might enjoy a retirement home more. If you can talk to them about this, by all means do so. If your parents suffer from serious health conditions, it really may turn out to be safer for them to be under constant supervision in a retirement home.
If you decide to live with your parents or if they’re persistent in their decision to live in their own home, home care services can be a true life-saver. This was definitely the best possible option for me, since it allowed me to spend more time with my spouse and children without worrying too much about my mom and dad’s health needs. It can get really hard on you when you have to face the fact that they are old and weak. Expert services in this area are a must if you truly want to provide the best possible care for your parents. I found immense support in kind professionals who provide home care in San Jose and thanks to them, I managed to get my family life back to normal.
I really want to make a point that even if you are a mature adult with no kids, but still have to take care of your folks, you too belong to the sandwich party. We’ve all been there and in all honesty, I can’t tell you whether it’s harder to think about yourself and start your own family, or to ignore your needs in fear of neglecting your parents. The best advice I can give you is to do what I did – when you feel it’s time to have kids, do it. Your parents will be happy about your decision as well.