The Sandwich Generation: Not as delicious as it sounds…
With school about to begin, so does a familiar morning routine. And so does the craziness…
Does this sound like a familiar morning? You just dropped the kids off at school, now you’re about to rush to work to finish a client presentation which is due promptly at noon. You get a phone call. It’s your mother asking you to bring her to the doctor right away, she isn’t feeling well. This isn’t an atypical morning. You are just one in over 24 million Americans who represent the sandwich generation today.
So what exactly is the sandwich generation?
“Sandwich Generation” is defined as Americans caring for an aging parent while simultaneously caring for their own children.
According to the Pew Research Center just over one of every eight Americans aged 40 to 60 is both raising a child and caring for a parent.
Men and women feel responsible for providing care and resources for their aging parents, and it’s definitely not an unwarranted feeling. But this lifestyle can get very stressful. Time, finances and relationships can absolutely be disrupted.
In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the roughly 20 million women in this sandwich generation will transfer $18 billion their children and their elder parents each year.
Good news is there are a few ways to alleviate some of the stress:
1) Don’t be afraid to reach out for help:
Ask family and friends for help every once in a while. Ask your kids to spend some time with their grandparents, and if you have teens with their driver’s license, make it their weekly responsibility to accompany grandma and grandpa to the doctor, or to the grocery store.
2) Look into adult day care or other senior services.
These centers, offer classes, field trips, exercise programs and will keep mom and dad mentally and physically stimulated.
3) Take care of yourself to be mentally and physically prepared to take care of others.
4) Take some “me time.”
We know it may seem like you have no time for yourself, but it is crucial to give yourself a break every once in a while. Go for dinner with a few friends, go see a movie. Take the night off!
And remember, you don’t need to be a superhero.
Are you currently struggling with taking care of your children and your parents or your significant others parents?