If you are aged between 35 and 55, then you’re part of what is sometimes dubbed the “sandwich generation”. This is a generation of people who find themselves caring for two generations; their parents, and their own children— and juggling both sets of responsibilities can be notoriously difficult.
As a member of the sandwich generation, you will usually struggle to make time for yourself. You may even experience feelings of guilt due to the fact it feels like your time and attention is so consistently divided. In an effort to make this juggle of responsibilities more manageable, here are a few tips you may want to keep in mind…
#1 - Caring doesn’t have to be separate
One of the best ways to manage your time and responsibilities in regards to caring for both the older and the younger generation is to care for them at the same time. For example, you can take your kids round to see your parents, giving you a chance to run chores and ensure all is well with your parents health. As you do so, your own kids get to spend time with their grandparents, and your parents will delight in having their grandchildren to fuss over. This kind of arrangement tends to work extremely well if you constantly find yourself pressed for time, so if your parents live close to you, it’s well worth implementing on a regular basis.
#2 - Accept the support available to you
Trying to manage full-time responsibilities for both your parents and your children can be nigh-on impossible, which is why it’s important to investigate the options for support. For your parents, this could be anything from carer respite services to sourcing nursing home beds; both options can help alleviate the amount of tasks on your plate, and help to provide excellent care to your parents. For your children, playgroups and childminders’ can be a useful way of giving you more time and space to help your own parents out with their requirements. It’s important to remember you don’t have to try and handle everything by yourself, so make use of the services that could provide some much-needed relief on occasion.
#3 - Don’t forget about yourself
When you’re trying to juggle responsibilities to two generations, making time for yourself might seem like an impossibility. However, it’s important that you take care of your own health — both mentally and physically — when you find yourself overburdened by tasks. For one thing, if your own health falters then your ability to care for your family is going to be compromised. Secondly, you have to take care of yourself for you, so an occasional indulgence in self-care can go a long way to easing the stress you may be experiencing.
Life as a member of the sandwich generation is difficult, but the above ideas should help to relieve some of the strains you experience. While you doubtlessly give your time to both generations without any hesitation, it’s always worth investigating ways you can potentially make life a little easier for yourself. If you ensure you take the time to do this, it will ultimately benefit your entire family.