Ever heard of the “Sandwich Generation” ?
That is the term used to describe the generation of people who are now caring for children and their parents at the same time. According to one statistic I read, 1 of every 8 Americans aged 40 to 60 is both raising a child and caring for a parent.
A little history….
When I was a teenager, I helped my family care for my grandmother. It wasn’t always easy. Especially when I had to get up in the middle of the night to care for her. She would manage to take her clothes off, then get out of bed, and fall. My mother worked nights in a nursing home, so I was the only female in the house. It was my responsibility to get her dressed again, (No easy feat!) So my brother and father could pick her up and get her back in bed. Then I would go back to sleep, and hope she didn’t wake up again, then get up for school the next day. Then school, activities such as cheerleading and majorettes, then work. I’d come home in time to eat, do homework, then go to bed again.
Back to the present….
So I have experience in caring for an elderly grandparent in the home. Now, my husband and I are in the position of having to care for one of our parents. In order the respect the privacy of this parent, I will not say which parent it is. One of our parents lives next door to us, and another one lives across the street. So when I say “next door” it could mean either parent.
While life as parent caregivers gets real for us, I will be sharing from time to time about what we are going through. I will not be mentioning any specifics about the parent, just what I am going through. And hopefully help others along this journey as well.
I’m not going to lie and say it will be easy. It’s going to be hard to provide 24 hour care by ourselves. And we still have 2 kids under 18 in our home, that I homeschool. While it will be hard, we are set up for it. Living so close makes it much easier. No one will have to move.
Our basic schedule that we have come up with is I will be with our parent from about 7:30 in the morning until about 5:30 at night. My husband will take over when he gets home from work, and spend the night, leaving for work the next morning. This schedule will be tweaked as necessary. Considering that our parent isn’t home from the hospital yet, we will have to wait and see exactly what their needs will be. Right now we are going off the information the social worker at the hospital told us. It’s good to have a plan to start with, though.
Is being part of the sandwich generation easy? No!
Is it worth caring for our parents while raising our children? Yes!