The Sandwich Generation: The Duties of Parenthood and Caring for Your Own Parents

Are you a parent with young kids or teenagers, but are also caring for your elderly parents? You’re not alone. Stress can take its toll as you juggle several roles and obligations – as parent, wife/husband, son/daughter, employee or business owner. You’re caught in between responsibilities – your job, your family, and a generation before you that needs extra care and attention. Welcome to the sandwich generation. Your parents took care of you when you were little. Now it’s your turn to care for them.

You might be a young parent, in your 30s or an older parent, in your 50s. Whether you’re married or committed to a career or vocation, your life has changed drastically since 20 years ago. Do you remember what it was like to be a college student or new employee? Full of passion for life? Dreams that seemed impossible but were certainly within reach? How do you think you’ve faired so far? After a long day, sometimes all you can manage is to remember to brush your teeth.

Being a part of the sandwich generation can be a struggle, especially without extra help from your siblings and household staff. One technique that helps is time management. Carve time for your elderly parents; it’s a relief when someone is assigned to care for their daily needs (under your supervision) while you take care of your children’s. Make time too for enriching married life. Remember that you are a wife/ husband and not only a parent. Another way is to enlist help of your siblings and relatives to care for your parents. The more help you can get, the better for the entire family. In addition, create activities for your elderly parents- find hobbies that they can do in the community and with their own friends. Also, allow your children- their grandchildren- to connect with them often. Seeing little children can definitely boost your parents’ mood. Lastly, seek support from a group or from friends who are in the same situation. Sometimes you need a breather or other tips to help your parents make the most of their remaining years.