I am part of the sandwich generation: caring for my 5-year-old daughter while my hubby & I also do increasingly more for our parents who are all in their 80s now. I have come to really dislike the term “sandwich generation” – it is as messy and squished as it sounds.
There are wonderful things about it — we’re lucky that our young daughter gets to know her grandparents (as I never did) and that our parents get to see us as happy parents — but most days it just feels like there isn’t enough time to care for anyone as well as I would like to.
Today, I’m writing this from the surgical waiting room while my mom is having knee replacement surgery. The surgery was originally scheduled for last June but then my dad had a stroke in late May of last year (and passed away in July 2012), so the surgery was cancelled. Finally, a year later, my mom (and we) were ready to try again. This is going to be great to help with her mobility and being able to get outside in the nice weather. But, my mom doesn’t drive, so it also means that all the siblings will be very busy with the large number of physical therapy appointments she will need over the next 3-4 months — maybe even 3-4 per week. So, between driving my daughter back and forth to preschool/daycare, getting back and forth to work, getting the bear and myself to our many endocrinology & other appointments, and driving the 45 minutes to my mom’s and then however far to physical therapy or other doctors, it’s hard to think of what time will be left over for anything else. And still, I will come to the end of the summer wishing that I had spent more time with my mom, more time with the BHE & the bear, more time writing, more time exercising, more time paying attention to diabetes settings, and more time getting everything ready for kindergarten. Oh yeah, and somewhere in there we need to make visits 45 minutes in the other direction to help out with the BHE’s parents…
If you are sandwich filling too – what do you do to hang on to your sanity? To feel like you are doing the best that you can?