One of the more challenging times in your adult life is if you find yourself in a situation when your own parents need care, but you also still have kids at home. The term sandwich generation is often used to describe this, but this is not a conundrum unique to any modern generation. It can be an overwhelming time in which you feel as though you are stretched too thin and not giving ample time and attention to your children or your parents. However, there are things you can do to make this time less difficult.
Deal With Finances
One potentially challenging aspect of being in this situation is that you may find yourself trying to provide for your family and take care of your parents financially at the same time. As difficult as it may be, it is important that you do not neglect your own financial stability at this time.
In particular, you should not abandon your retirement savings in order to help your kids pay for college.
This is a common mistake, but while it might seem like a generous act for your children, it can mean that eventually they are in the same situation that you are currently of having to support you.
Instead, work with your kids to find other ways to finance their education. As for your parents, sit down with them to see if they have assets that could be sold.
You might not be aware that selling a term life insurance policy is a possibility since these policies do not have a cash value, but if your parents have one, they may be able to sell it through a life settlement.
Selling the policy to a third party and getting cash back, even if it is less than the death benefit, may benefit you and them far more than if they kept the policy for the rest of their lives.
You can’t do everything even though as a mother, you might feel as though you should. This can mean turning to family and friends for help sometimes, and in some situations, to professionals. You might want to talk to your parents about senior care and moving into an assisted living facility where they can get more care than you are able to provide.
Even if your parents live with you, depending on their needs, you may want to have someone come in sometimes to help them with certain tasks, especially if you work full time.
Similarly, you may want to look into child care options for your kids.
Self-Care and Boundaries
Nobody can be everything to everybody, and in order to navigate these years successfully, you will need to practice self-love and set boundaries. Like everything else about this situation, this is likely to cause guilt, but if you burn out, you can’t take care of anyone.
In addition to carving out time for yourself, make sure that time with your kids or your parents is not always about trying to get things done. Remember to take the time to talk, play games, look at family photos together or connect in other meaningful and enjoyable ways.