Are You a Member of the Sandwich Generation?
Tuesday, September 28, 2021
Having multiple generations in your family is wonderful. You enjoy the youthful exuberance of your children and value the wisdom and experience of your parents. And, sometimes, best of all, your grandchildren are added to the mix, creating a beautiful mosaic in your life.
It’s all good, until you realize you have become a caregiver for multiple generations, with all the stress and tension it can cause. Sometimes it hits us quickly – life changes and now your parent needs your help, while you’re still raising your children. There’s a name for this – it’s called the Sandwich Generation.
How do you know when helping your father, or mother or in-law becomes more than a once-in-a-while thing – making you a full-fledged member of the Sandwich Generation? Take this quiz to help you figure it out.
While you’re caring for multiple generations in your family:
1. Do you have enough time to pay attention to your health?
2. Are you eating healthy most of the time?
3. Do you make it to your own doctors’ appointments?
4. Do you find time to exercise a few times a week?
5. Is your stress level manageable?
6. Are you feeling accomplished and fulfilled most of the time?
7. Do you have enough hours in the day to get everything done?
8. Do you sleep well and wake up feeling refreshed?
9. Are you patient with your loved ones when they need something from you?
10. Do you feel you are appreciated by your loved ones?
If you answered no to any of these questions, it’s likely you are a member of the Sandwich Generation and need to find ways to take care of yourself while you care for others. Remember the airplane safety message: Put your own mask on first before assisting others. If you’re not healthy and rested, you won’t be able to take care of your loved ones.
What can you do? Eat right, get regular exercise, and make sure you get plenty of sleep. Ask for help. If you have siblings, work with them to share the load. Hire outside help if needed and if you’re able. Communication is also key – schedule family meetings to give everyone a chance to express their feelings and concerns.
Take a few moments each day to “stop and smell the roses.” Being a member of the Sandwich Generation can be stressful and taxing, but it also can bring you and your loved ones closer. You will all be grateful for the time you have together.