Both your children and your parents need your hope, and sometimes you feel like you’re in the middle.
On one hand, you’re an active mother, sometimes referred to as soccer Mom. You spend your time working a full time job, keeping abreast of your childrens’ activities, driving your children and their friends from one place to another.This is what you always wanted for yourself, and now you have it. Certainly it can be challenging, but this is what you signed up for and you are prepared.
But now, you find that your parents are showing signs of age and they need help. It might be that one or both of them is no longer able to drive. Perhaps due to some physical limitation, they are no longer able to do yard work or clean their home by themselves. Certainly, this is not something you had anticipated. In fact, you may have known in the back of your mind that someday it would come to this, but you hadn’t thought it would be anytime soon.How will you balance all the demands on your time? Certainly nobody can be in two places at the same time, so how will you mange?
First, admit to yourself that you can’t be everything to everyone at all times. Put the quality time with your own family and parents first. Next is to determine the needs of your children and your parents and checking out what resources may be available to help you. Of course, you could get help in the form of child care for your children while you spend your time caring for Mom and Dad. However, think what you’d be giving up. Children grow up so quickly, and you hate to miss even a minute of the process.
Another choice would be to get help for Mom and Dad, so that you are not the only one who is seeing to their needs. If your parents have extended family, perhaps there are others that can get involved. If you’re lucky enough to have siblings in the area, sharing the responsibility could be a big help.If the budget will allow, you could consider hiring professionals to lighten the load. You could hire an aide or companion to check on them, do light housekeeping and cooking, and give them some companionship.
If Mom and Dad require even more assistance, perhaps it’s time to consider a more drastic approach. If they’re living in a home that requires maintenance, perhaps a move to a condominium or apartment might be helpful as gardening and home maintenance would be provided.
Another alternative, is to consider assisted living, where meals are served in the dining room, housekeeping and laundry services are provided, and there are numerous activities and outings for them to enjoy. At assisted living, they will have the added security of caregivers on staff. Seniors in assisted living facilities have the option of living independently, yet they can request additional services, such as assistance with bathing and dressing if it becomes necessary.
Yes, you are sandwiched between your children and you parents. You shouldn’t have to choose, you love them both. Make the necessary plans now to ensure the well-being of your parents and your children, while allowing yourself to enjoy the loving moments with both.