It’s that Sandwich-Making time of year:
As back to school is just around the corner, we have moms and dads out there arranging their weekly schedules between school, sports, clubs, appointments, homework help, plus their OWN jobs! When you add caring for your parents on top of the regular responsibilities, the mind can go into a kind of overload.
You love your kids and parents more than ANYTHING, yet cannot find enough time in the day to be physically present for both in the way you would like and the way they need. Something has to give. This is a topic we visited a few years ago, but we see so many families in this spot. You keep getting squished. After a couple more years at this game and observing families who do this well, here are some of the top tips we can give those feeling squished between those they love!
Top 10 Tips for the Sandwich Generation
- Self-care is not a luxury. Schedule time for yourself and turn off that guilt-radar.
- Be mindful – when you’re with your parents, make this quality time. Enjoy their company. Listen, laugh. Let them repeat their stories. You’ll feel better when you leave if you know the time you spent together was meaningful.
- Say no—each person in the family can say no to one thing. One activity. One night out with friends, one baseball game, etc..
- Let go of perfectionism
- The perfect way to care for himself or herself (your mom wants to shower twice a week and not every day, it’s ok!)
- The perfect mom-Attending EVERY soccer game
- The perfect house
- The perfect caregiver – you may arrange for a caregiver but he or she may not do things EXACTLY the way you do.
- Simplify your life. This is a season in life that too will pass.Make healthy, simple meals
- Plan fewer trips to the grocery store
- Order grocery delivery for your parents
- Get rid of excess clutter around the house that requires extra care
- Be creative about ways you can do less.
- Look to your parents for life perspective-although we hate to admit it, our parents are older and wiser. I know it’s hard at any age to say that. That perfectionism thing is one that older adults tend to let go of.
- Take small things off your plate. Even if you can take 5% off your to-do list, this is a win! Can your son get a ride home once/week from soccer? Can a neighbor take your mom to one hair appointment/month? Mom might actually enjoy her company and not miss her family doing this task.
- Educate yourself. Be aware of resources to help with your parents, even if you don’t use them all right now. These include home care options like Assisting Hands, Independent Living, Geriatric Care Managers, Community Resources (community nurse, rides, etc.) Not sure where to start? We have a plethora of resources for those in Arlington Heights, Mount Prospect, Prospect Heights, Des Plaines and Wheeling. This may take a little work on the front end, but it will be worth it!
- Ask for help (and give it a real chance). Who can do 1 thing to help?
- A caregiver
- A neighbor
- An old friend
- Your church or synagogue
- Set your top three priorities for the day (and do these first). I know! I get frustrated when everyone’s advice says, “take care of yourself.” Sometimes things really DO have to get done or you will have more stress. I get it. Choose those top 3 things every day and do those first when you have the most energy. If you get the urgent things out of the way, you’ll be less stressed the rest of the day. Ex. Order mom’s meds, call doctor for mom, order grocery delivery.
Getting Home Care for Your Parents
Still feel like your family member is not getting enough time? This is where professional home care may be the perfect option for you. Our caregivers are professional helping hands, check out our name! We can do light cleaning, organizing, laundry, preparing meals, driving your loved one to errands or even out to lunch. We are a second pair of eyes that your mom or dad have everything they need and they can get out of the house if they want, or otherwise have social time with a friendly face.
You deserve to have one thing off your plate so that you can enjoy this exciting in-the-middle time of your life! Let our caregivers here at Assisting Hands take care of the technical stuff so you don’t have to worry, and let your mom or dad gain a new friend at the same time. We want to allow you the time to just enjoy your mom or dad’s company and catch-up about the grandkids, let our caregivers take care of the rest.
Get a Free Estimate
Give us a call at (847) 462-4402 to schedule your free consultation to discuss your loved one’s needs and options so you can worry about one less task during sandwich-making time!