So, like most of my friends, I spend a great deal of time trying to help my children and my parent. I have heard us called the sandwich generation. It’s not something new. Every fifty something since the beginning of time has had dealt with this situation.
Grog – “Ugh, Mom shouldn’t live in her own cave anymore. Should she move into the cave next door?”
Grog – “Ugh, kid no able to feed self out in the world. They move home.”
It’s not a problem and I’m not complaining, but it is what it is. We juggle our time, we listen to the problems that they are going through and we try to help. Of course most times they don’t want our help, just our time.
A friend of mines mother had her license taken away recently. It sent her and her mother into a tail spin. My friend, for the sake of anonymity I’ll call her Trudy, works long hours as an RN and now has to juggle her life to include doctor’s appointments, grocery trips, and outings. When she suggested using a local group that “Drives Ms. Daisy”, her mother had a conniption. She had taken care of her mother, why wasn’t my friend able, no, “happy” to do the same for her.
Maybe it was because Trudy’s daughter had just had her first baby and didn’t want to leave the child with a sitter. Trudy was babysitting her granddaughter twice a week on her days off. So now she has to put the car seat in, load the baby and baby paraphernalia and drive her mother, sometimes at a moment’s notice.
When we’re out for our weekly round of drinks and dessert we listen patiently. What we want to say is, “Tell your daughter to get a good babysitter and stop bouncing that poor baby weekly between mother, mother-in-law, sister or any other family member available. And tell your mother to schedule her appointments for one day a week so it’s convenient for EVERYONE.”
We don’t mind helping out, in fact most of us consider it a privilege, but there has to be a mutual respect for our time. It just makes things easier.