Raising children while caring for your parents is a special kind of balancing act. Many of us are in that sandwich generation where we are still raising our children and now must begin caring for our parents. Being a caregiver while raising a family can lead to caregiver burnout and new stressors that aren’t expected. Your senior may feel like they’re in the way. Your kids may act out when they sense that you are stressed about the responsibilities. Here are some ideas to help you get a handle on the stress:
- Breathe! This may seem obvious, but studies have shown that when someone is stressed, they can forget to breathe. Taking mindful breaths will help increase oxygen to your brain and help you make better decisions.
- Say “Yes!” when someone offers to help. Let them take your children and/or your parents for an outing to give you a couple of hours to collect yourself.
- Allow your parent to participate in decisions about their care. If appropriate, discuss with them the challenges of a multi-generational family and allow them to help out.
- Share your concerns with your children, keeping it age appropriate. Your children will benefit from a solid discussion about what is happening with their grandparent and may even have ideas for how they can help. “Helping” is one way to ease their own fears and give them a sense of control.
Hire Help. Having someone take care of your parent if needed is not a sign of weakness. Helping with personal care or meals gives you the ability to put yourself on the priority list. Learn how Better Together Home Care can help.