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My grandson and I enjoyed working together on his schoolwork earlier this week. One of his reading assignments "taught" him the meaning of the phrase "piece of cake." Although, it turns out he already knew it, since it is a favorite expression of mine. Sometimes. Sometimes the Sandwich Generation issues are indeed a "piece of cake." Sometimes. Then again, sometimes not so much.
- You don't get enough sleep
- Everything seems to go wrong
- You feel like you are having to give up on all your plans and dreams
- The kids or grandkids are having one of those days full of grubbles and fusses
- Your senior parents forget/ignore their age and body limits, overdo it, and they – and you – spend the next month dealing with the consequences – including extra doctor and therapy visits
- Your house – your castle so to speak – isn't really yours anymore. It's now a co-op with several kings and queens vying for power and the use of the kitchen sink
- Dealing with grief and loss because someone you love – young or old – is sick and you can't wave a magic wand to fix them
- You are trying your best not to "baby" your parents and they are trying to do the same with you, but on this particular day one or both of you fail – miserably
- Our own achy, aging bodies
- It's "that time of month"
- The bills are piled high, you don't have time to pay them, and even if you did, there's too many months when there are more days than dollars
And the list goes on! For that matter, I bet you and your sandwich generation family could add several more items. What's a caregiver to do?
Ahhhhh….gratefully, most of these not-piece-of-cake moments fastly fleet. (I think the Words with Friends game apps are affecting my writing – I'm having way too much fun with wonky words! Then again, simple games like that are one of the things that help me when melancholy creeps in and tries to drag me into a full-on case of the blues ! That's especially likely after several days of too little sleep .Granted, there are plenty of times when there's nothing we can do about. A senior parent's illness can encroach on our sleep time, as can that of a young child or grandchild. But how often could we go to bed earlier If we really put our minds to it? Cutting back earlier in the day on caffeine often helps too. (yes, I'm preaching to myself on that one!)
Stopping to look at – really look at and enjoy – the lovely flowers, trees, sky, and world we are so blessed with always helps me – how about you?
Making sure I get time in the Word is always a necessity for me!
And most of the time, patience proves it's not only a virtue, it's a necessity for the Sandwich Generation. Patiently waiting a day or three, coupled with a good night's sleep, can make such a sweet difference, can't it? Now it's your turn! What are some of your tips for those not-piece-of-cake days that occur when you are taking care of elderly parents, while still raising your children or babysitting your grandchildren?