STUCK IN THE SANDWICH GENERATION… IT’S NO BALONEY
by Sharon Lurtsema and Angie Vega

What is the Sandwich Generation?  Have you heard of this?  Perhaps you’re in it and don’t even know it.  According to Wikipedia, “The sandwich generation is a generation of people (usually in their 30s or 40s) who care for their aging parents while supporting their own children.”

This has become increasingly common in the United States. People tend to live longer and children are living at home longer, often returning home after their attempts to live on their own are unsuccessful.  Otherwise known as “boomerang kids.”  According to the Pew Research Center, “just over 1 of every 8 Americans aged 40 to 60 is raising a child and caring for a parent, in addition to 7-10 million adults caring for their aging parents from a long distance.”

Imagine the added stress of living in this situation and constantly seeking to find Work/Life balance:

You’re working for a living; trying to advance your career.  Meanwhile you’re attempting to juggle last minute child care arrangements for your eight year old twin boys and hoping there are no additional hiccups in your day.  You arrive home to throw together something that resembles dinner, a separate diabetic plate for your elderly mother and – oh yes, please don’t forget that special meal for your gluten-free/fat-free teenage daughter. 

By the time everyone is fed, dishes done and the kitchen cleaned, you remember last night’s laundry is still in the washer… rinse and repeat.  You spend what little is left of your evening “reminding” your kids to finish their homework, please don’t fight, take a shower and no, you can’t watch TV.  You squeeze in some time to chat with your mother and ask if she has taken her medication.  Oh no!  You just realized you forgot to pick up your mother’s prescription on the way home.  Apparently, the dry cleaners, soccer carpool and that last minute stop at the grocery store were all you could remember.

After swiftly returning with your mother’s medication, you attempt to remind your daughter that texting is not considered homework, which lands on deaf ears.  She is oblivious, between the thunderous sounds blaring from her earbuds to the lightning speed in which she continues to text… “her homework.”  This nightly roundup continues like clockwork.

Ding! The washer is done – it’s time to throw the now extra clean load into the dryer. 

You hear mom calling for you.  Due to her recent hip surgery, she needs assistance getting from the couch to her bedroom.  After successfully getting her settled in her room, you head back to the kitchen for your nightly homework patrol.  Surprise… Houston, we do not have a problem – they’re doing what you asked them to do!  This could very well be one of the happiest moments of your life. You now have a glimmer of hope that you will indeed finish the last minute changes needed to your work presentation.  You’ve labored tediously over this for weeks and it must be presented tomorrow.

Finally, after the longest day in the history of ever – you achieve success!  You’ve finished your work, put the kids to bed, cleaned up the bathroom, said goodnight to mom, folded and put away laundry, packed tomorrow’s lunches and happily taken 15 minutes of ME time before collapsing into bed.

Early the next morning, you’re awakened by a call from your mother’s caregiver who is too sick to care for your mother today.  Great.  Now what?  You cannot miss work today.  What about your presentation?

It’s this very moment you spot it.  That beautiful, purple, orange and green magnet you brought home from work.  It hangs on the fridge in all its glory reminding you that your employer provides Back-up Care with CorporateCARE Solutions – your saving grace!  You don’t have to miss work after all!  CorporateCARE Solutions is a national Back-up Care Provider and sends highly vetted caregivers right to your home, hotel if traveling for business or anywhere in the U.S. your elderly loved ones reside.  They provide care for your loved ones when you experience a breakdown in family care.  You can give your presentation today knowing that mom is in the care of a professional.  Thanks to their easy to use mobile app, you can submit a CARE Request in just moments.  Isn’t technology great?  Whew!  Another crisis averted. 

…That my friends is a day in the life of the Sandwich Generation!

 

 

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