Have you ever felt like a smear of peanut butter and jelly? No, not spread too thin, though that may be a valid feeling as well, but a part of a sandwich. If you have, it is likely that you are part of an age group that is booming in today’s society. This a true, referred to as the sandwich generation, is the adults that find themselves providing financial support both to their children and their aging parents at the same time. This group is generally in their 40s and 50s, though there are some members of the sandwich generation that are younger. Being a caregiver in sandwich generation can be extremely stressful as you are responsible for taking care of multiple people, but it also has its potential advantages.
Whether you are an in home care provider for your aging parents or simply provide financial support, statistics show that many adult children who are closely connected to the ongoing care of their parents feel more connected to the older generation than they did when they were younger. Likewise, members of the sandwich generation often report that they have a stronger emotional connection to the children who they help support than other people of a similar age to do not have this responsibility. For many people, providing financial support is a tangible way of demonstrating love and helps to facilitate a closer bond and more opportunity to spend quality time together.
As a member of the sandwich generation, however, it can also lead to you feeling overwhelmed and as though you have lost yourself along the way. It is important to remember that while you are taking care of your parents above you and your children below you that you are still an individual and need to take care of your relationship with your partner and your friends, your own hobbies and pastimes and yourself. As with any caregiver, you will always be able to offer greater support and encouragement to those who depend on you if you also take care of yourself.