You get home from a long day of work to find your kids need money for a school function. Not only that, your parents need you to take them to the doctor in the morning, which will likely mean new medication you’ll need to buy.
This is the life of the “Sandwich Generation,” a term used for baby boomers that are raising kids and caring for elderly parents.
Somewhere in there you also have to take care of your own needs. It can be a drain on your time, energy and resources.
While juggling these priorities is challenging, here are three tips to make your life easier.
1. Maintain Open Communication.
One key to keeping your life in control is to maintain open communication with your family. You need to able to talk to your parents about their health issues and finances. If your kids are old enough, include them in relevant conversations. Don’t forget to include any siblings that are also providing care.
Talking about things like health and finances can be hard for your parents. They grew up during an era in which they didn’t discuss these topics. But, it’s important to make sure that they get the care they need. Knowing their financial situation will help you budget their money along with yours.
2. Assign Roles and Responsibilities.
Taking care of kids, parents and yourself can run you ragged. It takes a lot of energy, especially if you’re stuck doing it all yourself. Use one of your family discussions to talk about everyone’s needs and schedules.
Figure out who can step in and help with driving kids to school functions or spending time with your parents. Once again, include any children that are old enough to lend a hand, especially if they can drive. See where your siblings can help out. You can assign responsibilities by duties or by days. Just make sure that each person knows their role and sticks to it.
You can even schedule family get-togethers to spend time with each other. Considering how busy everyone is, this will be a welcome relief.
3. Plan Ahead.
Preplanning your funeral is an act of love for your family. When you make the choice to preplan, your giving your family a final gift, plus a way to prevent added stress during an already emotional time. That’s because recording your final wishes prevents disagreements among family that could ultimately damage the healing process and relationships.
Within the first 24 to 48 hours, there are up to 125 decisions to make when planning a funeral. If needed information isn’t readily available, then it can add a lot of stress for family members at an already difficult time.
Preplan to give you and your loved ones peace of mind. You can be confident that your final wishes will be met, and your family won’t have to stress over making the right decisions.