The Meat in the Sandwich.

Are you in the Sandwich Generation?

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With two kids in college and two parents starting to need me to check in on them every day, I feel like the meat in the sandwich.

The days whiz by, and I barely have time for myself, since I work at a full-time job, as well. When the kids went off to school, I thought that some of my time would be freed up for breathing room. Before I could turn around, mom took a fall and broke her hip. Then I had to take dad’s car keys away, because he couldn’t find his way back to the house one day, and now I have to take him to see mom at the rehab center every day.

That’s only the beginning, because now I have what has essentially become a second full-time job; shopping, cooking and cleaning for mom and dad, as well as overseeing their doctor’s appointments, medications and bill payments. My husband is a saint, just standing by supporting me, but we have become two ships that pass in the night. I look in the mirror every day and just feel like the meat in the sandwich.

Then one day, while I was at dad’s doctor, I started reading about senior living communities and how they can take the burden of micromanaging day-to-day care off the shoulders of the adult kids. Hmmm…maybe there is something to that? What if mom and dad moved to a community where they could have their meals prepared, their laundry done for them, housekeeping, transportation to shopping and the doctor, help with their medications and even a social life? Life has gotten so lonely for them at home now that many of their friends have passed away.

Suddenly, I feel such a sense of relief that there may be a solution other than my giving up my personal life to oversee my parents’ routine. It may be hard for them at first, but then we could have quality time together when I visit and I could look forward to my time with them, rather than feeling anxious that I have to squeeze their care into an already burdened schedule. I feel so good now and I can’t wait to talk with mom and dad…I know they’ll understand when I explain how hard it has become while being crammed inside the sandwich!

Originally published at

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