By: Luscious Mother
It’s Sheila Storrer here this week, another of the Luscious Mother founders, with a slightly different perspective than usual: Are you “sandwiched” between caring for your kids and supporting your aging parents? Well, welcome to the Sandwich Generation, a generation of adults who are simultaneously taking care of their young kids and their aging parents while also trying desperately to carve out some time for themselves.
Now that we’re having kids later and people are living longer, the Sandwich Generation is growing like crazy and members experience high rates of stress, depression and burnout. And, no surprise here: women are often the ones to take the brunt of the added burden – financially, emotionally and physically – without a lot of support.
You already know that at Luscious Mother, we’re all about support so obviously we jumped at the chance to work with Jen Olin of The Ivey when she asked Elena and me to pitch in on her Parenting Up|Parenting Down podcast. Every episode is chock full of golden nuggets of wisdom and support for those of us juggling generations.
This project is near and dear to my heart because I first became the bacon, lettuce, and tomato in my own family sandwich two decades ago, and back then no one was having conversations that reflected my reality. I was a new mom with an infant and a toddler, my mother had a chronic illness and her health was declining, and my dad was providing all of her care. I was flying back and forth between the West Coast and Chicago to pitch in as much as possible.
When I tried to talk about it, people would often minimize my experience by scrunching up their faces and feeling sorry for me while adding how lucky they were that their parents were healthy. Or they’d say super unhelpful things like, “thank God for airplanes.” Right, because who doesn’t love a five-hour flight solo with a six-month-old and a two-year-old while being harassed by a flight attendant for nursing your screaming baby during takeoff?
Imagine the relief I felt the day I heard someone on NPR describing the Sandwich Generation and the stress it causes. Having this phenomenon named and labeled was beyond freeing. I even called my dad to tell him about my special club and this gave him more compassion for my experience. From then on when I called him, he’d answer the phone, “Hi, is this the Sandwich Generation?”
This podcast is what I wish I had had during those heavy days. Something to tune in to for a dose of support and acknowledgement. I hope it’s the same for you. Pop in your earbuds and take a listen—some of our favorite episodes are linked below. We’d love to know what you think.
From my Luscious sandwich counter to your
PS: Have an idea for a guest? Drop us an email. We’re always on the lookout for new sandwich fillings!
Want more? Here are some other blog posts you might be interested in.