How to Bridge the Generational Gap

5 tips to survive and thrive while caring for two generations at once

I don’t like the term sandwich generation. It makes us sound like we are “stuck” in between our parents and our kids. The reality is that so many people would give anything to still have their parents in their lives, so if we get this privilege, it’s important to recognize that.

That being said, life in the centre of two generations—your kids and your parents—still comes with worry, stress, fear and incredible responsibility.

I remember watching my mom juggle her role as a member of the so-called sandwich generation and learning so much from her. If you are reading this, please know that I see you, I hear you and if I could reach out right now and hug you, I would. You are not alone. I understand and I have a few tips I’d like to share.

1. Talk About It

Talking it out is key. Don’t keep everything you’re feeling or experiencing inside. It’s proven that when we share what is bothering us with friends
or loved ones, our serotonin levels rise making us feel better. Insight from those who have your best interest at heart is gold.

2. Get Support

Find a really great support group, counselor or therapist. I equate this to getting the tools needed to tackle life. As life evolves and emotions get wrapped up in that evolution, we all need tools to help us navigate. Raw emotion can lead us down the wrong path and having a well-equipped toolbox with a good therapist is like a beacon in the night.

3. Plan Ahead

Talk to your parents about what their wishes are. Talk about the worst-case scenarios and know what everyone is comfortable with. Investigate what government help is available for you before you need it so you know what to tap into and when.

4. Take a Breather 

Be kind to yourself and make time for you. It doesn’t have to be an expensive spa weekend. Enjoy something simple like a bath and movie alone from time to time. Every little bit helps. P.S. That means without technology!

5. Be in the Moment

Make the most of these days, as hard as they may be. I guarantee that one day you will look back on these hard days and want them back.

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About the Author

Cheryl Hickey

Cheryl Hickey

Family first that is how it is, how it was and always will be. Who am I? Well good question! Like most people I battle that question from time to time. To make it short and sweet I have been in many of your homes all across Canada over the years from working in news, […]

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