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Are you in the 'sandwich generation'?

(9 Posts)
flow4 Sat 18-Jun-11 11:04:22

I'm a single mum who's also recently had to take on caring for my elderly (and now dying) father. There isn't a Mumsnet topic on this yet, but I guess more and more of us are finding ourselves in this 'sandwich generation'. Is there anyone else out there?

I'm blogging about this too: Stuck in the Sandwich It's not always cheery reading, I admit, but there IS humour, honest! You might like to have a look at it if you're in a similar situation.

elastamum Sat 18-Jun-11 11:10:54

I'm sorry for you. I was until the end of last year when my mum was dying of cancer. It is incredibly stressful as you are torn between doing the best for your kids and your parent with little time for yourself. will read your blog. Take care smile

flow4 Sat 18-Jun-11 21:04:40

Thanks elastamum. (Love your name, btw - it perfectly captures how I feel too!) It IS incredibly stressful - I can hardly believe I can keep it all togther some days.
You say your mum died last year... How are you now?

elastamum Sat 18-Jun-11 22:32:08

Am fine thanks. My mum had multiple health issues for a number of years, then she was diagnosed with late stage cancer in sept and died just before Christmas. She was my last surviving parent.

I spent a lot of time with her before she died talking about how we loved each other and what her passing would mean for us both. She was a very brave lady, incredibly open and candid about her dying and that she was at peace and she was happy to go. We had a little party for her 2 days before she died as she thought she would miss her birthday. She said how she wanted things to be and also what she wanted afterwards and we did our best for her. It made a huge difference to me and my brothers to have discusssed her dying with her and we were all with her at home when she went.

I still miss her and feel sad, but she very much wanted us to keep smiling and carry on and thats what we have all tried to do smile

But its tough on everyone and the one thing I learnt was to keep talking and tell them how you feel whilst you can

flow4 Sun 19-Jun-11 11:22:39

I'm glad you're OK elastamum. I agree about the importance of keeping on talking and sharing feelings - my blog is part of that. It's hard sometime though, cos some of the feelings aren't very attractive!

Bandwitch Sun 19-Jun-11 20:54:56

Thank goodness no. My parents had me at a ludicrously young age, well, 24 and 25! sometimes when i'm worn out looking after two young children and I have no money and my m&d are back from another holiday, refreshed and talking about lovely meals, wine, views........ I feel older than they are.

But seriously, that is awful for you. I can't imagine doing any more caring. I can't even look at a puppy and think 'awwww'. I'm too tired!

FeelingOld Sun 19-Jun-11 21:25:43

Flow4 - I can undestand this totally. My parents were 'older' when they had me and i now find myself in a similar position to you. I am a single mum to 2, i work fulltime and i am the main carer (and have been for 4 years) for my dad who has parkinsons disaese and prostate cancer and to my mum who is registered blind. Neither of them can really leave the house without me, fortunately they are able to pay for a cleaner, gardener and for someone to come in and shower/dress my dad 4 times a week.

I have not read your blog yet cos surprisingly i been too busy but i will have a look at it!!

flow4 Sun 19-Jun-11 22:57:37

OMG FeelingOld (and no wonder!! wink) how DO you do it?!?! I only work part-time, and I decided to do this when I just had the kids to look after, not my dad as well, because I couldn't manage it all.
Bandwitch, I know just what you mean about puppies! grin We got a dog 3 years ago and I find myself feeling very unloving towards her, because she's another soul I am responsible for...

FeelingOld Mon 20-Jun-11 10:56:32

How do i do it?...... I have no idea!! Its a constant struggle and it doesn't help that i suffer from insomnia (on a good night i get 4-5 hours sleep, on a bad night i get 1-2 hours). We get by though, we have to. Must admit though that my house is not always as tidy as i would like but you have to compromise sometimes.
Luckily my kids are older, ds is 11 and dd is 16 so they help me care for my parents too, my son can empty and change catheter bags and put my dad to bed and my dd will take my mum out to shops etc.

I do insist however that my brother comes for a few days in August each year (he lives about 100 miles away) and looks after my parents while we get away for a few days.

It is exhausting but my parents did a lot for me when they were able to and now its my turn to look after them. It would be nice to have my brother around to help (although he moans how exhausting it is when he comes for those few days to look after them!!), but while i am able to care for them i will but my dads illness will only get worse so we just take things a day at a time.

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