Friday, March 26, 2010

The Sandwich Generation

Our parents are living longer, we are having children older, which puts us squarely in the middle of caring for children and our parents at the same time. Never has this been so clear to me than it was last week when I was scheduling how to pick up the kids, and get to the hospital to see mom all at the same time. As I headed into the hospital, I found myself with a lady about my same age trying to find an entrance to the hospital. The doors were all locked and we were running from entrance to entrance trying to get it. Our conversation began when I commented on how well she ran in her 4" heals and she laughingly replied "I'm short I've worn them all my life, they are more like appendages than shoes". Once we found our way into the hospital and got on the elevator she asked "Why are you here?". I said my mom was sick. She said "My mom's a hypochondriac. She stubbed her toe and now we are all here". Then she blurted out "This is crazy I am supposed to work all day, care for my mom, my kids, my husband and go through menopause at the same time. IT's CRAZY! We smiled and before I knew it she and her high heals had run off the elevator. I just stood laughing in the elevator at the candor. Yep, that's us the sandwich generation - children on one side, parents on the other.

The good news is my mom is not a hypochondriac. The better news is she is out of the hospital and feeling better. The really good news is that the longer she lives, the longer we have her and the longer my kids get to have the support of their Grandma, something I never had. That's just my perspective and maybe it's because I'm less the husband and menopause.


  1. Yes, I know exactly what you mean, although I was lucky enough to have all four of my grandparents until my mid twenties.

  2. I've got a blog myself that's all about being an active member of the "Sandwich Generation" so you might want to check it out, it's called "The Squashed Bologna: a slice of life in the sandwich generation" and its at I also have a child with autism. Gotta warn you it's a bit heavy right now, as my father just passed away a little over two weeks ago.