The Sandwich Generation

When I picked up the phone, I was going to say I was too busy to come. I had things to do at home; the dishwasher needed to be emptied and filled again, the laundry needed to be folded, paperwork needed to be done. But when she said, “Come on over! Some of the other moms just got here and I just put the sandwiches in the oven!” I couldn’t say no. Instead, I told her that Emmy and I would be right over.

I know this group of moms enough to say hi to; enough to talk about the newest grocery store in town and how it’s saving us money; enough to talk about the ballet recital our daughters are in together. All this talk takes place in passing, as we’re picking up our children from school or as we run into each other while shopping.

Sitting down to lunch with these women gave us time to share more about each other. We talked about our stubborn kids, sleepovers, and school. We talked about our parents, about how they were getting older. One’s mother-in-law was in a wheelchair after a stroke. Another one’s father is dealing with dementia and Parkinson’s. We talked about how we truly are the sandwich generation. We are taking care of our parents while also taking care of our young children.

These women go about their daily lives, taking their children to school and washing a load of laundry and taking their daughters to ballet lessons and going grocery shopping and preparing dinner. And in between all that, they take care of their parents who need them.

These women are inspirational. That simple lunch showed me the bigger picture.

Simple BPM

Technically, I’m not a part of this sandwich generation. I really admire those women who are. Dad was Mom’s caregiver until she died. He’s very healthy, and I hope he stays that way for many more years. In a way, however, I hope that I am taking care of him through my love and support of all that he does.

I’m continuing my posts for Women’s History Month by writing about inspirational women. For more simple moments that show the bigger picture, visit Alita today.

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14 Responses to The Sandwich Generation

  1. I'm so glad you made the time to go over for sandwiches! I heart sandwiches! But also, it was a way for God to show His love to you through others (regardless of whether or not they are Christians). We have been talking about being generous with our time in church and it is sometimes harder to part with my time than it is with my money (of course, I should be generous with that too!). Good for you for going the Mary route instead of the Martha route!

  2. Ginny, I think you are taking care of your dad now through your love and support. Care giving doesn't just mean end of life care. I've been part of this sandwich generation as well, but really I think it's always been that way. We just like to label everything now days. And I think it's great whenever women get together to support each other; in person, online, on the phone, whatever means get the job done.

  3. I really enjoyed reading this post. It is encouraging to read about women who are doing so much to help others. Strong, kind women. Love them.Glad you went to the lunch – sounds like it was a blessing to you.

  4. This is a wonderful reminder of why it's so important to show up face-to-face and bond/connect with the women in our lives. You may not be going through exactly what they are, but you can bet you'll have a deeper appreciation for and understand of life in general.

  5. Thankfully I am not in this situation. I hope I can say that for many many years to come. I have friends who are there, and yes, it looks so difficult. Very sweet post to recognize these women.

  6. Ginny, such a lovely tribute to strong women!I am not their yet, but will probably be soon. Thank you for sharing your story with us!

  7. Ginny, I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with this one. Sort of. Your friends ARE taking care of children and parents, but I disagree that we are a sandwhich "generation", or for that fact, a sandwhich culture. These days, we have nursing homes and meals on wheels etc and generally our elderly don't live with us. In India for example, many generations all live together in the same home, it's just how it is. In western cultures, it's the exception not the norm. Yes, some families are doing it, but to give the whole generation that description I find is disrespectful to those who really are doing it. And it deserves respect. I think it should also happen more often in the western cultures. If our teenagers saw first hand their own grandmother or grandfather who played with them as young children, have problems like dementia or even arthritis, then they would be less inclined to victimise the elderly because they would understand that their vulnerability doesn't just make them "easy targets", but it also makes them in need of our assistance and respect.

  8. I guess I have never really paid attention to that term. My mother passed 29 years ago yesterday. My father is in good health but also lives far away from me. I did help my aunt out for two years after her husband passed away.

  9. I had a play date with a friend today and for about 30 minutes we left the 2 girls with my husband while we made lunch and I have to admit that it was such a great half hour. It's so important to make girl time sometimes and actually sit and have a conversation. It does make you realize that everyone is going through their own things and you can find inspiration in just about anyone. I've never heard of the term 'sandwich generation' before but I know how it feels to take care of a parent and, for a few short months, I also had Abby to take care of. I am in awe of people who seem to do it so effortlessly!

  10. Ginny, what a bigger picture moment — to remember, come along side those who are doing dual caring. I think I have my hands full caring for kids? I don't think I know the meaning of full hands after realizing what others are doing. {Also, good for you for going ot lunch at the drop of a hat to break bread with other women you know!}

  11. There are so many in this sandwich generation, while raising teens and being grandparents themselves. Blessings to all that are taking care of their parents.I also love your women's group…so many don't have time for that and it really does get you through the seasons of life…women friends!

  12. I'm really thinking about posting about how important it is for women to get together. We just seem to be made this way! Good for you, there's always dishes and laundry to be done! Those things are not going anywhere! šŸ˜‰

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