I’ve discovered just what being sandwiched between children and parents means. I quickly, almost a month ago, packed my bags and got my house in order to leave two adult children in NY while I flew to California. My mother is ill and I am helping with her care at the moment.
I have spent the time here in California crushing pills, making dinners, running and swimming. The last two are for my own sanity and benefit. The first two are for my mother’s and my step father’s benefits.
While this would be slightly easier if we all lived on one coast, I am still not sure this would be easy by any means. I do not know how people who spend months and years caring for an ailing, or simply elderly, parent manage to maintain their own life. How does this balance work?
When my children were little, the balance issue was between work, housework and child rearing. If I managed me time in there, or us time when I was married or in a relationship, that was a bonus. Now my children are grown but two still live with me. I am toying with getting a storage unit and getting a lot of stuff out of my house I rent in the east. This way house upkeep will be easier whether it is me doing it or the two adult children.
I will soon be flying back to the east coast. I will stay back east for a month or two. I have an October, east coast marathon on the books. I am not sure if I will fly back west before or after the marathon. I will be back out west for an extended period at some time, though.
How do you help parents when they want to remain independent yet need assistance? How do you balance family/personal needs with parental needs?