Now I Know What is Meant by the 'Sandwiched Generation'

Now I know what is meant by the 'Sandwiched Generation'. I thought I knew before; however, as I was lying in bed frustrated to tears because my son and his friends were up at 3am while my 90 year old mother was sleeping in the room above them; I realized what it meant to be sandwiched; dealing with the emotions that come with caring for my children and my parent.

"But it has never been a problem before" Jacob reminds me. "We'll be more aware and try to be more quiet. Has Grandma said anything?" "No", I admitted, "she said she can't hear a thing, and she's been sleeping fine." Jacob looks at me funny and asks "then is there a problem?"

Truthfully there was no real problem. The problem was that I hadn't slept in two days because I was afraid Mom was going to hear the boys coming and going. I was the one who wasn't sleeping, I was the one who was having the problem. The solution was an easy one it was called 'ear plugs'.

My mom moved in with us, at my invitation, at the beginning of the month. She's 90 years old, in great health and has a clear mind, more so than most anyone I know. She's adjusting well, and other than a few moments of emotional ups and downs, she's happy and thriving. When asked if she's glad she made the move she answers yes with no hesitation. 

I'm so happy to have her here with us and I think it's going to be great. She's very easy to be around; the button pushing between mother and daughter dissolved long ago, okay not so long ago, but it has dissolved. It only bothered me a little bit when she told me I needed to exercise more. (Thank God she told me that because I wasn't aware.) Other than that I haven't been bothered at all by anything she's done or said.


Mom's name is Cleone. Cleone is one of the more amazing people in my life. I love and admire her for the life she's lived. She has always worked hard. In her 80's she was still working; she was a caregiver, taking care of 'older' ladies. The women she has cared for over the years have been important to Mom. She loved each one of them and her life has been enriched by the friendships. 

I'm grateful to have this opportunity to be close to Mom and spend time with her. There are a whole lot of lessons I have yet to learn from her. In fact, just the other day, I learned how to tuck sheets army style. Who knew that all these years I've been doing it wrong. Seriously though, I'm going to learn from her character, her experience and her love. I have been given an opportunity to be close to my mom while she is still able to enjoy life and laugh everyday. 

As for my children; they have their own lessons to learn. Jacob is no longer a child and is perfectly able to make life's decisions and take on the responsibilities of adulthood. Paul and Katie have both launched successful careers and have relationships that are healthy, strong and full of goodness. So as far as being sandwiched; I believe I am sitting between two damn good slices of the best bread ever made. 

I'm in good company with Suzie, the love of my life, who has been sandwiched right along with me. She's been through all of the ups and downs. She's encouraged me and supported me in every decision and effort. 

So yes, I am sandwiched, and I am finding it quite an amazing journey so far.

8 comments:

  1. "Thank God she told me that because I wasn't aware." --LOL
    She sounds amazing!

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    1. Thanks Donna, she is amazing. I think we're in for an adventure.

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  2. While your mom and your children are amazing "slices" in your sandwich, I think you and Suzie are the "ham and cheese" that give it substance.

    Thanks for your thoughts. I hadn't realized before that the sandwiching process begins earlier in our lives than we may want. I can only hope to have as great a sandwich in my "later" years.

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    1. Thanks Landis.
      Thanks for using 'ham' and not 'bologna'. lol

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  3. You make me smile - in fact you make the world smile !!!

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    1. :o)
      I'm glad I can still make you smile.

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  4. With each day, my own mom becomes more important. I know there is a limited stay here and I'm so grateful to have her here. It is so wonderful you have your mom with you and are keeping an eye on her. I know they are so strong and yet getting a bit more fragil. All the old stuff of my youth with my mom seems like a shadow and is replaced with the love and appreciation I have for her. It's so great to be an adult that I can just notice when old feelings arise and release them so easily. Your love and laughter is such an asset in all your relationships so I know you have a very rich and wonderful experience with your family ahead.

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    1. Noanie, Thanks for your kind words and perfect description of how all the 'old stuff' seems just like a shadow.

      Hope all is going well for you miss you.

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