In your head, it might be just you and your partner looking after your children. But as you get older, you’ll realize there’s another factor in the equation: your parents, and specifically, the problems they’ll encounter as a routine part of growing older. While you won’t suddenly become parents to both your children and your mother and father, there will be an element of “looking after them” that you’ll need to factor into your schedule. It might be some time off, but it’s always worth considering how you’ll navigate this scenario when it arises. Below, we take a look at a few ways you can do your duty and ensure everyone’s happy, including you.
Setting the Priorities
You’ve got a lot on your plate as it is. Between maintaining your home, making sure your children have everything they need, and staying on top of your job, you don’t have all that much time to dedicate to other factors. This is why you’ll need to rethink how you think about your parents. They shouldn’t be an additional task on top of an already busy workload; they should be a priority. If you’re dedicated to making sure that your parents can live their later years to the full, then you’ll find the time.
Laying the Ground Rules
With that being said, you won’t be able to drop everything to be on call for your parents. You have other responsibilities, and while your friend and job can take a backseat for a while, your responsibility to your children will continue to take precedence. As such, it’s a good idea to establish a rota of care, which you can split between you, your partner, and your siblings. That way, everyone can pull their weight and nobody – not your children or your parents – needs to be left behind.
Getting Help For Your Parents
There may come a time when the pressure of juggling all your responsibilities becomes too much. At that time, you should begin looking at outside sources of help, especially if your parent’s health and mobility are beginning to decline. You can get professional caregivers to check in from time to time, or move your mother and father into assisted living facilities so that they’re able to get all the help they need onsite. Doing so will give them the best care available to them, but also, crucially, give you a break from the stress of looking after them.
In the middle of all this, it’s important to remember that your grandparents will still want a relationship with your children, and vice versa. How you facilitate this will depend on the overall health condition of both your parents, but if there’s a will, there’s a way. Spending the day with the family on a trip, having dinner, or just spending time together will remind you what being a family is all about!
It’s not easy to juggle your parents and children, but by taking your time and thinking about your options, you can make sure it benefits everyone.