My husband, Sean and I are considered the “sandwich generation”. Our children still require assistance and guidance in their schoolwork, we are involved in their boy scouts, sports teams, youth group, etc. And…we drive them there. Our parents range from 75 to late 80’s so we are assisting them when needed. Recently, my father-in-law suffered a severe infection with complications resulting in his being in and out of the hospital, a step-down rehab facility and finally, trying to regain independence in his own home which is becoming increasingly difficult.
During this time, my parents moved out of the home I grew up in and required some assistance with settling in and whatnot. I’m so very thankful that my parents had the foresight to plan for this major move and they are in decent enough health to pull it off without a hitch. They are now with friends in an over-55 community and will be more comfortable in the future. My boys have even enjoyed helping their grandparents.
Unfortunately, I’ve had some stressful evenings holding down the fort alone. The past couple of months has, indeed, been a season of adjustment for our family. I’m proud of how my kids have stepped up and I know this is our new normal. I have found thanksgiving in that my husband is from a big family and responsibilities are shared among many siblings and in-laws. I am also very blessed that my parents are still relatively independent and were proactive in their planning for the future.
I can see how, without support, one’s identity could easily morph into that of chief caretaker of all around them, yet not of themselves. I’ve also realized that now is a critical time to nurture my own marriage as well as my friendships which sadly, have gone to the wayside. My reflection on His word has suffered as well. John 15:5 states, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” It only took the deadline of a blog to realize how out of touch I was with Jesus. I know He is holding our family close right now, the least I could do is give Him some more of my time.