Whether you share the same roof with your elderly parents or not, while raising kids at the same time, it can be really tough and challenging. You have to balance between both worlds since they all need your support and depend on you. Although it’s sometimes impossible to manage everything at once, especially with a full-time job, you can make a compromise in order to comfort both sides and make everyone’s life easier. Here are some tips on how you can handle this situation and come out as a winner.
Teach your children manners
If your parents live alone, accustom your children to visit them often and help them with chores. They will appreciate their company, and the fact that they actually care for them will make their hearts swell with happiness. This way, you are on the right path to raising good people, just like your parents wanted you to be when you grow up. Elderly people can sometimes be a little bit annoying while retelling the same stories, for which you don’t have time to hear all over again. They often complain about every little thing, and due to a huge age gap, you can’t reach an agreement. Take a deep breath, let them be and don’t try to change them. Arguing with them will make you feel bad since they are old and get upset easily. But, you must teach your children to always listen and avoid confronting them, just out of respect. Grandparents can be fun too, and you can always suggest playing board games, which will bring them together. On the other hand, hiring a part-time nanny won’t make you a terrible mother, so whenever the time allows, you can go and visit them instead.
Don’t hesitate to seek extra help
Assuming that your kids are grown enough, maybe they can make breakfast or lunch for your parents while you are at work. If no one is at home to do that, and your parents need constant care, you can politely ask your close friends to do the grocery shopping and prepare them a quick meal. And if all this burdens you, maybe it’s best to seek flexible aged care services because you need some rest, as well. These institutions offer their residents to design their own daily routine, providing them the freedom to wake up or dine whenever they want, and there are registered nurses on hand 24/7. Also, the elderly are allowed to choose their own food menus and decide on which activities they want to participate in. Although it might be tough at first not to have your parents at home, you can be sure you’ve left them in good hands, and you can finally have some time to satisfy your own needs.
Balance is important
If the doctor’s appointment and a school play happen to be on the same day, don’t hesitate to ask your husband or someone from the family to complete one task. If they truly understand the severity of the situation, they will help you no matter what.
Make your home safe and accessible
If your parents live with you, try to ease their daily activities while you are at work. Make sure that the main bathroom is near their bedroom, so they won’t have to walk a long distance to use the toilet during the day or night. Even better, if you and your spouse are financially able to, you can build an auxiliary bathroom with a walk-in shower with handlers and a shower chair. Just make sure that the bath mats are slip-proof so they won’t slip and fall. Purchase them a mobile phone so they can call you and the other family members whenever it’s urgent. Ask your children to teach them the basics because I’m sure they would be pleased to help their loving grandparents with new technology.
As much as we enjoy seeing our kids growing and developing, we often tend to forget that our parents are growing old too, and they won’t be here forever. No matter how hard it is to even think about our once healthy and strong parents barely moving and slowly losing their memory, we have to accept the fact that it’s a natural flow of life and we can’t change what is meant to be.