Sunday, March 30, 2008

Family Squeeze

I may have mentioned that my mom is in an Assisted Living 5 minutes from my house, and I am the one responsible for her care. My FIL has Alzheimer's which has recently been complicated by falls and resulted in my MIL making the hard decision to move him into a facility where he can receive more care than she can provide at home. My man spent a couple of weeks down there in January helping out, and it continues to be a source of stress for us.


With our children still in their growing years, we are in the throes of what is known as The Sandwich Generation: adults caught between two generations, caring for our parents at the same time that we are caring for our children.


Interesting that it's called a Sandwich - that brings to mind a vision of two soft and pliable pieces of bread on either side. I think it should be called a Vise, as some days I feel like each inflexible side is pressing in until I'm going to be squeezed to death!

Some of you may relate as you are in this same situation.


I just received this marvelous new book by Phil Callaway called The Family Squeeze: Tales of Hope and Hilarity for a Sandwiched Generation.


He has absolutely nailed this whole situation! I love how he sums up this station in life in the first chapter: ". . . wedged between the demands of elderly dependents and energetic teens -- neither of whom think you know too much." Yep, that pretty well describes it! Some days I can't please either end of the spectrum!


But even more importantly, he has given it an eternal perspective and a reminder of the hope that God's presence brings in the midst of what can be a very frustrating time.


He made me laugh. And he made me think. And he reminded me to be thankful for the opportunity to honor our parents in their last days. And "to form each and every decision in light of eternity, mindful that our lives pass quickly but decisions made here last forever." [from the Epilogue]


Because I have enjoyed this book so much, (and ahem, since I myself have benefited from several giveaways!) I purchased an additional copy of this book which I would love to pass along to one of you, especially if you are in this Sandwich Generation. Just leave me a comment by 2:00 p.m. CDT Wed. (April 2), and I will draw that evening. Please feel free to let others know about this by linking to this post on your website as well.


May each of us turn our squeeze into a hug with God's help!


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23 comments:

Deb said...

Oh Linda I have been there done that, and my heart goes out to you. I helped care for and lost both my parents to cancer, I do not need this book but I will post about it on my blog, One day at a time my friend:)
love ya,
Deb

Connie@Little Red Hearts From God said...

I'm so sorry.. I know how difficult this is... just went through this with my dad.. and lost in in January..

but I heard about the book and know it good..

I know of plenty of families and would pass it on...

what a precious thing for you to do...

God bless you

Xandra said...

I can imagine how it must feel like a vise sometimes. It must be hard to be patient and compassionate in every situation.

I am not in that situation (yet), but I will keep the title of that book in mind for future reference.

Keeping you in my prayers....

Xandra

eph2810 said...

Since I am far removed from my Mom (my dad passed away 17 years ago *sigh*), I don't feel the stress, but I know my sister does. I have talked often to my mom about her moving here to the states, but she would be so out place...
Sounds like a great encouraging book.

Natalie said...

I have witnessed my parent's being the care providers for my grandparents. Such patience and endurance is demanded and tested. It is a ministry in itself.

A Stone Gatherer said...

Oh boy am I there right now! I could use a little laughter and scripture to get me through! My mother is home, but has a pic line in for anitbiotics. I am heading off to her house today! Our oldest who is only 11 has made some bad choices this weekend so we are dealing with that too! Can you throw in a night to myself, or is that so incredlibly selfish that I should slap myself! Gotta go! Thanks for the giveaway!

Chris @ Come to the Table said...

I am not there yet with my own parents or in-laws, but my own kids may need this book someday! :)

e-Mom said...

We're there too. I'd love to read this book! Please put my name in your drawing.

Blessings, e-Mom @ Chrysalis

Kelli said...

Linda,

My situation is similar but different, as I am dealing with my father as an alcoholic. I spent this past weekend consumed with this situation. We live a couple of states away from one another, so I am challenged in helping. Is there hope in that book for people like me?

Kelli

Digging for Pearls said...

If you have a few minutes, I would love your input on my blog in regards to the ten struggles that Christian women face. Thank you!

Mocha with Linda said...

Kelli,
I think this book would benefit you. The thing that struck me is that it's not so much about what my mom does or how she acts (she's my struggle), but rather what I do.

So even though your situation is somewhat different, you are still dealing with this on some level.

And the really convicting thing is that, since our kids are still at home, we are living it out right in front of them, modelling the care that they will then be giving us one day! That really pricked me, and although I've tried to be careful, I have vented waaaaay too much in front of my kids about how she exasperates me.

sara said...

I just visited my parents, who live in a different state, and they sat me down to let me know that when the time comes, they are willing to move to be near me so that I can care for them. It was a hard conversation but I am so thankful that we had it! And also thankful that they see that I can't provide the care they would want from states away. I am entering the "sandwich"...I think we are just starting to make it...so this book would be helpful!

sara

Angie said...

Yeah! Sounds like a book I need to read...but more than that---my sister needs!!! (dealing with teens part)---as we deal with the "parent issues :)
Count me in!
Thank you Linda for your kind comment on my CWO Cafe post! I had been out of town and was running like crazy to get it posted this morning!!! Whew!

Sarah said...

I am praying for you today as you live in the sandwich :) Great Post!

The Preacher's Wife said...

Caregiving is so demanding isn't it? And to be giving it coming and going has absolutely go to suck the life out of you on some days. I loved your remark in the comments about modeling caregiving for your children. That is really the only way you can survive this season is to consider it ministry, huh?

Well, friend. I have no doubt you are laying up some mighty fine treasure. Hang in there and know there is a girl in Alabama praying for endurance and perseverance on your behalf.

Love ya,

Lisa

Tina said...

I just happened to stop by your blog from a link from another. This looks like a great book. I have a friend who really needs to read it... and I'm afraid I'm right behind her. I am going to suggest it. Thanks for the info!

samismom22 said...

You are so gracious to give this away! :) Count me in! I am not there yet, but I see it coming on the horizon. Health problems are a brewing with my parents and in-laws.
It's a crazy life we live, thank goodness we can walk with Jesus!

I am enjoying your blog, and your comments on my blog! Glad we "found" each other. :)
~Sandy

Rhonda said...

Linda, please enter me in your draw!!
My dad was diagnosed almost three years ago with alzheimers. My mom is only 64, but is wanting to be taken care of - Really!! My brother & sister are neither in a position to help financially - at all. I feel I'm headed in the direction that you are in the midst of.

Send me extra grace Lord!

Linda said...

I could really use this book; please enter me!

Denise said...

I do not have children at home but I have my Mom 88 and my Dad 90 in a small house right outside my back door........ I have just been DX with a bad back and am working hard to stay out of surgery... I own my own business and it is in my converted garage and some days I want to run away.... I have to care for both the parents with very little help and I have to pray every day for strength to get it all done... I am 61 and somedays I just want someone to care for me........ahahah My DH is wonderful and helps me out a LOT.... I will look for that book

DeeDee said...

Dear Linda, while looking at a friends blog I caght your's...I will be praying for you and your husband thru this time w/parents. Heaven knows the teen years are hard all by themselves....(smiles)
I can tell you that the teen years get better as they grow older...but I understand that the senior years do not.
God's word will be your sufficiency! Claim it Sista...
JOY, DeeDee

Faith said...

Please enter me in this book giveaway. You are the 2nd person this week to recommend it!
I am not there yet (although both sets of parents/inlaws are in their early 70's). my father in law has had some issues though and we don't live near either set of parents. It is hard at times. I worry most about my inlaws souls though....neither one of them are born again. My parents are though for which I am thankful!

sherry said...

I would love to be in the drawing for the book, thanks