Raising kids and taking care of elderly parents at the same time is one of the toughest challenges that one could ever encounter. It’s not just about the tasks that you’ll face but also about the fact that these things involve people that you care the most about. This is what makes prioritizing and making choices even more difficult and may even leave you to feel bad even when you’ve done everything right. So, here are six vital steps to help you make it through this period.
Get everyone to work as a team
Just because these are people who need your care, it doesn’t mean that they can’t spend some quality time together and even work together to improve everyone’s lifestyle. Your parents can help you raise your kids and spending some time socializing with their grandchildren is always a welcome experience. As for your kids, there are so many chores around the house that they can help you with, in order to get at least a part of this burden off your shoulders. Keep in mind that this will also give your kids a chance to become more responsible, which is a valuable life lesson for them to learn.
Ensure that it’s a suitable home for everyone
One of the easiest ways to avoid having to chaperone your kids and your elderly all the time is to make your home safe and accessible. Look at it this way, it’s not like anyone feels pleasant when they need your assistance but sometimes there’s just no way around it. Therefore, one of your first goals needs to be to reduce the number of these scenarios. As for your kids, safety comes first and by making your home into a safe space, you’re going to maximize the amount of time that you can leave them unattended. Keep in mind that even the youngest of kids can benefit from some privacy.
Put their needs before your desires
When it comes to your elderly parents, you might feel like it’s your duty to take care of them or just feel like it’s the right thing to do and that it’s your duty and responsibility. However, you need to put yourself aside and ask – what’s best for them? For instance, there are a lot of great retirement villages for you to consider, where they would have access to professional medical care but also a chance to have a normal social life. Company of peers is something that is not to be underestimated at any point in one’s life. Other than this, there’s usually a plethora of activities out there for them to pursue, which is another major plus.
Talk your way towards the solution
The conversation is the factor that will determine whether someone in your family feels neglected or not. Think about it, it only takes a couple of minutes for you to ask how someone’s day was and, in the long run, this might make a difference. The worst thing you can do while raising your kids is to lose the habit of talking to them and wanting to know what’s going on in their lives. This is something that takes practice which is why you should do it every single day. For you, it might also become a major respite from your daily worries.
Accept help wherever you can
One of the biggest mistakes that a lot of people in this situation make is a scenario where they just won’t accept help when it’s offered to them. You don’t have to do it all alone and if you have siblings, it’s completely fine to share responsibility for a parent. If a coworker offers to stay an hour longer so that you can be home in time, accept it and find a way to thank them later on. Accepting help doesn’t make you look weak or dependable and surrounding yourself with people who are going to be there for you is actually the only way for you to have a normal life under these circumstances.
Find an exhaust vent
One of the things that not a lot of people tell you is that you have to have some me-time. Even though you’re needed everywhere, the thing is that it’s a lot easier for you to burn out than you think and, when this happens, you won’t be able to be of assistance to anyone. Sure, free time is going to be a luxury but it’s a luxury that you need to use well. Therefore, start prioritizing and make a list of things that you really, really, really want to do next. So, when the time comes that you do have this free time, you can just spring into action.
Finally, no matter how hard it is at the moment, there will come a time when these moments will become a cherished memory. Parents die and children grow up and leave your household sooner than you expect, which means that it won’t be long until you start longing for this arduous period in your life. Therefore, the best piece of advice that you could receive on this topic is to cherish these moments while they last. Sure, it’s hard to enjoy moments during which you’re overworked and exhausted but it’s really all you’ve got.