Guest Post: Dual Parenting- How to Balance Children and Older Parents By: Health Writer, Mary Albert
Being a mother is always an amazing experience, even though it can be stressful at times. For some of us, our parents are getting to the age where they need a little more help and assistance in their daily lives. This can put anyone in a compromising position where they need to play a dual role as a caregiver, and can be very stressful if you're not really prepared or ready for what you are getting involved with. To help find the balance between maintaining your own family and helping your own parent(s), here are some tips:
-Don't move your parent into your house if you do not get along well. While it might seem like the most efficient solution, it will create unbearable tension in the home and make things even more stressful. Some people don't have great relationships, and there are still ways that you can help your parents without having them under your roof if it doesn't work for you.
-Make sure that your children don't feel the brunt of your stress. It can be difficult taking care of two different situations at once, but you need to stay focused as a mom and give your kids the support and love that they need. If mom is always tired from helping grandma, the kids are going to get discouraged and miss out on the attention that they need to thrive.
-Consider things like medical alert systems. These devices can offer your parent the chance to maintain their independence and you will both have the peace of mind that you deserve in knowing that they are protected in their own home. There are plenty of other aids and supportive tools that are available to older adults that can assist with independence so that they don't need as much help from people.
-Talk to your parents and kids before making any changes. With your parent, you need to figure out what is best for their specific needs. Sometimes, they will have a strong opinion and other times they will seem apathetic about what happens. Either way, you need to work together to find a solution. With your children, you need to make sure that they know what is going on and that your helping a parent isn't going to cause them to miss anything. They cherish their time and attention from you. You need to make sure that you show them that it isn't going anywhere.
Taking on the dual role as a caregiver can be stressful for anyone. If, however, you take the time to prepare yourself and make sure that everyone is on the same page, it can be a lot easier. Your parents need you, almost as much as your children do, and it is going to be up to you to help them enjoy the rest of their life without feeling like a burden. With these tips, you should find it a little easier to do.
Mary Albert is a health advocate and blogger for Lifestyle Health Guide. She writes regularly on topics like health and wellness, elderly safety, and medical alert systems.
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