Over the past year I’ve come to really understand the sandwich generation and the impact being in the middle of it can have on your business and your life.
We’ve heard about it for years. With the mass of the population getting older and living longer along and with baby boomers and generation X having kids later in life we’d likely find ourselves in a situation where we’d be caring for our kids and our parents at the same time.
The Sandwich Generation!
My first experience of it came years ago when my mother faced terminal cancer and both she and my dad needed support. At the time my business was not fully developed so creating freedom in my day was pretty easy. I was grateful to be able to be there for my mom and to help out my dad during that tough time. No resulting burnout. Work life balance was totally in check. But that was then and this is now.
Now my dad’s health is in decline and it’s a completely different experience. My mom could rely on my dad when she was ill. My dad doesn’t have that support so he needs to rely on his kids. True sandwich generation. My sisters and I have all stepped up to support dad each step of the way so far but it hasn’t been easy.
It can have a significant impact on ones entrepreneurial freedom as a business owner. Living in the sandwich generation necessitates redefining ones work life balance for the foreseeable future.
For some this can pose significant challenges to time, energy, and ability to focus on work while remaining productive and profitable. It can leave you feeling like you are needing to decide between work and your family. It can also leave you feeling like you must, at least temporarily, choose between supporting your parents or your kids. Maybe not both.
Burnout can become very real. Stress can mount. Being in the middle of the sandwich generation can severely limit your entrepreneurial freedom.
Right now stop and think for a moment. How prepared are you to step into this role should something happen today to your parent leaving them needing your support?
Like I said we’ve heard about this for years. We all may face it at some point. If you take the time to design your business such that you have freedom in it to focus on what you are best at and love most AND you develop the systems and support to allow you freedom from your business when you want or need it most you can embrace this time with your loved ones with little stress, no burnout, and no regret.
Even though my business is set to allow me that freedom there are still challenges that arise. As I live my experience in the sandwich generation I’ll write more about it. I hope my experience and insight can help you when the time arises in your life but if you need some help along the way please contact me. It’s what I do!