If you care for an elderly parent and your children at the same time, you are not alone. Although hard figures are hard to come by, it is estimated that 25 percent of Americans who care for kids under the age of 18 also care for at least one elderly parent. As you know, this situation can be stressful and even feel overwhelming at times. You need to look for ways to make handling the pressure of both duties without losing your mind. Here are some tips you can use to take care of elderly parents and children at the same time.
1. Learn How to Breathe
One of the most important skills you can learn to avoid being overwhelmed is how to relax with deep breathing. It is all too common for something minor to be the breaking point that sends you off the deep end. This happens because you let your stress until you snap. Even though the incident is minor, it makes you snap before you have a chance to realize it something not worth getting worked up about.
To avoid this happening, you need to learn how to relax whenever something goes wrong. Anytime you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, simply take a minute to relax with some deep breathing. Even just a few deep breaths can allow you to calm down enough to carry on with your duties without snapping.
2. Realize You Are Doing the Best You Can
Taking care of your parents, children, work and social responsibilities is a lot to ask of one person. Even with a spouse to help, you still face more challenges than anyone should have to. When you have so many responsibilities, it is easy to feel like you are not handling any of them as well as you should be. Don’t ever believe this feeling if you have it. You know that you are working incredibly hard to do the best you can. Don’t ever let yourself feel guilty. Learn to accept that you are handling things as capably as possible.
3. Learn to Accept Help
There is no room for foolish pride when you have so many responsibilities in your life. You cannot be too proud to accept help when it is offered. If you have family or friends who offer to give you a night off, gladly take them up on it. If you really want to make the situation easier to handle, you should turn to home care packages to help you out. Home care workers greatly ease your burden and reduce the stress of caring for both elderly parents and children at the same time.
4. Take Care of Yourself
One of the reasons it is so important to accept help is to avoid getting burnt out. If you wear yourself to a frazzle caring for your kids and your parent, then you might get sick. This will make you unable to take care of anyone, including yourself. To prevent this, always make sure to make time for yourself. Give yourself time each day to exercise, meditate and do all the other activities that make you feel healthy and happy. Reducing your stress by taking time for yourself will make you a better caregiver.
If you follow these four tips, you will find it is possible to keep your sanity while caring for children and elderly parents at the same time. Be patient and do the best you can. Just make sure that you don’t skip the part about caring for yourself. Keeping yourself in good shape will allow you to do the same for your loved ones.