June . . . weddings, graduations, and Father\’s Day. Days of joy for you and your family. But as a Baby Boomer woman, do you find yourself once again sandwiched between celebration and obligation? If so, perhaps it\’s time to invite others into your sandwich!
When I visited my mother in the nursing home on Mother\’s Day, there were a lot of women who, like me, were visiting alone. Many of them told me that they were visiting their mothers and mothers-in-laws before going home to their own Mother\’s Day festivities with their husbands and children. There were also lots of families there visiting their mothers. But as I looked around, I noticed that, while the daughters/daughters-in-law were interacting with the Moms, for the most part, the rest of the family was hanging back, some shifting uncomfortably.
I\’ve written before that Vicky-D\’s (members of the Victorian/Depression era . . . aka our parents) were raised with very clearly defined male/female roles. The men of their generation were the breadwinners and the women were the homemakers and caregivers. That was their generational expectation and the role expectations they instilled in their children.
However, just because that\’s the way “it\’s always been” doesn\’t mean that\’s the way it has to be now with your own family – especially since there\’s a important link between caring and sharing. Helping your spouse and children – especially your sons – connect with their aging loved ones will add meaning to their relationship with them. It will have the added benefit of teaching your children how to connect with the elderly. And best of all, sharing some of the caring spreads the effort and the rewards!
So as you celebrate Father\’s Day, graduations, and weddings, incorporate other family members into the eldercare. To get them started, keep it simple. For example, let your spouse and/or kids go pick up Mom or Dad and/or perhaps have each of them plan some special “alone” activities with them. Then step back and let the celebrations begin!!!
Happy Celebrations to you all!
© Copyright AgeWiseLivingTM 2001-2007 You can find information about Generational Coaching, AgeWiseLivingTM seminars and free teleseminars, and to sign up for Barbara\’s free monthly newsletter at http://www.agewiseliving.com/ or by calling toll-free (877) AGE-WISE. Barbara E. Friesner is the country\’s leading Generational Coach and expert on issues affecting seniors and their families. She is an adjunct professor at Cornell University, where she created and teaches “Seniors Housing Management” at Cornell\’s School of Hotel Administration.