Being part of the “Sandwich Generation" can be challenging. Many of us find ourselves “sandwiched" between children and grandchildren who need our attention and aging parents who also need care and attention. And many of the people who are “sandwiched" between the needs of the generations of our families also have a career. I just can’t tell you how many people have said, “Help! I can’t work and be at home!"
Many people 50 and over are struggling with the need to earn a living and be at home to care for a parent, a child, or a grandchild. There are hundreds of thousands of people 50+ who are raising their grandchildren. There are hundreds of thousands of people 50+ who are caring for an aging parent. And there are many thousands of people 50+ who are helping or caring for children with special needs.
In the past, your options were limited. Your choices were to leave work and stay at home or to find care for your family member and continue to work. No matter what your decision, it was hard to live with. Either you felt guilty for not caring for your family member directly and personally, or you gave up a career and the independence, and perhaps income, it provided.
The good news is that there are other options today. In this electronic age it is possible to be at home and keep your job - it is possible through the magic of telecommuting. More and more businesses are accepting telecommuting as an option for employees to eliminate long commutes or to accommodate family needs. You will need to have a very honest conversation with your employer about an option that can work for you and for your employer. If your employer refuses to consider the option, you might need to try another company.
Another option that is increasingly popular with the 50+ population is to take early retirement and start a home-based business. Some people turn hobbies into businesses. Other people start service businesses. Still others sign up with work-from-home agencies. Just look at your skills and see if this is an option for you. When you are your own boss, or working at something that permits flexible scheduling of work hours, you can build your schedule around the needs of your family.
If you are a member of the sandwich generation, don’t despair. There are many viable alternatives available to you. Just think creatively, be honest with yourself and others, and you will find a work situation that meets your needs.
Dr. Cynthia Barnett is a “refired" educator who had reinvented her life moving from the school house to an entrepreneurial venue. . She is the author of “Stop Singing the Blues: 10 Powerful Strategies for Hitting the high Notes in Your Life, and RE-FIRE, Don’t Retire: 7 Secrets of Highly Successful Retirees She was featured by Time magazine for their article on women in mid-life who have reinvented themselves.
If you are ready to “RE-FIRE" your life sign up for my free 7 day audio mini course on the 7 biggest mistakes retires make and how to avoid them for an extraordinary life at http://www.refiredontretire.com