Yesterday we began the discussion about how to set aside time for a family vacation that will give you the opportunity to recharge yourself as you reconnect with your loved ones.
As a Sandwiched Boomer carrying a heavy load all year long, let you family know that you want to ease up, defuse the tension you live with daily, and enjoy a change of scenery. After juggling the responsibilities of caring for your aging parents and growing children, you deserve some down time. Brainstorm in order to come up with some options that will work for you and then discuss them with your family.
Remind yourself to be realistic about your expectations for the vacation and be willing to make compromises. Don't think that, all of a sudden, family togetherness will be a priority for everyone. You may find that each of you will enjoy spending some time alone, individually doing want ever you want. Just as your family celebrations and holidays often come with their own set of challenges, vacations will not magically solve long-standing problems in your close relationships. View your vacation as one step in a series and accept that it will have difficult moments as well as good times.
Look at your individual situation and decide what will work for you. If you need some time by yourself, fit that into your plans right from the beginning. If you want to reconnect with your teenagers, design outings that will appeal to both of you. If your parents are up to it, plan an intergenerational vacation. Your children will benefit from spending quality time with their grandparents and it will also give you the opportunity for some free time for yourself. Let your status as a member of the Sandwich Generation work for you for a change.