Family Relationships

Join other women in the sandwich generation - share ideas and solutions as you learn to nourish family relationships without starving yourself.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Your Voices

We hear from women facing difference kinds of challenges every day - personal, family, career. Here's a sample of some of the kinds of issues they are confronting. How about you? What are your concerns? What helps you cope?

One reader is surprised by how fast time has changed her from the young woman she once was:

"I don't like to look in the mirror. Though I feel the same inside, I am shocked by how old and frumpy I appear in pictures with my children and grandchildren. How do I begin to face these inevitable physical changes? I'm only in my 50's. I never thought I'd be facing these issues at this age. I am just beginning this transition and am fighting all the way. When did my face change so much while I wasn't looking? I have older friends who think I'm being foolish. Their attitude is, "that's the way it goes, accept it!" But I'm not ready to yet. I have considered counseling to find a way to accept aging. I'm looking for a good book on the subject of adjusting to the physical changes of the 50's and beyond."

Another reader has been dealing with her grief at the loss of her husband and has discovered a few ways to help lift some of her pain:

"I am grieving the death of my husband and soul-mate of 32 years who passed away last year after being diagnosed with cancer just 3 months earlier. We were also partners in our business for the past 20 years, and I am now having trouble maintaining enthusiasm for it. My view of the future right now is primarily focused on my 4-year-old grandson, plus continuing to help others in any way I can. I am a strong survivor, but at 63, I am having trouble re-establishing my sense of identity and perspective as a single person. My best therapy is spending quality time with my 4-year-old grandson! I have attended grief classes and continue to have meaningful communication with understanding friends. I begin and end each day by cultivating a spirit of gratitude, and I release a great deal of grief through journaling. I devote much of my time assisting a blind elderly aunt, and enjoy writing to friends and family who need moral support. I have planned to begin a fitness program as a way to maintain both my physical and emotional health, but haven't followed through as yet." 

Another is focused on her career and how she is coping with menopause:

"I wonder if my thoughts of a career change are driven by my perimenopause. I tell myself I shouldn't fear going through financial changes because of changes I've planned in my career direction. I'm consulting with career counselor and connecting with colleagues and friends to get support, job information, and relaxation. I think about how I can take care of perimenopause and provide support to other women going through the same journey. I use yoga and meditation to start my day right and have regular massages." 

What kinds of issues are challenging you? Do you have any words of support for your sisters out there? Let us hear from you. You can express your thoughts to us several ways: go to "Comments" below and leave a note, anonymously if you prefer; or click on the post title above to take you to the "About You" section of our website,, where you can write as much as you want; or just email us at We're waiting to hear from you!

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Blogger Mom2Peach said...

I often feel like I'm adrift in a small boat on rough seas because so much of the "sandwich generation" support resources don't really feel like they're targeted to me. I recently turned 41 (although I feel every minute of those 41 years some days, I still consider myself to be pretty youthful), and my first child just turned 2.

I know there are a lot of women out there in a similar demographic group, but my parents were 41 when I was born. My father was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's and had to give up his driver's license (and my mother never had one), and I'm trying to help out best I can while working full time and raising my son. And occasionally be a wife to my husband, who is struggling to keep his business afloat in a bad economy. And occasionally be there for my friends. And, more rarely, take care of myself. Many days, I feel like I've got nothing left.

I do appreciate that many people coping with caring for older parents are frustrated because they thought they were finally going to get their lives back after their children went away to school, but I don't have an empty nest. I'm still at the point where I'm trying to enjoy all of my little boy's firsts. He doesn't understand when Daddy tells him that Mommy won't be home to read him bedtime stories because she's off taking care of Grammy and Grampy; all he knows is that Mommy is MIA. I recently started blogging as a way of connecting with other men and women in similar shoes. I know I'm not alone in my situation, so I keep hoping someone will stumble upon my blog and see themselves in some of my posts.

9:43 AM  
Anonymous medical alert said...

setting the records straight can be tough and most people want things out relationships

8:04 PM  

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