Family Relationships

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

Friday, March 12, 2010

Strategies from Stepping Stones

Through the years, Stepping Stones has always tried to help our readers cope with what is going on in their world. As one newsletter put it:

This newsletter is in response to the stress and anxiety that many of our readers have been feeling in this time of uncertainty. We are inundated with threats about war and terrorism. We are impacted by the declining economy as we watch the price of gasoline go up, the price of stocks go down and the continued loss of jobs in our society. Americans are feeling a sense of isolation. Many of us are confused and ambivalent about on-going events in the world. In short, we are on overload, getting constant media reports without any clear resolution at this time.

We've given you ideas about how to save money and enjoy staycations with your family.

With the high price of gasoline, are you thinking of canceling your vacation trip? This summer more and more Sandwiched Boomers are reducing their carbon footprint by taking "staycations" with their families. Why drive to a resort when there are community swimming pools around the corner? Why plan a remote getaway when you can relax in the beauty and serenity near you? You don't need to travel to the city for excitement when you can create your own at home. But how to make it a real vacation and not one long list of chores and obligations? When you follow these tips, you'll return from your staycation refreshed, recharged and reconnected to your family.

In some newsletters, we give tips for getting along with your life partner during these difficult times:

A perfect marriage would be free of financial controversy. But during this economic crisis, the reality is that couples need to learn new money management skills and face tough financial decisions – while at the same time making their relationship work. Not an easy task.
Older Couple in Front of House
These are tough times but you can draw on the strength of your relationships to get through. As banks are having a difficult time lending money, this is your chance to make an investment in your marriage - it can turn into a welcome source of security and comfort. And can you think of a better time than now?

At the start of the New Year, Stepping Stones helped you start on a new plan for honoring and improving your health and welfare:

Now that you have made your own personal resolutions - still an honored ritual at this time of year - how do you avoid another universal tradition - breaking them? We all know that it's easier to say you are going to give up a bad habit than to actually stick to your new plan. You may have resolved to finally lose the ten pounds that have been plaguing you for years, to start an exercise program you can stick with, to let go of your self-destructive smoking, drinking or over-spending habit. Or, perhaps you're one of the 50% of Americans who vow to spend more time with family and friends this year. So where do you begin? And how do you increase the odds that you will continue? With the New Year, you have a clean slate, ready to take your dictation. Here are 8 tips to help you fulfill your resolutions.

In another issue, we talked about the technique of journaling, especially for Sandwiched Boomers:

We have found that, for many women, keeping a journal is a valuable tool for self- awareness. It can be a freeing experience as there is no one right way to journal. You are in charge and you should do what works for you. Either establish a regular pattern by journaling daily or write when you feel stuck.
Woman eating and sitting on terrace writing

In this way, you can sort out any of your jumbled internal thoughts and also have a catharsis or emotional release. If you are still caring for your family at home, it is likely you often do not have a chance to focus primarily on yourself. Now is the time to give thought to what you need and want.

Caring for aging parents isn't easy, but there are rewards to be gained for many generations - yours, your children's and even your grandchildren's:

As a Baby Boomer member of the Sandwich Generation, perhaps you have already had talks with your aging parents about their wills, beneficiaries, and advanced medical directives for hospital care. But have you discussed an ethical will or the legacy of meaning they wish to leave behind? As parents grow older, it becomes more important to them to be remembered for the life lessons they taught than for the material gifts they leave behind. Spend quality time talking with your parents about the values that are important to them. Ask them specific questions about what ethics have guided them through the years. You probably know some of these answers from having observed them and their role modeling, but the conversations can be further enlightening.

Visit our website,, to read more archived articles and newsletters. Sign up there to receive your own monthly copy of Stepping Stones or subscribe through the link below and to the left, "FREE Newsletter. Enjoy reading the next issue, our 75th!

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