How to Juggle Being a New Mom with an Elderly Parent

When you’re a new mom, all you want to focus on is your baby, so it’s hard when you have to juggle care for a young child as well as an elderly parent. A newborn requires a considerable amount of time and energy, and even as your child gets older, being in the “sandwich generation” continues to be challenging.  The unexpected often arises as you navigate thru both, and maintaining stamina and and patience are key.

You deserve to be supported, and here are three tips that might help you to manage your dual care-taking role.

Consider Assisted Living

Assisted living is something to consider if your aging parent requires so much care that you simply cannot fulfill their needs yourself. Assisted living is different from a care home. It strikes a  balance between the perks of a care home (the support, attention and constant medical care) and the freedoms of living alone. For some elderly people, living alone can be dangerous, and assistance may be the only viable option if they want to live safely and keep their freedoms. It’s a common worry for elderly people thinking that, by moving towards some mode of full-time care, they will lose a degree of cognitive function without the hustle and bustle of everyday life and independent living. In fact, quite the opposite is true, since routines can have cognitive benefits for those in assisted living. You may even find that your parent seems more sharp and cognitively aware than they were when living independently.

Consider Involving Other Family Members

Sometimes it may feel like the responsibility as a new mother is overwhelming, especially if you were overseeing the care of an elderly parent and then also took on the role of motherhood. The key to navigating this situation is not being afraid to ask for help. Whether it’s from other family members, a partner or friends, you’ll be surprised at the number of people willing to babysit for a few hours while you pay a visit to your parents or vice versa. Remember, the people close to you will want to take some of the weight off your shoulders – so don’t be afraid to ask!  It’s easy to just expect them to offer, if they understand the pressure you are under, but rather than make that assumption, reach out and take the initiative.

Take Time for Yourself

It is essential to carve time out of the day for yourself so that you can remain fully present for those who depend on you.  If you are depleted, everyone will suffer.  Investing in self-care need to be a priority, even though you might feel strapped for time. Whether it’s taking a long bath, exercise, meditation, reaching out to a friend for a chat or getting someone to help you out with childcare so you can have a night to yourself – make sure you make a concerted effort so that you be your best self. You don’t want to feel as if you are just pushing thru the days, and you want to enjoy your time with your loved ones as well.

Being a new mom is hard enough but, when you add extra responsibilities, sometimes life can just seem too much! These are just some ways you can work on balancing care-taking.  Remember, there is no right way to do this, and whatever works for you is the way to go!