Nov. 17, 2021

Taking Care Of Our Parents (And Our Kids)

Half of adults in their 30s and 40s say they handle some of their parents’ caregiving, even if it’s mostly logistical or financial. When you’re also taking care of your kids, it’s a lot. We talk “sandwich generation” stress and how to get more help.


If you’re part of the “sandwich generation”– taking care of your parents and your children at the same time– you’ve got a lot of company. The demographic trends of later parenting and increasing life expectancies mean this double-caretaking will become a reality for a lot more of us. And it seems that this responsibility is falling more often on women: two-thirds of people doing the double caretaking are female. 

In this episode, we discuss how caring for parents can be particularly fraught, whether you’re giving them daily insulin shots, or just trying to make sense of their finances every April. 

We also discuss the importance of prioritizing our own mental and physical health, even (especially) when there seems to be little time to do so. 

Finally, we talk about operating from a place of maximum vulnerability. Realize that you really are doing more than any one person can handle. Get specific about the help you need, and be honest when you’re hitting your limits. 

Here are links to some of the writing on the topic that we discuss in this episode:

Dorothy A. Miller: The 'sandwich' generation: adult children of the aging

Jessica Grose for NYT: ‘It’s Pretty Brutal’: The Sandwich Generation Pays a Price

Katica Roy for Fast Company: I’m a breadwinner mom and this is why helping women in the sandwich generation is good for the U.S. economy

Michelle Konstantinovsky for One Medical: The Sandwich Generation: Managing Stress While Caring For Others

Alia E. Dastagir for the Chicago Sun Times: ‘Sandwich generation’ stress: Adults caring for aging parents face stress, frustration

Special thanks to our sponsors for this month:

Once Upon a Farm fruit and vegetable blends are made with whole, organic, farm-fresh ingredients and packaged in grab-and-go pouches. Go to onceuponafarmorganics.com and use the code FRESH25 for 25% off your first order.

Betterhelp Start taking charge of your mental health– no matter where you live. Go to betterhelp.com/fresh to get 10% off your first month of counseling. 

Brooklinen's luxurious, high-quality sheets are the ultimate bedding upgrade! Go to brooklinen.com and use the promo code FRESH for $20 off your minimum purchase of $100.

Dermafacs cream rejuvenates your skin's texture and fades the appearance of damage or scars in just a few weeks. Go to dermafacs.com/whatfreshhell and use the code whatfreshhell for 15% off.

Green Chef’s expert chefs design flavorful recipes that go way beyond the ordinary. Go to greenchef.com/laughing125 and use code laughing125 to get $125 off including free shipping.

Jane.com is a boutique marketplace featuring the latest in women’s fashion, accessories, home decor, children’s clothing, and more. By shopping at jane.com, you support small businesses, 1500 of which are women-owned. And you will not believe the prices! Visit jane.com/laughing.

KiwiCo projects make science, technology, engineering, art, and math super fun– and best of all, kids of all ages can work on them independently! Get 50% off your first month at kiwico.com with the code MOTHERHOOD.

MamaZen is an app that provides a revolutionary solution for motherhood burnout, anxiety, impatience, and more. Download MamaZen today from your app store, and use the code "FRESH" to unlock a free trial.

Prose now makes supplements personally tailored to address your specific cause of hair shedding. Get your free in-depth consultation and 15% off your custom hair supplements at prose.com/laughing

Somfy powered motorized window coverings are a great way to keep your home cool- and they connect to your smart home systems! Get a customized quote for your home by visiting http://somfysystems.com/podcast

SuperBeets heart chews are a tasty treat that give you caffeine-free, heart-healthy energy. Get a free 30-day supply and free shipping and returns with your first purchase at superbeets.com/fresh.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices