I am a Sandwich Generation Entrepreneur.
What does that mean? It means I own a business, and am the care provider for my children and an aging parent.
Perhaps you’re a Sandwich Generation Entrepreneur too? I am sure I am not alone.
Here’s how my day went yesterday:
→1:30pm: I am on the phone with my coach when my son texts me that something was blow out of proportion at school. When I ask for an explanation, my son said he would tell me when he got home from school. Sigh.
→1:45pm: My call ends with my coach, and I return to working on a PowerPoint presentation for a webinar I am giving in four days.
→1:50pm: My husband (who works from home on Fridays) calls out from his office: “Are you still on a call?” I tell him no and go into his office. My husband informed me our son got in trouble at school. His history teacher threatened to take his phone away, and he responded that he would make her life miserable if she did.
My son was sent to the office and given one day of out-of-school suspension.
I return to my desk, wondering what the hell I am going to do with this kid.
→2:00pm: My phone rings. It’s the ALF where my mom lives. She tripped and fell in her room. She hit her head during the fall, and it’s their protocol to call 911 for a head injury. The paramedics load Mom into an ambulance. She’s on her way to a local hospital.
I hang up the phone and sigh. Okay, I probably said “Fuck.” I say that a lot now that I am a Sandwich Generation Entrepreneur.
I walk back into my husband’s office to tell him about mom’s fall. I collect my purse and keys, and head over to the hospital.
→6:30pm: I tell Mom it’s time to accept assistance from the aides when she showers. If an aide was there, she would not have fallen today. She says no repeatedly. I make a mental note to call the administrator to arrange for this assistance anyway.
→8:30pm: Six and a half hours later, I am finally home. Mom is fine with no broken bones (thank God). My computer is still on with the presentation materials surrounding it. I put everything into a pile and turn off my computer. I check on my troublemaker son. He doesn’t want to talk about his day. Honestly, I don’t either.
→9:00pm: I take a Xanax, lie in bed and fall asleep. I am done.
Yes, I was a Xanax-popping, sailor-mouth, conflict-avoiding, exhausted Sandwich Generation Entrepreneur yesterday. It was not the first time, and it won’t be the last.
And I am at peace with it all.
Because I have accepted the following:
- Perfection – even close to perfection – is nonexistent. Adequate must do.
- Family is always first. The work has to wait. It means working on the weekends and evenings on occasion. It won’t be forever.
- Sleep is vital. If I need a sleep aid, then I am taking it. Unapologetically.
- Stop the resentment. Yes, the situation sucks. But it’s nothing to be resentful over. Get a grip and look for the positives.
- Conflict is not the best solution. Don’t avoid, but find another path to get to the resolution you want.
- Everything will be okay.
- I am blessed to be here.
So, if you’re running a business and taking care of kids, or your aging parents, or a helpless dog, or a disabled spouse – or any combination therein – here’s what I want you to know.
You can do it.
Sure, the path has many unexpected twists and turns. Nonetheless, the path goes forward.
How do I know this? Because I moving forward on this path. Imperfectly. Tiredly. But moving. And you can too.
Hang in there. ♥