Sandwiches, we all love them. With all of the great ingredients we put in them, we make a tasty lunch to satisfy our needs. But with all that goodness we put into the sandwich we still have to hold it all together with two lame and often not appetizing pieces of bread. As it is the responsibility of the middle of the sandwich to offset the bread, so too is it the responsibility of many adults to take care of both their own children along with their ailing parents. These adults who around their 40s-60s are in the process of taking care of young children as well as their parents who are starting to depend on them for care and support. As many as 10 million Americans are facing the burdens of this challenge. But there is more to the story than just the hardships of have to take care of multiple groups of people. And some of these problems can hamper the responsibility.
It’s no easy task to take care of children and adults at the same time. And the financial strain that it puts on the sandwich generation that has to fork out the money can cause relationship hardships, one of which can be for households to revert to traditional gender roles. Many times this isn’t much of a problem as some households already abide by this setup. However, with the increase in dependents, mothers who were originally in charge of taking care of the children now have added responsibility of ageing parents who too are becoming dependent on her. These extra burdens can be even worse if she has a career of her own and has to juggle her work with home life.
Fear not though, for not all that results from being a part of this generation are bad. There can also be many wonderful effects that come from it. Having an extra set of hands or eyes around the house can allow parents to be able to leave some of the house work and child care giving over to the grandparents. Not only have they already raised kids of their own, but would also be able to help create a stronger family bond. With more of a family unit around the house it creates stronger family bonds that help kids grow.
The sandwich generation however is one that is ever changing. As the progression technology and a higher understanding of self-worth takes over the culture we live in so do the roles that many of us will take over. One aspect of this is that as traditional gender roles are being removed from our lives, so to do the responsibilities that they may have had. The view of who should take over as the care giver of the incoming elderly parents may become lost and instead given over to a nursing home. On top of that, with the increasing view of liberalism that is common among young adults, comes the belief that the government will provide for the elderly when they retire from the work force. This view may cause many more seniors to be placed in nursing homes rather than with their families. On the other side of this, we also are starting to take the view of what schools roles are for our children. Just as many parents use T.V. as a babysitter we have the expectations that teachers should take over as some sort of care giver for our kids. These views we are starting to have can change the roles we play as we enter the sandwich generation.