Life in the Sandwich Generation (minus the carbs)
I am one of you. I am 46 (how did that happen?) and, of late, feel like a poster child for the "sandwich generation" (hold the carbs.....please) :)
I am describing living "in the middle".....juggling caring for my very busy three year old son, Seth, and being present for my health-challenged senior dad. Yikes......where did all this responsibility come from? Some days I'd prefer not to be the grown up in this picture. Thankfully, I have a mensch husband (decent, great guy) who is a huge support system, and I'm super grateful for that. But, there are many days, when I don't know what to do first. My To Do list is ever-growing, and I've forgotten how to have some plain ole fun. I have promised myself that I will get a long overdue foot massage (found an amazing woman in my town) and get my butt over to the local theatre to see Dream Girls. I hardly go to the movies, but this one feels like a must see.
Speaking of movies, my son finally made it through his first feature film in the theatre. Happy Feet did it for him...and me! "Happy Mommy" was thrilled because now we could see more movies together, I thought....but can we? I believed we conquered the challenge of being in darkness that plagued Seth some time back. Well.....I was wrong. I had taken him to see Cars a number of months ago, and he lasted for the first five minutes (or was it seconds?) of the coming attractions and went bolting out the door crying there were monsters in the theatre. Now......it seems.....there are monsters under his bed (despite having a night light). So, while he made it through Happy Feet, he can't seem to make it through the night.....nor can I.
I awoke earlier this week at 3AM.....had a restless night.....to find him sleeping on the floor beside my bed. I nearly stepped on him when I got up. Amazingly, he didn't flinch.......but I was stunned. This was a first. I carried him back to his bed in my sleep-walking state, and he said a noise woke him up. So, I stayed with him in his bed for a bit until he conked and I crawled back into mine. Well.....guess what.........we had a repeat episode last night.
I chatted about it with a couple of my mom friends, and it's interesting how each person comes at a situation from a totally different place. One of the moms askd if I ever thought about taking Seth into our bed? I was shocked. She said her toddler son has slept with them. Is that what you're supposed to do, I wondered? I thought that was totally taboo because you run the risk of establishing a pattern with your child who opts for your bed versus his. How do you then break such a pattern? The last thing I want to do is create a Three's Company scenario in my bed. Plus, how do you even sleep with a squirming, kicking three year old who surely will not confine himself to the middle ground between my husband and I? Okay.....a house could fall on my husband and he wouldn't wake up, but that's not the case with me....Ms. light sleeper.
So, tonight before Seth lays his head down on his beloved fire truck pillow, we are going to have a little mom-son chat. I will do my best to assure him that the monsters under his bed have found a new home and that they won't be returning any time soon. Perhaps his fireman friends cleared them out earlier in the day so he could have a peaceful night? Whether or not he will buy this scenario remains to be seen. One can only hope.
I was asking a friend about Ambien the other day. While I have never been a pill popper, beyond those of the vitamin, herbal supplement sort, if I get desperate enough, I might visit CVS and scoop up a bottle. Or, I can always take a trip down memory lane back to my childhood days....I can recall the warm glass of milk with honey before bed that my mom would sometimes prepare for me. There is something to be said for comfort food from the loving, protective hands of a mom. Maybe I should try that with my son? Hmmmm......some food for thought. But, he'd probably want his with chocolate syrup instead.