How to Find Harmony in Caring for Your Parents and Your Kids: 5 Tips

a large family
*Collaborative Post

Being a parent is a full-time job, as is caring for aging parents. It can be hard to figure out the best ways to care for both without losing your sanity. Here are five tips to help you find harmony in caring for your parents and kids.

1.   Create a Schedule

Consistency is helpful for both kids and older adults. Making a schedule that accounts for school drop-off and pickup, medication administration and extracurricular activities can help your kids and parents know what to expect each day. Discuss with both if any changes occur and how that affects their routine.

Sit down with your village once a month and discuss your family’s needs and who can best provide them. You can accomplish everything by writing new events on the calendar as soon as you learn about them. If you notice a schedule conflict, address it immediately so you know what to do.

If your kids, parents and fellow care partners are tech-savvy, consider making virtual calendars so everyone knows who is doing what and when. Doing so is great for kids who may forget where you are or what you’re doing. It also lets anyone check in about where they should be and what they should do.

For parents unable to understand a virtual calendar, copy their schedules on a physical copy in high-traffic areas. That way, they’ll see when to expect someone at their home.

2.   Don’t Fear “No”

You always want to be there for your kids and parents, but you can’t be in two places at once, and you might have to deny your child or parent something they want you to do.

You might be unable to make every school event if your parents have an important doctor’s appointment. If you’re going to a sports championship, you might be unable to pick up your parents’ groceries.

You’re doing your best to be there for important moments, which may mean taking a break from an everyday task. That’s where your village comes in to help ensure everyone gets taken care of when you need to step away.

3.   Ask for Help

As a parent and caretaker, you should take on everything. They are your children and parents, so you feel responsible for all they need. However, trying to do everything is often unsustainable, especially as your parents get older. Your health and sanity also matter.

Caregiver burnout is common among adults taking on too much of their family’s needs. It can lead to exhaustion, stress and even feelings of resentment. Burnout also contributes to multiple mental health conditions, like anxiety and depression.

The saying “It takes a village to raise a child” also applies to caring for older parents. You don’t have to do it alone. Talk to friends and family about your situation. The number of people who want to help you might surprise you. If they don’t offer, it’s worth asking for small favors that you can take on your plate.

Ask for help with meals, transportation or to hang out while you address other needs. Consider hiring a caregiver who is responsible and respectful about administering medications, helping with mobility and household chores.

4.   Practice Self-Care

You must care for yourself if you want to care for others long-term. You can practice self-care in many ways to maintain your physical, mental and emotional health:

  • Eat Full, Healthy and Delicious Meals
  • Do Your Favorite Exercise
  • Get a Spa Treatment
  • Spend Time With Friends
  • Go on a Date at Night
  • Get Enough Sleep
  • Listen to Music
  • Read a Book
  • Spend Time in Nature

Dedicating your life to being a parent or caring for your parents is admirable. However, being a parent or caregiver isn’t the only thing you are. Whether you stay home or work a career, you deserve the time to explore your passions. Taking a class or practicing your hobbies is a way to express yourself outside of your caregiving tasks.

You can’t address your kids and parents’ needs without managing your own. Taking the time to practice self-care allows you to get the rest, socialization and health care you need to be at your best.

5.   Invest in Communication

Communication is critical when taking care of your parents and your kids. Unexpected events happen. They might need to contact you when you aren’t around.

Providing smartphones and smartwatches are great ways to get your kids to communicate with you. Watches can also act as fall and impact detectors, sending emergency help in an accident.

Applications like Life360 and FollowMee can let you keep track of their devices when you’re away, so you know where they are. You can create family groups that let your children track you so they know you and their grandparents are safe.

Your parents might benefit from emergency medical alert devices. The necklaces and bracelets alert emergency services if they detect a fall. Most work inside and outside, giving your parents the freedom to move around.

Video doorbells are another great option for your and your parent’s home. You can get notifications when your parents or children leave the house and return and can communicate with strangers through it.

Kids Smart Watch Australia also adds that a kid’s smartwatch is beneficial for your child as it enhances safety and security with GPS tracking, allowing real-time location monitoring. It facilitates easy communication through call and text features, promoting quick parent-child contact. Health and fitness features encourage active lifestyles, while educational tools support learning and development. Additionally, wearing a smartwatch fosters a sense of independence and responsibility in children. Overall, a kids smartwatch offers a blend of safety, communication, and educational advantages, making it a valuable asset for both parents and children.

Finding Harmony With Dual Caregiving

As a caregiver and parent, you have many responsibilities and navigating both roles can be challenging. However, by keeping a schedule, taking safety precautions and caring for yourself, everyone can be as happy and healthy as possible.

*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.

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