Parenting while Aging

01 May 2015

Ms Spice helping grandpa with his button
I've just returned from a very short 6 day trip to Nigeria. I went alone. As in without the girls. As in I left my babies for 7 whole days!!! I think it was harder on me than on them but it had to be done as I really wanted to see my dad who's health has been quite poor lately.

The 46 hours of travel time plus the situation got me thinking about parenting beyond the first 20 years. My default parenting setting seems to have stopped at getting my college-graduates to move out of the house. The end! I've never really thought about my dreams as a parent when my kids are in their 30s and 40s and I'm knocking the door on 70. 

Now I've had a couple of weeks to think about it and to resolve on some lifestyle changes for parenting beyond the first 20 years.

As much as it's within my control, I'd like to be in good shape physically so I can enjoy my kids and grandkids(?) and vice-versa. That means I have to take the issue of eating healthy more seriously. It's time to look at the health risks I already have and adapt my diet and lifestyle to ensure that those risks do not become full-blown problems. Specifically, since I know that I have PCOS, I'm slowly easing myself into a low-carb diet that I can stick with longterm
Ditto exercise and keeping fit. Pretending to be oblivious to the fact that I cannot climb a flight of stairs without being out of breath has to be a thing of the past. I need to get some cardio into this body ASAP
I need to spend more time nurturing my hobbies/interests/social network outside of work and the kids. I don't want to be that bored and listless retiree when the kids have all flown the coop.
I need to have a good grip and balance on my finances so that my kids don't face any financial pressure on my behalf
I've heard the term "sandwich generation" thrown about in the past but never paid too much attention to it until now. Now I realize that not only do I fit into that group, so do all of my friends. When you're smack-dab in the middle of aging parents and young kids, self care is usually the last thing on your mind but it is the most critical favor you can do for yourself. In due time, I expect that I will be the top slice of another sandwich generation and the steps that I take now; will determine how much easier I make things for my babies. 

Have you given much thought to your 30 year parenting plan yet?

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