Many of today’s couples are waiting until later in life to have children. The reasons for this are myriad, but the fact remains that a lot of couples are not having their first child until well into their thirties. Unfortunately, there are a few drawbacks to waiting so long to have kids. This is something they might discuss early on in their relationship and it’s a decision they don’t often regret – until that day when mom and dad also need round-the-clock care at the very same time that there are toddlers in the household.
Are you a mom looking to make life a little easier on yourself when faced with a situation like this? Here is some advice on everything from cooking to bed pads that will help to keep you sane when changing diapers for children on both ends of the age spectrum.
Accidents Will Happen!
The very first thing you need to understand is that accidents will happen. Elderly parents and toddlers just learning to get their balance will invariably spill drinks, knock over that lovely vase you have situated on the floor next to the entertainment center and, of course, there will be bouts of bed wetting as well.
It is always smart to keep a box of disposable bed pads on hand to place on a child’s bed during potty training years and also on mom or dad’s bed because incontinence is something common amongst the aging. Sometimes referred to as “chux pads” or simply “chux,” these bed pads can be the salvation of mothers tired of having mattresses professionally cleaned.
Structure Is More Important Than You Think
There probably isn’t a child psychologist, social worker or teacher out there who wouldn’t tout the benefits of keeping children in a structured environment. Structure helps kids to feel safe and secure because they know what to expect and when to expect it. Meal times, bedtimes and even play times should be set at specific times and those schedules should be religiously adhered to.
Of course, there will be days when you need to deviate from the norm to some extent, the key to raising well-adjusted children is to allow them to grow in an environment where they feel safe. Believe it or not, your aging parents also fare better when kept to a regular schedule. Bear in mind that it is already difficult enough to face losing their independence without the added worry of when they will be fed again and what they will be eating. Structure, in fact, helps seniors feel more in control of their lives.
Take Time Off for YOU
Unfortunately, the one thing that many moms fail to consider is just what this 24/7 care is doing to them. You can quickly wear yourself down if you don’t get adequate rest, proper nutrition, and time to do some of the things that bring you joy – other than parenting that is!
If you think of caring for elderly parents in the same vein as you do infant children, you can use many of the same supplies, foods, and techniques on both young and old ‘children.’ Just remember to take time to rest and do some fun things by yourself or with others your own age. You can survive being the main caregiver in the home, but just take care of yourself as well. Your survival probably depends on it!