Updated: August 12, 2023
Are you part of the sandwich generation? No, I’m not referring to people who are too busy to cook at home, and they often eat fast food burgers for meals.
The sandwich generation is far more complicated than them… and unfortunately, I believe that many of us are part of it.
Who is the sandwich generation? They’re people whose life is “squeezed” by two generations.
They are the men and women who care for their aging parents while, at the same time, working to support their own children.
Let me pause and give you time for that to sink in…
Now let me ask you again… are you part of the sandwich generation? If so, then let me make it worse for you by giving you three types of sandwiches to define yourself.
You’re a classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich if you support your parents and your own children.
You’re a big turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise sandwich if you support your parents, your adult children, and their children (your grandchildren).
Or maybe you’re not a turkey but a ham club sandwich who supports your parents, your children, plus your siblings and their family. And perhaps, you also have lettuce and honey mustard if you support your spouse’s side of the family as well.
You’re a fancy roast beef open-faced sandwich if you’re neither of the first two but are still involved in eldercare. You may not be squeezed, but you’re still expensive – just like your monthly bills.
The Sandwich Generation
The term “sandwich generation” has been around since 1981. It was coined by a social worker named Dorothy Miller. And in July 2006, it has officially been accepted as an entry in the Merriam-Webster dictionary.
Moreover, you should know that I didn’t invent those three categories. Those terms are from Carol Abaya, a recognized expert in the study of the sandwich generation.
And no, she’s not Filipina but an American, just in case you’re wondering. But I wish she was Filipina so that we’d have a local expert who can help us cope with this reality.
Break the cycle. Don’t let your children become the next sandwich generation.