Monday, July 22, 2024

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Families At Middle Age

What does your family look like today?  For some, it may be two empty nesters (husband and wife) working on their retirement. For others, there may still be children at home, or their children may have moved back home (with their children in tow).  No two families are the same, just as no two lives are  ever the same.

Our society is so diversified these days, that life at 50 plus is different for each one of us. Some parents in their 50’s have small children, others have teenagers, while still others have children in their 30’s who have long since left home.

What is true for all of us, is that we are at that in-between stage of our life; we’re not young and we’re not old.  We are however, the support system for our children and for our parents who are now in their 80’s and 90’s.  This is a challenging stage at best.

Our responsibilities have increased as our parents discover living on their own is becoming increasingly difficult for them to manage.  At the same time children in their 20’s and 30’s are moving home at record numbers, having lost their jobs or graduating from college and finding their are no jobs available.  

How do we manage to put all of this in to perspective?  The fact is, it isn’t easy to do.  At what point were we supposed to be free to live our own lives?  It seems for a lot of us, we missed out on that window of opportunity.  Don’t get me wrong, we love our children and parents,  but we always assumed there would come a time when our only responsibility would be ourselves.  Or at least that was the dream.  I for one dreamt about the great vacations we would take, or the cabin by the lake we would invest in; all those dreams have vanished.

So here we are in our 50’s.  Some of us financially secure, others of us still working on it.  Between our children, parents and the economy, it seems the 50 plus generation has it share of life’s burdens to bare.  Remaining positive and finding the good in our lives is the life boat that will pull us through. 

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