The Sandwich Entrepreneur

sandwich-entrepreneurAs a Sandwich Entrepreneur, I’m a middle aged business owner, who is blessed with parents that are still relatively healthy. However, I spoke with three people this week that are struggling with ailing parents, managing their children and straddled with the stress of running a business.

Caring for our parents is what we are supposed to do as their children. Family takes care of family. What is often overlooked is the mental and physical health of those caretakers. The guilt, shame and sadness can overwhelm a person to the point of a breakdown.

Two of the people I spoke with have struggling companies where they are either the sole person doing the work or trying to keep the business from going under. They don’t have time to grieve or even be sad because if they stop moving forward, their life’s work will crumble.

The caregiver is supposed to make time for themselves, but when? It’s easy to say go for a jog, but if that half an hour can be used to secure a loan that will float your company for a few more months… guess which one the entrepreneur will choose?

I often talk about needing a village. I have a village I can count on to help me in a pinch with my kids. I have a village that I can call when I’m having work issues and I think you need a village to help with the parents. If you are like me without any other family in the area, this is the piece that can be most difficult to fill.

If you don’t have a built-in village, you may need to look up local adult aging resources to help you. There are adult day cares, home nurses, people that will run errands for you or your parent or drive them to a doctor’s appointment.

Sometimes pride is our biggest enemy. We think we can balance it, but the reality is something always gives. You cannot continue to try to keep all the spinning plates in the air without them all crashing down eventually. Let go of the guilt of not being able to do it all. Pick up the phone, call your village and ask for help.

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