‘Sandwiched:’ Women’s Dilemma
By Barb Slocum, MEd, CCC-SLP
Women work hard. We work with commitment for our careers and for our families.
When we are young and have small children we literally work around the clock satisfying professional needs and the needs of our families. It is rewarding in many ways, but it is also exhausting.
We look forward to the days when demands will let up and we can have more time for ourselves. I looked forward to that time. I'm 68 years old now. I still work as a speech-language pathologist, and I still am called upon to meet the needs of my family.
|Barb Slocum, MEd, CCC-SLP|
In talking with friends and acquaintances, I realized they were experiencing the same thing. We wondered together — "When can we step away from all this responsibility and tend more consistently to ourselves."
I wanted to highlight what women in the "sandwich generation" are facing now — how much is automatically expected of us and how much energy and time it takes from us.
In fall 2010, I began to write "Sandwiched" which began as a story but turned out to be a play about a "sandwiched" woman named Bonnie (in her 50s or 60s) who is caught between helping her aging parents, as well as feeling she should respond to the needs of her adult children.
We watch Bonnie try to assert her own life process in the midst of these demands. She finally succeeds. It includes the issues of adult children living "back home" with their parents, working past retirement age, and the struggle with committing a family member to a nursing home.
Everybody wants to be taken care of, but nobody wants to do the "taking care of'' part.
If, as a caretaker, you want to have more of a life of your own, you need to learn to say "no" more often. Family will resist having to do without your help, but say "no" anyway. And you need to get rid of the guilt other people try to engender in you when you say "no" to them so you can say "yes" to yourself.
A reading of my play will be held at the Dramatists Theater Guild in New York, NY, at 7:30 p.m. March 22. The play "Sandwiched" will be produced in Endicott, N.Y., on June 7, 8, 9 and 14, 15.
My website, http://www.storyjewelswomansvoice.com/, also contains links to my Facebook page and my professional website. Look for trailers of rehearsals on my website in late April/May.
Barb Slocum, MEd, CCC-SLP, has been a full-time speech-language pathologist for the past 40 years. She currently works in a private practice working in early intervention and CPSE programs.Read more features by returning to the ADVANCE for Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology home page.