How can I cope and take care of myself while caring for my aging father and parenting my young children?
You are part of the 24 million caregivers in this country who are squished in the middle of taking care of elderly parents and children at the same time. Ask for help, even though you don't think there is any help out there, and give yourself a break. You will be pleasantly surprised by who steps up to the plate.
Getting help is a two-step process. First, tell everyone you know that you are spinning too many plates. If you are working outside the home, tell your employer about your situation. He or she will be more empathetic when you need to be off work or leave early to cover your eldercare duties.
Second, delegate! Make a list of tasks that you can give up, like picking up the cleaning, grocery shopping, driving in the carpool. When friends ask, "How can I help?" or say "Call me if there is anything I can do," they mean it!
Ask volunteers from your place of worship or the local school to come over for an hour to stay with your dad so that you can get a break. When you get that break, do something for yourself! Don't do the laundry or cook. Instead, sit in the park, go to a movie or hit some golf balls at the driving range.