Inside Out: Squeezed in the Middle

04.24.19 | Martha Manikas-Foster

If you’re raising children while taking care of parents, you’re not alone. Nearly half of adults in their middle years have a parent age 65 or older and are raising a young child or supporting an older one.  

My guest photographer and author Dorothy Greco helped care for her father for the final ten months of his life while she and her husband were still raising her own children. She’s written about being stretched in two directions in her article "How to Stay Married When You're Stuck Between Needy Teens and Aging Parents." 

“There’s so many different emotions that I could say that I have felt. Tired. Stressed. Guilty. Inadequate. Resentful. Grateful. Humbled. It’s kind of like ‘you name it,’ I’ve just run the gamut of all the emotions,” she says. 

In this 19-minute podcast we talk about how the energy required to help children and parents at the same time can, if we’re not careful, deplete a marriage. “We can, I think, gradually drift away from the kind of emotional intimacy that we really need,” she says. 

We want to protect and grow our marriages even through these stressful times. That means we’ll need to be thoughtful about how we move between meeting the needs of children and parents—while recognizing the privilege woven through both. 

“We can’t overlook these opportunities, and we can’t take them for granted,” she says, “because I do feel like ultimately, despite the cost, they’re a gift.” 

Choose the LISTEN or DOWNLOAD option above to listen to our conversation about finding ways to restore our souls, bodies, and relationships, accepting and giving grace, looking to the community of faith for help, and trusting that God is going to provide what’s needed to make it through each day. We also talk about how churches can help caregivers by managing what they provide as well as what they expect.


Connect with Dorothy Greco through her website.


Learn about her book Making Marriage Beautiful.


Read the article that inspired this conversation.


Your Comments(please keep them on topic and polite)

on 04.27.19 Jeff Bjorck commented

Thanks for this wonderful conversation that so many of us will find truly relevant at this time of life, or in the near future. Dorothy's sharing of her own wisdom and experience is a great encouragement.

on 05.28.19 Martha commented

Yes, she is an encouragement!




Inside Out airs Wednesdays at 12:20pm EST during the Family Life Noon Report.


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