by Terry
(Rockport, TX)

I am an only child. I have enjoyed traveling with my mom and was planning a second career when I retired. About 4 months before I retired mom got sick with a fib, then macular degeneration, and has long history of arthritis. I tried teaching which was my chosen second career however mom's need took us all my sick leave taking her to doctor. After two years I quit.

Mom has gone down hill and is showing some significant memory loss. I feel so guilty because I feel my best retirement years are going by. I used to take at least 4 trips a years and was looking forward to travel. Mom seems unwilling to allow my adult daughter and her family to stay with her in order for me to get a break.

Recently, I became ill with afib myself. I have had several surgeries and my heart is back in rhythm. I want to get away every now and then before my health declines. The only two times I have gotten away was when mom was in skilled nursing for 3 weeks. I am desperate. I feel so guilty and miserable. Please help.

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by: Anonymous

My mom moved in with us 2 weeks ago and she is with us (hubby and I) all day, everday. We can't have a private conversation because she is right here.
We are together every waking moment, every day and it's getting to me.
I had a talk with her about this and she agreed we needed our space at times, but nothing has changed.
I stay up late just to have time to myself.
I love my mom but I don' want to be with her all the time. Tonight she kept saying I looked tired and was trying to get me to go to bed. I'm 57 years old. Need I say more?
I am so unhappy.

White on Rice
by: Anonymous

I can relate to both of you. I moved in with mom to help her out two years ago and I can't get a moment to myself.

The other day I was heading out of town to do some clothes shopping for myself! It was quite a treat. A half hour down the road I started feeling sick and I thought about just going back home and laying down. But I realized I couldn't get any rest there, and I would be better off at the mall where I could at least be alone and not be bothered.

I get up an extra hour early every morning just to have time to drink my coffee and think. I try to stagger the bedtimes so that if she goes to bed, I stay up and vice-versa, so I can at least be alone on the other side of the house! If I do anything in the house, go to my room or take a shower, she wonders where I'm at.

The other day a friend came to visit, and mom jumps in and starts asking her a million questions. Finally I just gave my friend a look and we left the house. We drove around town, like we were 17 years old, and stopped at a park and sat in the car to visit.

She is now involved in every aspect of my life. I have no down-time, no quiet time, no alone time, no privacy. Try as I might to live my own life, this is her home and I'm living in her home, and I find myself mostly living her life.

The other morning I got up and before I even had time to put my shoes on she had a list of five things she needed done that day.

It's too much and it's unhealthy. In a lot of these entries, we all start out healthy with good intentions, and sooner or later, it's our health that starts to fail. It's so sad to read that, because I'm one of them. I came here to my mom's house, so lively and happy, and now I'm irritated all the time. I've been depressed before in my life, and when I was, I changed the situation.

So, there is hope. When I read the other entries, I always see their solution in their own writing, and I know I too have to make a change. They are tough decisions, but if we don't save ourselves, no one else will.

by: Harv

Terry as well am an only child. I was lucky I retired at 47 and had 5 years until my mother took sick. The last 5 years she has been with me, boy it is had been hard.

I'm not use to going to shoppers for 2 hours or to WalMart for 2.5 hours just to look I cook everyday and if I go out I feel guilty or she makes me feel that way. She feels that my friends are her friends and she feels that if I'm invited to their place that she is invited too.

Now, she is a good person but is under my feet all the time, I hate it and I feel bad for thinking the way I do. Last summer, I put her into assisted living for two weeks when I went away to an excellent place, a one bedroom apt (750sq ft) with separate bedroom living room with some cooking.

She told me that she was not old enough she is 88. God I hate the way I feel towards her sometimes but I'm maid to her wishes.

Why are You Asking for Permission?
by: Anonymous

Seriously, read what you wrote! Mom is unwilling to allow your adult daughter to help? Why are you asking her permission?

If your daughter is willing that's all the 'permission' you need. These retirement years are quickly going by and soon you will be too sick to enjoy anything and if you don't get Mom into assisted living now you will be so bitter in the end all kind feelings you have toward your mom will be gone.

Unless you are a martyr, you will be firm with mom, take control and then when you tell your mom 'I love you', you can actually mean it. Good luck!

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