Leaving sick mother behind while I go on vacation
Hello, I am 31 and in a committed relationship with my boyfriend for the last 7 months. He wants me to go on vacation with him. It is only 3 hours away for four days. I have a sick mother at home. Some days she can take care of herself, other days she has trouble and is in pain. I am the only child and all relatives live away, so I have no help in taking care of her. She's had health problems for 11 years on and off repeatedly. I have always been there for her and taken care of her. However at the age of 31, I am not getting any younger and my personal life has sufferred from my constant care-taking. Her health problems has caused my relationship with my boyfriend to suffer. Everytime I leave for a date, she says I am abandoning her at her most difficult time. She says she wants me to see her through this and then it would be better for me to date. I realize this but her sickness hasnt stopped and I am losing years of my life. This is the best relationship I ever had and for the last 7 months of dating him, I tried to balance her and him over and over where I am getting very tired. Now this vacation he wants me to go on (which I want to go too) is going to be 4 days away. I dont think I should leave my mom for 4 days alone with no help but I also dont want to cancel on my boyfriend. I try to make both parties happy but I am stuck in the middle and I am tired of it. There are going to be about 20-30 people of our mutual friends that will be at this location so they all want us to come down for the 4 whole days. I thought if he went without me for the whole 4 days and I can drive down for only 2 days that would work. However, my mom is so pissed off that I even considered going and leaving her that she wont let me have my car to go. (Car is under her name so I cant do anything about it.) Anybody have any suggestions for me? Is my mom unreasonable? Am I unreasonable? She says I shouldnt have even started dating someone when I knew her health wasnt good but how long will it last? How much longer do I have to put off my personal life? By the time this is over, I will be old and alone. I dont know if I am being selfish or if my mom is being selfish. Anything you have to say...even if the truth hurts...please tell me. Thanks
That's a really complicated problem that you have there and there are really no clear answers. I suppose the only way here is to decide on what you really want to happen? Are you really fine with abandoning your mother in favor of your boyfriend (even temporarily) or not? It seems that you're starting to find her to be a burden, so even if it hurts you and her, you will need to go your separate ways eventually.
This might seem a bit heartless, but you might even consider hiring someone to permanently take care of her. Again, this is your decision to make and whether you spend your life taking care of your mother or otherwise, don't think that you're wasting your life by choosing one person over the other -- it's just a hard decision that you will eventually have to come to terms with.
There are MANY agencies that can provide day care for adults, 24 hour companionship care, or provide home health care. If she needs someone around the clock, get her Dr. to write a prescription for home health care or respite care.
You are right; your life is passing by and it's not fair that you must carry this burden. If your mother is truly physically this sick, you need to bring in help to assist YOU in caring for her.
How about other family members? Are there any? Church members that can help out? Neighbors?
If you want a life of your own, begin to bring in others to help you out. Don't lose out on your own life.
Hey there ,
First off ......I'm sorry you find yourself in this position. I'm not sure where you live but if you're in Canada , you need to contact her doctor and have them refer you to your local Community Care Access Centre . Your mum needs assistance to live at home and unless you are completely willing to be her around the clock caregiver ( which I'm sure you're not and I don't blame you for one minute ) then she may even need to consider going into a residential / retirement or nursing home , depending on her needs . The CCAC will provide a certain amount of hours of home/ nursing care to her a week . If you are her main caregiver then you may be eligible for respite hours also .
Aside from that , your vacation and your relationship .....you should not be made to feel you are abandoning her in favor of your boyfriend . Not at all !!! Are you not entitled to your life at all ? Did she live her life before she had you ? I'm sure she did . If you have siblings , you need to call a family meeting and distribute the responsibility fairly . It cannot be only you that makes all the sacrifices .
Im assuming your mum is of sound mind ? So ...I hope not to offend here , but I find it really selfish of her to withhold the car from you so you don't leave .
This type of behavior is going to breed resentment . You cannot care for someone properly if you resent having to do so .
I think you really need to put yourself first here and figure out how to make this happen for you and your boyfriend . And then you need to sort out how to arrange the whole situation afterwards. It's not fair to you to put your life on complete hold indefinitely . I understand she is your mother but in being so , she should also be looking out for your needs and want to see you happy .
I think you need to have a very real and serous discussion with your mum and ask how she feels about outside help in the form of Personal support workers or visiting nurses . Even just companion options . Otherwise you will burn out . And you are so right , you have no idea how long this will continue , so are you willing to just settle ...For this to be your life ? There is absolutely no need in this day and age for that . There is so much help available . Talk her / your GP about everything and they should be able to refer you to the right organizations.
I hope you get to go on your trip and I also hope you get your life back . Loyalty is all wells and good but if you are serious about your boyfriend , you need to show him you are committed to him also .
Good luck with everything .
It's hard to know what to say, sounds like your mum is demanding a lot of you, that is, obligation & duty. Has she been a devoted mum in your times of need? Even though she may seem selfish now, it sounds like you are the only person she has. If she's seriously unwell, she may be scared of being alone, perhaps even dying alone. It's hard for us to imagine... But maybe she's being unreasonable? Only you know what she needs and/or deserves.
Go with your instinct. You are confused but your heart will know what's right. Listen carefully...