Would you move out and move on if you thought your parents didn't need you?

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Almost 3 years ago I sold everything and moved from the northwest back to a small Texas town to help care for my brother and parents.

My brother died (cancer) about 3 weeks after I moved home, and within about six months my mom had recovered completely from her small stroke and dad had recovered from his knee operation.

Left with little to do, I got a full-time job. So now I go to work, come home and spend about 2 hours with my parents, and live in a small RV parked on their property.

They both have heart problems and some smaller ailments, but pretty much can do everything for themselves, other than heavy lifting. So either of them could have a heart attack tomorrow or they both could live another 10 years.

So in the meantime, my life feels on hold. I don't think either would be hugely upset if I left. We have a cousin in town who looks in on them, and my sister, who recently retired, is only an hour plane ride away (plus an hour drive time).

Would you leave if you were me? And how would you approach the idea with your parents?

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Expert Answer
3930 helpful answers
This is a very personal decision. You can't give up your entire life for others, and since they are now doing well, I'd talk with them about making a plan for a time when they may need more help.

Then, you should see what you want to do with your life. You've already given a lot. Be careful not to introduce guilt for them - you chose to go back and to stay. Let them know you will help when they need you, but you'd like to do other things.
These are only suggestions - you have to decide what is best for you and your family. However, you do deserve consideration.
Take care,
carol

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