I’ve posted here before about my elderly mother (who lives with us), her selfish behaviour throughout my life and more recently wondering how my life might change now our son has left home for college. Thank you to all those who have posted support and good ideas. 3 weeks on, since we became empty nesters, my mum’s behaviour has been reasonably ok, as long as I’m on guard, but with the change in our home dynamic I came to a big realisation at the end of last week. I want my life back. I want my mother to move out and into a residential home for her care. She has lived with us for 10 years and during that time I would call myself the caretaker (janitor) in the house, rather than an outright full time caregiver for most of these years. Whilst our son was at home and growing up, my mother has been able to ride along the back of everything I’ve done to run the home: the cooking, cleaning, meal planning, grocery shopping, home and garden maintenance, household finances, etc. Now that our son has gone, I can see the huge burden of responsibility this has been for me, which you expect to have for your children, but which I don’t want any more for my mother and feel that it’s now my and my husband’s time to have our own lives without me having to do everything every day. I am so tired and just want to have days when I can just be, and I’m not mopping up food and drink spills, emptying rubbish bins that I seem to have done just a few minutes earlier, cleaning up little bathroom accidents, ordering stuff online that mum wants, reconciling who owes what after ordering all this stuff, driving to the shops once a week and anything else that needs doing. During these 10 years I’ve had times when I’ve been really overwhelmed, been ill, gone through the menopause with all the exhaustion that brings, and always I have felt the constant burden of responsibility, which never goes away. My mother’s eyesight hasn’t been good these past 10 years and is getting even worse I think, but she is covering it up rather than face the reality. She is 83 and is declining gradually, so there is never any one thing that you can point to and say “you need more help with that” but rather a hundred tiny things that on their own aren’t much, but collectively add up to a big big deal. Also, I can never leave the house without there being a big fuss, almost like separation anxiety, so I have all the burden of responsibility but none of the freedom to deal with these responsibilities, let alone doing anything nice for myself. I now realise that my mother will never make the decision to move into residential care and will stay here until she dies or a health crisis forces that move. On top of all this, I’ve been suffering bad episodes of severe pain for the past 2 years, leaving me unable to walk sometimes. I used to think these were bugs I picked up when swimming, but since I haven’t been swimming since Covid hit, yet the pain has continued, the medics have been investigating. I’m waiting for some test results, but it seems likely I have fibromyalgia. If this is the case, I really need to start looking after myself more. My husband and I are planning to speak to my mother next weekend about this, when we have time to discuss everything properly. He is going to talk to her first, as otherwise she will likely get hysterical with me, and I just don’t have the stamina to deal with hysterics right now. I am certain none of this will go well. But I am determined about this - it is time for her to get proper care elsewhere rather than relying on me anymore. She has the funds to do this so that is not a problem. I’m not posting this to seek approval for my actions. It’s actually a form of therapy for me to write down where I’m at and how I feel. I would however be interested to hear from those who have been in a similar situation, how it went and how they dealt with any resistance.