My older sister (she is 76, I am 72, Mom is 108) and I share taking care of Mom in her home. Sister lives in the same town, I am 900 miles away, but come every 3 or so weeks, stay for 8-10 days so Sis gets a break. Been doing this for 5 years. But Mom wants me and my husband, plus married daughter with 2 kids (who needs me to help with child care), to pull up stakes and move to her neighbor hood so she can see us every day, and I can help care for her so my sister does not get worn out. I am unwilling to do that. Her reason: that's what a family does...stick close. For most of her life her family lived relatively near each other and now she expects the same.
Who's right? Am I truly that selfish to want to maintain my life, home and family (which I have built for 45 years)? Or is my obligation to live up to her expectations? We tried getting in a part-time caregiver to help Sister, but that was a "stranger", not family, and thus unacceptable.
My guilt and anger is reaching a breaking point. Because I won't do what Mom wants, she tells me I should not come back because it's too hard on her when I leave each time. But I can't leave the care burden entirely to my sister, who completely understands and supports my position.
Now Mom is (once again) angry that I am leaving, crying, "What will I do if your sister gets sick or hurt?" Well, we have tried to get additional help, but she rejected that option. For her there is only one solution: I should come and live with her.
What do I do? Give in and leave my family? Let my sister deal with it? I feel catatonic, unable to please everyone.