Why do I feel guilty?


I have a vacation house and go during July 4th week. Background: My mom is alone in her house and has what the Dr is calling Cognitive Decline, but has very short term memory problems. I take her out once a week for dinner and shopping. She has arthritis and uses a cane now to walk. She goes to the Senior Center twice a week but otherwise is alone (no friends). My brother checks in once a week by phone and she doesn’t remember him calling complaining to me she never hears from him. I do most of the caregiving - call her twice a day, help her with her finances, etc. she refuses to move into an independent or assisted living facility. I’m sure this sounds familiar to you. I am married and my husband is good to her. BUT this week is one week he wants to spend the entire week at the vacation house (we do go every weekend) because the traffic is horrible. THE ISSUE: he agreed to go up on Monday to pick her up and we arranged to have his family member drive her home on Thursday. She wanted to go until she found out we weren’t driving her home. I explained my husband doesn’t want to get stuck in traffic on Thursday. So now she won’t come and I offered for her to stay the week but she doesn’t want to stay that long. My brother will have her over for the 4th but she says he hasn’t called her. She sounds disappointed and now I feel guilty about not offering to drive her back and guilty that she is alone because the Senior Center is closed all week. Am I wrong to not drive her home? I’m not enjoying myself but want to enjoy my vacation. Has anyone ever been in this situation? Is this feeling normal?



We are programmed as children to please our parents. Unfortunately, we are not "deprogrammed" as adults. We're still trying to pleased them and we will earn their favor and admiration.

Sorry, WE are the adults now. We set limits on what others ask or require us to do. Why should our parents be any different?

You have offered to have her come with you. (Your husband is very understanding to want to share a whole week with your mother.) She's having a tantrum because she doesn't want to ride with anyone but you. But this is the whole reason you are staying the week.....so you DON'T have to drive back in horrible traffic.

My thought is, oh well. I offered. She refused. I would not change my plans because she wants it HER way. She's used to being alone and she'll be seeing her son on the actual holiday. Go, have a great time and don't bow down to guilt.

As the Beetles sang, "Let it be."

So Mom has short term memory problems. Just invite her again, and take her, then if she wants to go home early, tell her options then. Otherwise she will be staying all week.
But, scripturally your first priority is to your husband. I know all too well guilt. And I have yet to be ridden of it, no matter what I do. I think guilt is a tool of the devils to keep us feeling as if we are never good enough,(when we have done nothing wrong). IMO.
I feel for you and hope you can work it out, if Mom makes the choice not to go, you did your best to accommodate. And your Brother will pick her up, and she will enjoy herself at his house. It will be ok, if you go and have a good time with DH.
Pray about it.

Thanks to all of you. I feel so alone and you have differing answers they all have validity. I feel at least I have a support group here. I need all perspectives. Thanks 🙏🏻

Mom wants it all ha?. She doesn't want to stay a week.
...you make arrangements to get her home....nope, not good enough.....she wants you or hubby to drive her. Hmm Take this as a warning sign of what's to come.

Mom doesn't want to go to assisted living. She will have you jumping through hoops! I heard it said here, they'll have the illusion of living independently. However, you'll be taking care of two houses. Cooking, cleaning, taxiing, meds, showering, bills, personal finances, insurance issues, dealing with Drs. etc.......
I bet she will refuse in-home help, if she won't even accept your in-laws ride home...once.

Come to grips with this now. Set real boundaries, and stick to them. You're in for a crazy ride. And if this vacation is causing you guilt because she's being unreasonable...huh, wait..,you ain't seen nothin yet.

Hopefully Mother will let you enjoy your vacation.

Collant, you just can't make them happy. You can't keep them happy. You can try for safe, clean and cared for. (And sometimes that's a miss!) Every decision on your part has the possibility of going right or wrong. Being disappointed, but safe, clean & cared for, is really 1 out of 4.

Thank you for your insight. It’s just so hard, as it seems you know, and I just don’t know what is right. It’s goid to hear an unbiased answer.

Dear Collant,

I can tell how much you love and care about your mom. It's hard. I think what you have offered is more than fair. I fear if you give into your guilt you will have resentment against your mom.

I think you tried to do your best to make a fair compromise for your mom and your husband. I think it was a good one. I know your mom has some cognitive decline so maybe she doesn't understand everything you have done for her.

I've always been the daughter that tried to bend over backwards to appease my parents but I have to tell you, it leads to horrible resentment.

I hope you will find a way to enjoy your vacation. I know finding that balance is hard.