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For 20 years I lived seven hours from my widowed mother, who lives in the Twin Cities. After spending those years near Chicago, I had always dreamed of returning to North Carolina and better weather in retirement. When I found a good deal on a home and moved there, my mother was, and continues to be, angry with me for not moving to the Twin Cities to take care of her. She is 87, has recently moved into a retirement community, which she says she hates, and is far better off financially than I am. She will not move anywhere else. We have always had a great relationship and often spoke on the phone serval times a week. Now I'm afraid too all because all I hear about is how my sister and I are ungrateful. Should I feel guilty?

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cdnreader, I'm a male people-pleaser and can empathize with you. Deep down I do think I have made the right choice and not only for me but also for my wife who, despite having a brother living close to my mom, did not want to move there. I just need to shake off the guilt and the worry about the decision's fallout.
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Dear Longplay,

I have to agree with the others. I have been a pleaser my whole life, hyper sensitive, always trying to do what others want including my parents. I am susceptible to guilt. But after my dad's passing, I feel this is a terrible trap for women. That we don't advocate for ourselves. I needed to have boundaries, but I was too consumed with being the good one, the nice one, the responsible one. In the end, the resentment and anger was too much.



You have offered your mom her options. She has to make a choice too. Its not easy. We all want our kids to what we want, who doesn't? But in the end, I don't think this is reasonable expectation. For myself now, I have to ask, do I really want to be caregiver? Can I really do it ? And do a proper job? And in hindsight, I tried my best for my dad till he passed, but I feel guilty for not standing up to him about certain things. Its not easy but make the right choice for YOU. It is important.
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Your mother has things to be bitter about that are not anything to do with you, such as getting older, and feeling frailer, and life just generally looking a bit tatty round the edges and threadbare in the middle. Which you can do nothing about. Not even if you move into a retirement community and live with her and your forbearing husband.

You've made the offer. If she would like to see you more often and ask you to be more involved in her care, she can rely on you to find her the best possible choice of facility in your area.

Isn't it funny, how a person can refuse to change so much as her sofa covers but still expect other people to be willing to uproot their entire lives at her behest and for her benefit. And this would be to help you save on rent? Are you, especially, strapped for cash?

If you were feeling mischievous, you could tell her that if she moves in to a senior apartment you'll consider moving in to her house. That way round. I don't think you'd need to pack in a hurry, would you?

I'm sorry that your mother is beginning to feel vulnerable, which is what it sort of sounds like. But it's not your fault. Don't take her complaints to heart: it's not really you she's got to complain about.
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“Then that is a person who, one has to conclude, is happy being miserable.”

I’m beginning to think this may be the case. Unlike my experience with mom for most of her life, she has become very bitter of late.

“Great relationships that are great because one person does what the other person wants... aren't necessarily that great.”

I’ve always been a compliant child, and it may be that this decision of mine was so against what she has come to expect, she can’t see it in the correct light.

“What does your mother consider to be the upside of her idea from your point of view?”

The only upside she ever mentioned to me was, that if I were to move into her house, upon which she would move into a senior apartment, I would benefit financially because I would only be paying utilities. That would indeed be a benefit but given her several-year back and forth with renting apartments and never moving, I doubt she would move. I’d then be in my 60s and living in my mom’s house with a disgruntled spouse.

“How's your sister handling this?”

My sister, who lives even further away in Colorado (she’s been there for decades) has always been at loggerheads with both of our parents, and that being the case, is at peace with letting our mom deal with the consequences of her choices. She has researched local options for mom out there, as I have in NC, but she’s not interested in moving.
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Nope.

There! - that was easy, wasn't it! :)

But it isn't a good reason not to ring your mother. She hates this place and she won't move anywhere else? Then that is a person who, one has to conclude, is happy being miserable. You be you, and let her be her, and love her all the same.

Hmm. Mind you. Great relationships that are great because one person does what the other person wants... aren't necessarily that great. Perhaps you could even say that the freedom of action of both parties is one way of judging how healthy their relationship really is.

What does your mother consider to be the upside of her idea from your point of view? If she doesn't see that there even needs to be one, that might be a clue too.

How's your sister handling this?
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Why is it that we have to change our lifestyle so that our parent(s) can continue on with theirs? Especially if they themselves never moved back to help their own parents.
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Thanks to all who answered. My mom used to be very outgoing but as her heath has declined to the point where she finally realized she had to get out of her four-level home, she has become very bitter. We've had a great relationship for years but sadly it is now strained. She and her sister took care of her mom, who moved near them, and then she took care of my dad as he slowly succumbed to Alzheimers, and I think she feels that if she did that, so should her children.

I did look for senior housing for her near where I have moved but to be honest, they are more expensive and not as nice as the options in MN. After three years of working with her on a decision of what place to go, and actually laying out all of her belongings in a beautiful unit, AND after renting for several months but never moving, she finally decided to move into a development she never liked merely because it was three miles closer to her familiar shopping area. Of course, now she can't really drive much so that's not much of a concern anymore. I've decided to let her make all her own decisions because if I try to press for one that I think makes more sense, I will be the one seen as respoonsible for her not liking it.

This is all very sad and frustrating. I have no idea how my mind will be working when I reach her age, but I hope that I will not put such pressure on my children, and that I move into age-appropriate lodgings well before it's too late to do so.
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It would be as easy for her to move to where you live. Ten years ago I tried to get my parents to move out to TX to a senior community where I lived with my husband. They wouldn't budge. My mother says she was going to die in her house. What she was saying was that she was afraid of change. The house was her safe den. I don't understand the logic, because the community around her had changed to one of strangers young enough to be her grandchildren. It wasn't the home she once knew, but just a structure. 

I understand that many older people do not want to change. They want familiarity. At the same time, they should not expect their children to change to accommodate them. We do owe them to make sure they are taken care of, but we don't owe them our happiness. I hope that you are able to talk her into moving to a place where she will be well cared for, but you should stay where you are happy. I hope that she will move near you if only for your peace of mind.
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No.

Nicole
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Agree with everyone. Don't do it.
If she moves to senior community near you she won't be happy there either.
She wants you close by where she feels she has the right to expect you to take care of her. Even then she won't be happy and will constantly complain and criticize.
Your choice of course but loose the guilt. She is in the best place possible. never mind the weather in the Twin Cities. She has no reason to go out if the weather is bad. You have retired so are no spring chicken so enjoy your retirement. Mom made her choice, you have made yours so stick with it.
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No, not one D** bit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She's done without you directly involved in her life for 20 years. She is living her life. Live your life.
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H*LL NO!!! DO not feel guilty. You are not responsible for her happiness. Sounds like she has made her decision to stay where's she's familiar in new retirement community where she has the opportunity to make new friends, and enjoy freedom.

It would be selfish on her part to ask you to move home to be nearer since you've lived away for so long. Continue to keep in touch and send cards, letters. Refuse to let her guilt you by saying she's lonely. Just say, well mom we've got lovely retirement communities here in NC.

Take it from my experience and don't allow her to suck away your happiness and dreams by feeling guilty or sorry for her. Continue to encourage her to be more active and engaged in local senior center and bluebird trips for seniors. I never moved, but mom had many opportunities to move near us but never wanted to yet continually belly ache but not take steps to make life better for herself.
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No

Your Mom has chosen to live in frozen Minnesota...ok..you have no reason to feel guilty because she made this decision.

Tell her abou how wonderful the weather is in the south...suggest she research AL in the Carolinas.

So not suggest she move in with you! Just, maybe she move to a more reasonable location....especially since she is financially well off enough to hav a choice

But..do not feel guilty.
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