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My husband and I may have to move. Mother is in nursing facility here and she said I cannot leave. My husband has been informed that within the next 12 months, his department is going to be shut down. He will be offered another job and he will be given the option of a new job - and take it or leave it. It could be in Alaska, Italy or most likely, Washington d.c , none of which we want to move to. So he is looking for a new job. I mentioned a funny phone interview that he had that did not pan out to my mom just to get her reaction and she said you better not move and leave me here.

I do have other family here, but it is very hard to get them to step up - it always has been and I am not sure if it is because my role in the family IS the caretaker, or if that is WHY I am the caretaker. I always have been, since I was a small child, at 15 starting work to help pay bills, and at 17 dropping out of school to help support the family while my sisters got pregnant and partied.

I am the main one who goes to see her, and it is me who buys her what she needs, even though I am severely strapped for money - out of work for 2 years and behind a house payment for 6 months now. I go to see her at least 3 times a week, and I still drive her to doctor appointments. One niece goes once every two weeks the other maybe as often, if we nag her, and my sister, MAYBE once a month - now that mom has no money to give her she basically has no reason.

I can NOT put my life on hold for her any more. I have been there for more than three quarters of my life! She lived with me and my husband for 12 years of our 18 year marriage - we were close to divorce by the time her health was to the point she had to be put in the nursing home, and now that she is doing so much better (better than she has been in YEARS) she thinks she should be able to come back to live here ( NO. I have even finally brought myself to sell her bed and the furniture in her room - was able to catch up a bill or two that way too)

I told her if we moved that there are nursing homes everywhere, and my husband and I have talked about giving her the option of going with us - to another nursing home near wherever we end up, but she can not live with us again. However - the problem will come in when/ if we move somewhere that is cold again - we live in Florida now and she can to take the cold weather. It doesn't matter to us - we are going where the work is.

How do I get past the guilt and explain to her that I can not keep my life on hold, basically waiting on her to die until we move on? She is making friends there. But I know she misses family, and outside of my sister and nieces, the rest are in GA, too far away for a weekly, let alone daily, visit.

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My version of CM's reasonable test is to "would I/do I expect my children to do these things". You wouldn't expect your kids to not take a job or move away to live their lives because of you. And I totally agree with wise CM about moving her with you. She will be miserable having to adjust to a new place and you will be taking on sole responsiblilty for her (which will increase). Trust me on this...
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Do. Not. Take. Her. With. You.

a) There is no need. She will be fine where she is.
b) Change becomes harder and harder for very elderly people, and you have no idea how long it might be before you could need to move again.
c) You have enough on your plate establishing yourselves in a new location, without having to go ALF-hunting for your mother as well.
d) She has family where she is. They may not be much help, but they're there, and it's up to them to get their fingers out and start visiting her more. Once you take her with you, you are effectively assuming sole responsibility for her For Good. Don't do it.

Seriously bad idea. DON'T take her.
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You mentioned Washington D.C., and I live out in the burbs of northern Virginia. There are quite a few really nice assistant living, memory care, and retirement communities in my area.... I never realized how many there were until I started checking in case that time came for my parents. Really great doctors, too. The weather is midway between that of Florida and that of upstate NY.

To commute into Washington D.C. there is a really good subway system, or commuter buses which are very popular. One draw back is sticker shock for buying or renting a condo, townhome, patio home, or single family house.

I know what you mean about guilt... recently my significant other was offered a promotion but he would have to move out of state.... my parents live down the street, who are in their 90's.... they couldn't move, and the only way we would leave them behind is if they were safely tucked in a nice retirement village.

Life shouldn't be this complicated :(
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You are not deliberately doing something malicious and mean to your mother so there is nothing to feel guilty about. We announced that we were moving to the US which upset my mother greately. So much so that she died a couple of weeks before our leaving date. I did not feel guilty that I had caused her death because I did not.
Go wherever your husband's job takes you but keep in touch with Mom. Send cards pictures and letters about your new life and come back and visit if possible. above all don't waste your emotions feeling bad. You will need all your strength to start your new life and get out of debt. Blessings
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Do you think it is reasonable for your mother to expect your husband to turn down a good job offer so that you can stay living close to her?

Do you think it would be reasonable for your mother to expect your husband to leave you so that you can continue to live close to her?

Your mother would rather you were living nearby. That's fair enough, in principle. But once you get past that to the fantasy land where your life and your husband's life suffer significant harm so that she gains the 'nice to have' of your being nearby… that is insane.

Guilt isn't something you can help, but it is something you can look at analytically. Next time you feel guilty about something, apply a 'reasonableness' test to what you're doing. Is what you're doing reasonable? Will your mother suffer any material harm from it? If you get a yes and a no respectively, go right ahead; because any remaining guilt you feel has nothing to do with what's happening and everything to do with old baggage that your family has dumped on you. So - you don't have to carry it around. Lose it.

The behaviour of the rest of your family is regrettable, but it is not your doing. Read them the Riot Act before you go, if you like; tell them their mother could do with their attention and affection and that you're not going to be as available to make up for their shortcomings as you were. (You'll probably want to put it a bit more prettily than that!) But don't feel bad if they don't respond: you cannot accept responsibility over something you don't have the power to change.

Happy job hunting, and may good luck go with you. Your mother will be fine.
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Go where you need to for you and your husband. If you want to take her along to another nursing home, bless you. I wouldn't worry about cold weather. How much is she going to be out in it anyhow?
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Well said Sandwich!! I agree...
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No, you can't put your life on hold and things happen none of us can control. Dump the guilt. It's not easy, but it's critical to your mental health.

Of course mom doesn't want anything to change. She is going to protest, so just expect it. Extended family probably doesn't want anything to change either because the way it is now works well for them, but hold on because here it comes!

You have to do the things you must for your life and livlihood. Everyone else is going to have to step up. It might not happen before you have to go, which will be too bad, but you can't put off your life for there to be a "good time" for everybody else. There never will be a "good time for change".

Remember, if this helps, you are NOT out for approval on this change. You are an adult, and have to make adult decisions. There is nothing to feel guilty about. Guilt is like an old pair of sneakers. They look comfy and broken in, but they are really broken down and cause pain.

I would not discuss it with her until everything is concrete. Abstract ideas are hard for a lot of older folks. They do much better with absolutes. Personally, I wouldn't bring it up again until you know exactly where you are going and when you have to go.

Maybe borrow some of the tactics used to explain a big move to little kids. Leave a picture of the place/town/area with her, so it's a concrete concept. Put dates on the calendar she can see. This reinforces that nothing can change this move. Maybe with luck, you can get her past the grieving/pleading and into enjoying the time she has with you before the move. But, if not, please do not flail yourself over it. You are NOT responsible for anyone else's response to this.
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You have done a wonderful job taking care of your mother. She is in a safe place where she is thriving. You need to go where the job will be so that you and your husband can prepare for your retirement. The guilt part is self-inflicted, I should know since my mother lived with me over 20 years. My husband and I have finally been alone almost three years.

Get ready for a new adventure in your life! DO NOT FEEL GUILTY. You are still taking care of your mother being her health advocate.
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Take care of yourself.. She's elderly, it's difficult for her to consider your lively hood..

As long as she is being care of, leave her be..

Unless of course she has the money to pay you a weekly salary so you can continue live the life your accustomed to!! And I highly doubt it..
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