Promises between my parents. Why and how do parents expect their kids to care for them?

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My parents promised each other that they would never put the other in a nursing home. My dad died over 12 years ago and I've been taking care of my mother since. He asked if I would do this if something ever happened to him. When he passed away I inherited her with all her dependencies and the expectation that I continue to essentially replace him in her life. I'm married, with a grown daughter and two awesome grandkids but feel like my first obligation is to my mother. My mother feels she should come before my husband and has a manipulative personality so my life and relationships are so twisted that I can't make heads or tails of how it should be anymore. All I do is take care of, worry about, and stress over my mother. She's not in great shape but her deterioration has been so slow that I've as slowly adjusted my life to accommodate it. She's pretty sharp mentally but physically, she's a mess, a lot of it no fault or her own but some due to her loner nature and her desire to have only me in her life and no one else. Unless I entertain her, she spends her days in bed watching TV. She tells me I look exhausted, that I work too hard but truthfully, I'm exhausted from the ever growing responsibility of caregiving. I won't put her in a nursing home unless it's physically impossible to care for her here. Too much deeply embedded guilt. Why and how do parents expect this of their kids? I know some cultures believe that generations should live together that the elders are respected and cared for by the family. Sound good in theory but in reality, it's a nightmare.

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I think you've answered your own question. Yes. You will feel guilty if you place your mom in an assisted living place. My big red flag in your post is that your mom thinks she comes before your husband. That's so wrong on so many levels. It's not right in the bible or for a non-believer. Your life and your husband comes first. I have had a huge struggle with this issue but my mom is in AL and I have somewhat of a normal life with the emphasis on 'somewhat'. If I can do it, you can too. (Hugs) It's the hardest thing I ever had to do in my life. If I had to keep going the way I was, I would've died before her. Don't allow that to happen to you.
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