How do I get myself to mentally accept my Mom living with me?

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She is 84 and had a stroke a couple months ago. Although she can maneuver fairly well with walker assistance, she is no longer able to live by herself. I am a single mom, and my son will be moving out within the next month to a place of his own. I was looking forward, at 55 years old, to finally, for the 1st time in my life, taking care of just myself, enjoying time alone (which i love and crave), and this happened. Now im mentally devestated. My mom and i are extremely different, yet we get along fairly well because i do what i have to make it that way. She has another daughter and a son, but they live too far away to be of assistance. Mom is not financially able to live in assisted care, and refuses to be anywhere than with me. Im having a very difficult time being a shell of an existence. My mother did not raise me, yet we have been close most of our lives. I just to know how to find a way to accept my new responsibility, knowing that it will change everything about what i was looking forward to. I know this isnt how my mom had hoped to be either. She is a beautiful lady, and i would never say anything that would hurt her feelings. Telling her how im feeling is not an option. It would destroy the level of calm that exists now between us.

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Sometimes we feel backed into a corner, as if we have no choice. I've been there. There is the option of in-home care for her with frequent visits from you. I understand the craving to have alone time since I need more of that than most people seem to. It's part of our sanity. You've already given a lot. I'd consider in-home care as one option. Please do come back here and as was mentioned "talk it out."
Take care of yourself!
Carol
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Words cannot express how thoroughly I disagree with this statement "Many times in life people just have to do things they do not want to do, but it is the "right" thing to do caring for your mother."

The poster who said this is in an entirely different situation, IMO. Caring for a spouse. A spouse is someone you choose, someone you make commitments to that are intended to be for life, and someone who hopefully would do the same for you if positions were reversed. I do believe in caring for one's spouse if he or she becomes disabled. I don't agree with any obligation to sacrifice yourself for someone you did not choose or make any mutual commitments to. That's not living up to your end of the bargain - it's out-and-out self-sacrifice. I don't believe you have any obligation to sacrifice the quality of your life for the quality of your mother's life, especially not for an indefinite period of time that will only end upon her death.

It's one thing to give up a week or two, maybe a month even, while looking for a placement for Mom. It's another thing to become the placement, indefinitely, when you already know you have neither the desire nor the willingness to do that.
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I'm right behind Countrymouse when she says "The level of calm that exists between you is based on the falsehood that you are happy with this situation." You are planning to enter into a situation where you know you will be miserably unhappy and you also know you won't be able to voice your feelings about it. I'm in that situation now, and trust me, it will eat at you. I lived with my mother for a year or so but I couldn't stand it - I had to leave. It eats at me even being compelled to live within a certain distance from her, close enough to come over and perform her chores every week and rush over to attend to every little household or personal crisis.

I like freqflyer's idea of establishing boundaries in advance, but it wouldn't have worked for me and it still really doesn't. I had no idea how my mom was going to respond to getting help from her children. Greedy, demanding, entitled, always asking for one more thing than I would have done voluntarily. Responding to any resistance with hissy fits and guilt tripping. To this day, I can't get her to ask for help in a manner that sounds like an actual request and not a politely-phrased order. Those parent-child dynamics freqflyer mentioned - if she treats you like you're twelve years old, it almost doesn't matter how you respond - if you're anything like me you'll be furious no matter how you respond.

The likelihood is you'll also become furious with your siblings for not contributing, not calling you to offer support, going on their regular vacations instead of coming to relieve you with Mom for a week, etc.

Don't go into a situation knowing you'll be an unhappy caregiver. It's much harder to unwind one of these situations than to not step into it to begin with.
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In response to Nolagal: Nobody's saying it's a death sentence to take care of a parent (although under extreme circumstances it can be). It's more like a prison sentence, except that you have no idea when you might be released, or paroled, and good behavior will only suck you into harder and harder labor.

You use the phrase "take care of a loved one" as though it's a foregone conclusion that we love the person we're caring for, but in many cases that's questionable, or just not true. In my own case, I've proven beyond a doubt, both in my failed marriage and my caregiving history, that I'm simply incapable of loving in captivity. Being backed into a role and a set of expectations you don't want can turn a relationship sour very fast. And once the relationship is sour, the sense of imprisonment becomes all the more noxious.

Some people can make this work, and more power to them. I once read a story in which an elderly mom was lamenting the burden she was placing on her daughter, telling her daughter "I'm stealing your life!" In response to which the daughter lovingly assured her "No, Mom. This is my life."

I think that's lovely. But it's not my mother, and it's not me. I don't get the impression it's the OP either.
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you will probably NEVER mentally accept it if your having issues ALREADY. I had to tell my mom 6 months after she moved in that this was the WRONG thing to do and 1 year later shes STILL on a waiting list for an apartment an my whole life has been ruined. My relationship with my mother is now just SAD. I don't think well ever get back what was lost because I am filled with so much resentment its probably not possible. Take my advice and make her do as much for herself as she possibly can or she will turn into a bump on a log and EXPECT you to do everything while shes complaining to the other ones about everything you DONT do. My mom even flat out LIES to my siblings about what goes on here. I know because they tell me what she says. Then it makes me realize how un grateful she is ( if she was grateful she wouldn't make up stories that paint the ONLY person to offer help her in such a bad light ). Get ready for a roller coaster ride and buy yourself a new helmet because your going to need it. Read here and take advice from these people who have already been there.
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If you are feeling this bad about it now, you will not feel better after she actually moves in. My advice would be to re-think the situation and find another option for her. It may not appear to be the best thing now but based on my own experience it is what we should have done with my mother in law. We thought it was our only option and bit the bullet thinking it would get better with time or we could somehow get used to it. That has not happened. A year and a half later we have no life and neither does she. What little family she had has suddenly fallen off the map and our friends have given up on us ever being available again. There are certain people who are cut out for this, but I think if you go into it thinking you will be unhappy, you probably will, times 1000. My husband would agree with all of what I'm saying. If I knew then that we would be as miserable as I thought we would she would not be here with us now. Just my two cents.
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Is this a plan, or a fait accompli?

The level of calm that exists between you is based on the falsehood that you are happy with this situation. I'm going to mull that over for a while and come back to it. Would you like to do the same?
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you mentioned that she is not financially able to be in assisted living, maybe seeking out an elder attorney on how to file for Medicaid. they will go over all her assets,etc and they should be able to let you/her know what to expect. it might even be good for her to move into a facility with others her age, she could do more things (watch movies, puzzles, games, they do some outings, etc) that would give her something to look forward to. we all like that freedom to ourselves from time to time (I know I do) but there is always something that comes up. neither or your faults, its just life. but again, check on getting her "assistance" so she can go to a facility and you can visit as much as you want/when you want. this way you won't take the chance of "chewing off each other like mice caught in a box" when you just want to stay friends. I love my mother/father but I would never move them in with me, it would cause terrible hard feelings and resentments. (and they actually said they would never want to burden their families either). good luck and God bless.
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Best advice I'd offer anyone moving some one in to their home is to meet with an elder affairs attorney and get all POA's in place and a written contract with the person regarding long term care and rent. Been there; and verbal agreements are subject to memory of all parties and when things get riffled you are in deep yogurt
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Good morning digit...I had the same feelings as you do when my mom had to move in with me. I became so depressed as the days got closer to her moving in with me. She too was able to move around with a walker but the doctors told me that her conditions will not get better only worse over time. When she moved in my brother helped by taking her to his house every second weekend. Well that only happened for about 8 months then it stopped completely. I was only 44 at the time and single as my husband had passed away a few years before. let me tell you know your situation will not improve when she moves in. She will depend on you for everything maybe not at first but once she gets settled away. I had no life. No matter what I did it wasn't good enough. She played guilt trips on me constantly. I worked full time. I had to be up early to give her breakfast and if I had anything to do that day had to be home to give her lunch then again suppers. Late at night I would have to get up because she had fallen, this happened a few times and finally I had tell her mom I can't do this anymore. We had countless fights over the 2 years she was with me. She went into a nursing home this past June and both of us couldn't be happier. I'm happy to see her now. When she lived with me I hated to come home after work and would have to take a deep breath before walking in the door. I felt like I was going to die before her. I had anxiety which I have never had before. Listen to all the advice you've been given here and think long and hard before you have her move in with you. Your life will not get any better it will be like have a child over again even though its not the same as your own child. You will be a prisoner in your own home. I wish I had to come on here before I made the decision to move mom in with me. Take care and all the best.
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