My mother, who I live near and help often and mostly eat dinner with (sadly, all my friends are married), actually did this! I was dumbfounded. I didn't know what to say. So I said, "Mom you have food and I like to have dinner with friends sometimes." She said they shouldn't ask me since I take her to dinner every night. How do I get off this crazy train? Mom has a lovely home, a well-stocked refrigerator -- but, sadly, no friends at all. So guess who gets to fill that role? Me!!!! Does anyone have any suggestions? I don't feel guilty, but it's creepy to have someone say that to you. It's like a boyfriend who wants to know where you are every minute. I am so grateful to have my own home; otherwise, I think I would go mad!

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It amazes me when I discover a person who thinks there is something wrong with having friends from outside the family, but they exist! Don't get angry at her. She is simply telling you the way she thinks it's supposed to be. But don't give in either.
I'm guessing that she was a pretty good mother, because you seem surprised that she would care so little for your happiness. Well, the world is changing for you, too. Your powerful loving mother is becoming powerless, scared and selfish. That is a result of her aging. Don't blame her, because it's natural. But don't give in, either.

Is it possible to force her to go to some activities, like church or bingo or the senior center? Tell her she needs to get a friend or two in case you die in a car accident. Tell her you need to have friends to help you after she is gone, or does she think you should just die when she does? Tell her that you want someone to come to your funeral, too.

It probably does make her sad when you "choose someone else over her."
Ease the sting a little by making a special treat the day before or the day after.

Tell her you love her and will not always do exactly what she wants, but that you will never abandon her. That is what she fears.
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How old is your Mom? Does she cook her own meals?

Enjoy every ounce of freedom you can NOW before your Mom is really dependent upon you. Have dinner with her a couple nights a week.

Where are her friends? Why doesn't she have friends?

Where are your siblings?

What are your long range caretaking plans for your Mom? Start looking into that now so there are no surprises.

Bless you.
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You don't say how long you have been eating daily with Mom nor how old she is but regardless it sounds like it is time to set up some boundaries and planned activities for yourself. From what I have read on these forums the more you allow Mom to depend on you for ANYTHING the more she will probably want. As Mom gets older her boundaries dissolve and you will be expected to do more and more. Start thinking about weekly outings for yourself, even if you have to eat by yourself that day! Separating yourself will be good for both of you. You can be a responsible, loving daughter without giving up your life. It takes more work when Mom would like you to be stuck to you like glue!
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