My mother it's in the end stages of COPD (she is still smoking) and because the doctors could do no more for her lungs they called in hospice. She is getting weaker but is showing no signs of immediate death.

I've only been married for 5 months and I currently live in another state but came home to take care of my mom.

She expects me to leave my husband and take care of her indefinitely. She says my husband does not need me and he's perfectly fine living alone and that she needs me to take care of her. I've been waiting on her hand and foot. She bosses me around, often condemns me and in the past whatever I've done for her it has never been good enough. She even told her friends that was a terrible daughter because I didn't previously go to her every bec and call. (I was a widow myself working a full-time job trying to take care of my two youngest now 20 + 23)

I do love my Mom very much and of course I want to take care of her but I also don't want to abandon my marriage. She tells me, "Fine, if you want to go home to your husband then my granddaughter will take care of me!" I can't do that to my daughter. She has two little ones under three and she can't do it neither and I won't let her because it's my responsibility.

I feel such extreme guilt! I want to take care of my mother but I also don't want to leave my husband hanging on for an indefinite amount of time.

I was going to take her home with me but after reading many horror stories of 24/7 care with demanding parents I knew there was no way I could put my husband through this.

My mom has been a good mother and grandmother for the past 30 years but when I was a child and teenager she always put her husband's first before me and I always took the back burner. Now she wants me to give up my marriage to take care of her and I find it very unfair and I'm angry. She lived a very full life, taking vacations and going out having no worries with her last husband who she was with for over 30 years but now she is sad and making me feel guilty because I want to spend time living my life with my wonderful husband. I'm 53.

She has plenty of money to get in home care but she wants me to do everything. I'm a Christian woman and I know your spouse comes first but yet you are supposed to honor your mother and father. The guilt consumes me. I'm damned if I do and I'm damned if I don't. I would love to have any advice from those who have experienced similar issues.. Thank you

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I agree 100% with NeedHelpWithMom. If I knew 2 year's ago what I do now, I would not have brought Mother to live with us. Granted, she didn't ask me to care for her, but I couldn't bear to know she would be in a home where she would not make friends or be with people that want to include her in life.
Living away from her for over 30 years and only seeing her once or twice a year helped me to forget how dismissive, critical and emotionally unavailable she was in my formidable years. But she hasn't changed. Well, maybe she's a bit more passive aggressive than I remember.
I am angry a lot. I am depressed a lot. My relationship with my husband is solid, but I don't feel like I put him or my teenage son first, where they should be. I feel a lot of guilt in that respect.
Growing up I didn't really feel that mother daughter bond like I have with my own daughter. I forgot about that because it was so long ago, like another life. But now the wounds are all fresh again and it is very painful.
Last year my family had a little get together for my birthday and she never even acknowledged or said happy birthday -- even when everyone else told me.
This year my family had a little get together for my birthday, same as last year, and she didn't acknowledge it say happy birthday.
Honoring our elders doesn't necessarily mean living with them and waiting on them because they say we should or because we will feel guilty if we don't. Honoring them means making sure their basic needs are met and they are safe. Sometimes this is best done by placing them somewhere that these needs can be met and not necessarily with a family member -- assisted living, nursing home, or in home care.
But really think it through rationally.
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NeedHelpWithMom Mar 2019

I love your answer! I understand it completely. There isn’t anything wrong with not housing our parents. It is a personal decision.

We do feel invisible to our moms at times. For what it’s worth, I hope you had a fabulous birthday. You deserve it! Happy birthday!

My relationship with my daughters is different as well. The silver lining in the cloud is that you and I learned what NOT to do from our moms concerning our daughters. I too feel some guilt not being as available to my husband and children, friends too as I would like to be. You brought up many valid points.

I also wanted my mom to live a happy life and include her in our lives.

My mom does not see or realize certain things about herself and she will not allow herself (never has) to accept constructive criticism or feel the need to change in any way. None of us are perfect. She does have many good qualities too, so I overlook a lot!

My kids have told me things when I did things that they didn’t like. For instance, telling others about an upcoming job interview. My daughter doesn’t like if I do that. So I no longer do it. I understood when she told me that if she didn’t get a job she didn’t want to necessarily speak about it to others. I get that. I’ve always respected their privacy but had to learn to do it in all areas.

I appreciate her telling me because I don’t want to overstep in any way. I don’t want her to be uncomfortable with me and feel as if she can’t speak to me honestly. I wish I could have honest conversatios with mom.

I can speak to my daughter honestly as well. Like when I tell her that having her hair colored is not an emergency! Yes, I have had to remind her that finishing her education at her university is what is most important right now and we aren’t going to pay for her expensive hair coloring at the salon when we have to budget.

She doesn’t have her job at the restaurant anymore after her boss expected the university students who worked there to sleep with him, sickening! She is looking for another job. Every age has challenges, right?

Everyone has differences of opinion and that is fine but we need to respect each other. That is all I ever wanted from my mom. My kids and I don’t always agree on things but we do respect each other.
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Google Narcissism.

Your mom wants what she wants with no regard for YOUR needs. She cant put anyone but herself first.

She is making a totally unreasonable request of you. You should feel mo guilt in saying " no Mom, I cant possibly do that. I can come and visit ( once a week once a month whatever you CAN) But I cannot be your fulltime caregiver."
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smilingtulip Mar 2019
Thank you. That's what I was feeling yet she makes me feel so guilty. Everytime I leave the house, even though I am helping her she has a terrible time and let's me know about it. She has that way of subtle underlining messages of I can't live without you.
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I've been in a similar situation with my Mom for the past couple of years. Mom was driving me crazy being her "go-to" person in the beginning. I wasn't spending any time with my husband because all my free time was taken up by my Mom. I was neglecting other areas of my life too - my job, health, friendships, etc.

I finally decided my Mom's happiness and well being were not my responsibility. It was hers! I took time to figure out what I was willing to do for her and how much time I was willing to spend doing it. I set a schedule for visiting her twice a week and stuck to it. I still have to tell her "no" sometimes and it's hard. But, I'm much happier since I set some boundaries. Having control over my own schedule has made a world of difference.

DO NOT feel guilty about setting boundaries. If you don't, you will end up without your peace of mind, health or your marriage!
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A few things, smilingtulip:

1. Good for you for sticking up for yourself! Take the guilt and toss it. You DO NOT deserve it.

2. You're not to blame for your daughter choosing to take your grandmother on.

3. Please pass this site on to your daughter. She's the one who'll need support soon.
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Thank you all so much for your advice. It was like rain in the desert washing away the grime of guilt. My guilt stems from the guilt I felt leaving my whole family behind, including grandchildren in October of last year. My Mom was not in the best of health when I left but she has been that way for many years. She guilted me then for leaving her while she is in poor condition.. I said Mom, you can easily live another 15-20 years. What do you want me to wait to marry Dave when I'm 70? 

My husband and I made a plan that I would fly up to visit every 3 months and I've been doing that. My kids are actually very supportive of my move and my husband and we keep in constant touch. I also call my Mom every day and had the kids come over there to check on her because she needed an ambulance. I flew home to be by her side and have been here now for three weeks.

I booked a one way flight home on April 1st Once home, my husband and I will work out a schedule to see my Mother. Again, I can not thank you enough! I knew she had narcissistic tendencies but yet she can be very kind and giving as well. I do love her very much and next to my husband she is my best friend. I guess over the years I got so use to her rude, selfish comments that they didn't bother me anymore, but when death approaches it kind of changes your perspective. You all helped me to get back on track. Thank you!
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NeedHelpWithMom Mar 2019
I wish you the best. Your choice.
My mom is in memory care and almost every week when I go to see her, she gets teary and says "I wish I still had a home. I wish I had someone who cared enough to take care of me." To which I always answer "We've discussed this before. You need 24/7 care and I can't provide it. I have to work and support myself and my kids. It has nothing to do with not loving you and everything to do with your safety and well being." They do get very self involved with dementia. They don't know or care what your personal situation is - everything is about them.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: not everyone is cut out to be a full time caregiver to a loved one with dementia. I know I'm not and I think it would be a disaster if I tried. I had mom living with me for 5 years when she was still relatively lucid but when the wandering started, that was it. I did not want her getting lost or hurt while I was sleeping or at work.
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I have cared for my mom since 2005. Don't do it! Enjoy your life with hubby. Have a relationship with her if that is important to you but don't allow her to control your life. Don't kid yourself with this boundary thing. If someone is living with you, there is only so much you can do. Even if you do succeed in boundaries, it is an enormous sacrifice.

I would not consider having mom live with me if I had the chance to travel back in time. I have had people tell me that they have not regretted caring for parents at home. This is only my opinion from my perspective. As you know, the choice is yours. It is entirely up to you.

We are all equals. No one trumps the other. Your husband is not inferior to your mom. Choose your hubby. It shows in your writing that you want to be with your husband. Be with him. Explain to mom that this is your time with your husband and you will help her get settled with appropriate care. Best of luck to you. Please know that you are not an uncaring person. An uncaring person would not even be posting a question on this site. Take care.
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MumsHelper: "Honoring our elders doesn't necessarily mean living with them and waiting on them because they say we should or because we will feel guilty if we don't. Honoring them means making sure their basic needs are met and they are safe. Sometimes this is best done by placing them somewhere that these needs can be met and not necessarily with a family member -- assisted living, nursing home, or in home care."

Yes, yes, yes...a million times YES!

Way too many people think "honor" means waiting on them or meeting their every "want." And that honor means the parent is more important and gets to suck the life/health out of their caregiver. I've read about it being the "right thing to do." Oh, no, it is NOT!
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Update from the original poster. After everyone's advice I booked my flight back home to my wonderful husband. I am leaving early tomorrow morning. I tried, oh how I tried to arrange at home care givers for my Mom. But she did not want it and since my daughter is the back up POA I had her here for these decisions.. 

I told my daughter no, you are not responsible for Grandma And since my daughter knew my Mother would be relying on her serval times a week to take care of her, My daughter insisted my Mom moved into her home, because it so much easier instead of packing up the kids and taking care of grandma at her every demand. 

Now my Mom is playing a game with me.... she pretends like she wants to go to my daughters house to my daughters face, and when we are alone she tells me she can't live with my daughter because her great grandchildren will drive her crazy! And can I now get her outside caregivers?

No Mom, i said, I can not get you care workers over the weekend. I told her no. You are an adult, YOU made this decision and I can not provide care givers for you in two days, on a weekend before my departure.

I am thinking that in her mind, if she fought me I would give up my husband to take care of her, and her plan backfired. This time, because of everyones advice. I set boundaries and said no.Now my daughter is taking care of her and I feel really bad about this. It's not her responsibility, it is mine but I was overruled by my mother and my daughter.

Now I feel more guilt then ever because it's not my daughters job! It mine! My Mother has no dementia. Her mind is very active and good. Yet I think how can she raise me to be polite respectful please and thank you, yes sir no ma'am type of woman and she can't even thank me as i dispose of her waste?

I've only beeen taking care of her for a month, she bosses me around, do this, do that, take out my garbage, oh you did it all wrong! No thanks. She watches my every move. If I go to the bathroom all I hear is my name being called, what are you doing?  

She gets angry with me if i want to go to my old house , which my boys live in to take a shower and put makeup on before I run all of her errands because I want to clean up and smell fresh because she insists on smoking with the windows all closed while she is in end stages of COPD and my clothes, hair ect stinks How dare i mention how I miss my husband and according to her I am acting like a school girl and my husband does not need me. 

I'm done and it's only been a month. How do you long term, temporary caregivers which turned into a lifetime handle this?!

I love my mom, I do. But her treatment of me is ridiculous. I don't think she will treat my daughter this way but if she does, I am putting my foot down and she will go into a home. F<>% the inheritance, no one should live like this.

And the sad thing is, all my children think Grandma is so sweet, but they do not know her Ike I do. I will never ever EVER do this to my children. NEVER! 

I will start looking into end care insurance when I get home. I will not do this to my children. Ever!
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lkdrymom Apr 2019
It is not your job. It is your mom's job to see that she has a care plan in place. You tried to help her and she refused. It is sad your daughter got sucked into taking her in but she is an adult and gets to make her own bad decisions.
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Another update. My Mom has been staying with my daughter for 5 days now and she is already wearing my daughter out. My daughter now understands what I went through this past month but her situation goes even deeper with the little ones to take care of. 

Her children were potty trained but are now reverting back to diapers because grandma can't make it to the bathroom and uses the porta potty in the living room. My mom can make it to the bathroom if she tries, but she doesn't attempt. She says won't make it there! Meanwhile my daughters living room sticks of feces and my daughter is cleaning up her potty but my Mom will not even give her a thanks. 

My daughter has a holistic nature and every natural thing my daughter tries to give my Mom she turns up her nose and complains. My daughter spent over 6 hours making tomato soup from scratch yesterday because my Mom loves tomato soup and all my Mom did was complain about how horrible it tasted.

But the biggest of all is... my Mom complained to the hospice nurse that she was unable to breath because my daughter was not giving her enough morphine. My daughter is giving her 5 to 6 does per day, plus Norco and Xanax. My daughter does not want the responsibility of of killing Grandma with too much morphine. I total understand her predicament. My mom claims she wants to get better but refuses any natural treatments my daughter gives. (She studies holistic medicine) and refuses to do anything for herself.

Long story short... I have to get her out of there. I can't let my daughter be treated like this. I hate to abuse my Power of Attorney but I am setting up in home care. My Mom won't like it but too bad so sad ( this was a famous saying of hers). I have to save my daughter from this!
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golden23 Apr 2019
You are doing the right thing by setting up home care in your mums house for her. It is the only viable solution. Stay firm. I doubt she would be happy anywhere. As you say - too bad so sad. The phrase "suck it up, princess" comes to mind,
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