My family is considering moving to Hawaii where my husband was born and raised. He is older, in terrible health, and misses his life and family there. My children and I suffer from a very rare genetic disease ourselves so the future is unknown for our own health. We all love it there and dream of being there where we feel is our home. My mom is independent and in good health, and loves the town she lives in in the very cold northeast. She doesn't leave her house much and is very busy with her own activities in her home. We have asked her to come with us or split time and have offered to spend three months here in the summertime, but she freaks out every time anyone so much as mentions Hawaii, sunshine, palm trees, swimming.... She says we are killing her to even talk about moving. I am at a loss about what to do. The guilt is killing me... On one hand I can't imagine leaving my mom due to how much she is upset by this potential move, but on the other hand I know that my kids, husband and I only have one life as well and this is an opportunity to follow our dreams. Any advice would be very much appreciated.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
Follow your dreams. Your responsibility is to your husband, children and yourself. She is a young senior and in good health and has her own activities. Don’t guilt yourself over the situation. Make your plans and enjoy your new home.
Helpful Answer (22)

Go! Follow your dreams, just as your mother did in her time.

Your mother is healthy and active, why would you stay? Get off Mum's guilt train and live your life to the fullest.

Heck my folks are 84 and almost 90, I would never let their age put limits on the opportunities open to me.
Helpful Answer (17)

Go for what you and your family want, Let go of the guilt. Visit mum as it works for you. You can't let her control your family.
Helpful Answer (16)

No offence but Hawaii wouldn't be my dream home either so in that I sympathize with your mother. That said, she can't have her cake and eat it too, she has no right to try to guilt you into giving up your plans to move. In my experience the vast majority of women I know have been reasonably healthy into their early 80's, that gives you a decade before you may need to worry about her needing extra support.
Helpful Answer (15)
Sorry, i have to disagree, mom needs to figure out her long term care while she is able. It is not the children's responsibility to make those decisions, especially when dealing with a parent that is not above manipulation to get their own way.

If every adult made plans for the what ifs of life then this website would not exist and that is what we should encourage our parents to do. Not make their kids the plan.
See 1 more reply
Your priority is your husband and children. I am 69. When I grew up the husband was the "bread winner" and he had the last say about where his family went. You asked Mom to come, she is not willing. That is her choice. Does she have other children? If so, she won't be alone. This is what your husband wants and needs. Go to Hawaii.
Helpful Answer (13)

I am 70 years old and would never think of holding my children back from their dreams. You need to go with your husband and children! I am dealing with my 95 year old father who does not want to be in assisted living, another need to follow your dreams.......go to Hawaii! is short!
Helpful Answer (12)

My question is "is she freaking out because you're moving or because you're pressuring her to move?"

I definitely feel you have to do what is best for yourself, your husband, and kids.

That being said, please respect you Mom's desire to stay in her home and community. If she has said she doesn't want to move, please drop the subject. I'm 70 and in good health. I love my home, friends, and community. I would probably move to be close to family, but I don't want anyone demanding that I do. I am still in charge of my life (with God's help, of course) and don't want anyone telling me what to do. She may be upset because she feels you're putting pressure on her to move and her defense is to ask you not to go.

Also, I often need time to adjust to an idea. If you go to Hawaii, in a year or two she may decide to follow.

Stay calm, tell her you're going, and that you would love for her to join your family in Hawaii but you understand if she wants to stay in her home. Tell her she will always be welcome if and when she wants to visit.
Helpful Answer (12)

youngerwife, is Mom upset you are moving, or upset that you keep asking her to move with you?

I am around your Mom's age, the only way I would move is if magically my home, my career, my volunteer work, my doctors, my friends, my grocery stores, my hairdresser, my car mechanic, etc. could all come with me.

At my age, the thought of learning a brand new area can be very mind boggling, especially trying to drive from point A to point B. And replacing all of what I wrote, and then some, can be an impossible task.

I had moved numerous times back when I was married, but I was much younger then, and had the energy to be on a new adventure. I wouldn't do that today.

I am all in favor of you and hubby moving back to his home base where he has his family. Plus, if you need caregiving help, his family is there. With modern technology, you and Mom can call each other, and actually see each other.
Helpful Answer (10)
GraceLPC Jan 2019
Thank you for your input. People often do not understand how disruptive relocating can be. You put it well.

I am still working on downsizing from a home and community I only lived in for 10 years. It has been two years and I am still unpacking and trying to clear out a storage unit.
I moved to a place without stairs, in the town I went to college, so I had friends to ask about all those services, but they either work (own their business) or are caregivers to their spouses. The city has changed a lot..for the better, but I didn't drive in college, so as you said, I needed to learn my way around. Still working on it.

I am only 61! I don't have family nearby, but they are not nearby the home I lived in for 27 years.

Thank you for sharing your insight.
In this day and age children often do not live in the same state as their parents. Granted Hawaii is a long ways away. Rare genetic disease you say? Go! Your mom is still young at 70 and yes she will miss you but she will get over it. Keep in touch with Skype or FaceTime. Why do you feel’re not doing anything wrong. Sounds as though your mom thinks more about her happiness than your's. She’s the one who should feel bad about using manipulation.
Helpful Answer (9)

I had to smile about this, as DH and I (at the same age as your mother) have just upset the daughters by moving 1800 kms ourselves. It made sense for us for a slab of reasons, but they clearly felt that we should stay more accessible to them!

I wonder if your mother is thinking about the future, rather than how lonely she will be right now when she has many familiar activities. Perhaps you could ask her. If she is worried about how she will cope with you so far away, perhaps you could talk to her now about options that will give her more company. Independent Living in her own town could perhaps be a good idea, and you might be able to spare time to take her on some inspections. Most people think that moving sooner rather than later has real advantages in allowing new people and places to be ‘learned’ while you are still very capable of adjusting. She can take all her activities with her to IL. But ‘you are killing me even talking about it’ is crazy stuff, not worthy of respect.

CWillie is right, the chances are that she will have 10 years of active life in which to think again about her even longer term preferences. You will probably plan to visit every couple of years, with lots of chances to find out how things go at both ends. Your mother may be happier to think about a holiday with you in Hawaii rather than a firm decision to move. You aren't moving to Mars!
Helpful Answer (8)

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter