Us it selfish of me to not want to retire, because if I do my mom will expect that I can take care of her? - AgingCare.com

Us it selfish of me to not want to retire, because if I do my mom will expect that I can take care of her?

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Mom has a part time helper 6 days a week. She is on dialysis and confined to a wheelchair. She can still get around the house, she is very stubborn. She expects myself and my husband (we both work full time) to be the fill-in if her helper can't come in. She always tells me my brother who is absent from any caregiving has a full time job and it would be just too much to ask him to pitch in.

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I remember some time back when my Dad had asked me to retire from my career so I could drive him and Mom around to more places.... I looked at Dad and asked him if he gave up his long time career to take care of his parents or my Mom's parents.... I knew his answer would be "no", and he never asked me again.

It's was the old thinking that the daughter should give up work as she had a husband to take care of her compared to the son who has a family that depends on him. No different than back in the corporate world where the same line of thinking was alive and well.... [sigh]
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i have this same issue - and I'm about 15 years away from retirement. My mom talks about how when I retire, she can come and live with us. You probably are closer to retirement than I am. It sounds like you need to set boundaries. Do you have a hard time saying "no" to her, or if you do, do you give in when she works you over? Try to decide what you are willing to do now, and whether that includes fill-in helper or not. IF not - she needs to find coverage. When you retire - you are in control of what you are willing to do or not to do. It sounds like you need to think through that with your husband, and make sure your mom is aware that you are NOT going to take care of her - that she will still need part time coverage or more as she ages. Perhaps time for her to start looking for a continuing care facility - assisted living up to full nursing home care.

But do NOT - enslave yourself to her simply because you cannot say "no" when she gets mad. This site is full of stories of people who gradually got buffaloed into taking on more and more caregiving and then cannot get out of it.

Your mom is still able to make decisions - she is still able to make plans for herself. This is not your responsibility.
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I can empathize, as my mother thinks my time and efforts on her behalf are worth nothing. My brothers do nothing and do no wrong. (Of course they are states away and I am local, but she defends the one who didn't come to visit for FIVE YEARS.) Thanks to the folks on this site, I have prepped myself to say NO when she will expect me to drive her here and there in a few weeks (actually, any day now when she gives her car to me).

Are you currently going to her house on Sundays? I'm asking because you wrote she has a part-time helper 6 days a week. What are you doing for her now? Who takes her for dialysis?

Here's an idea...just don't tell her that you have retired (once you do retire). I operate on a "need to know" basis with my mother, and it works very well.
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My husband retired and did not tell his mother for a long, long time. I have a feeling that is more common than you think.
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It is not selfish, no. You will need the money, so that when you enter your well-earned retirement you will not be doing so to have more time to run yourself ragged taking hands-on care of elders. You will be putting your feet up.

Your mother is fine. Rise above any natural irritation with her implied belief that boys have real jobs and girls don't: her believing it don't make it so. Look forward to spending social time with her. Do not plan to become her unpaid servant.
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Take it from me, do not retire with a parent to take care of. A serious health condition contributed to my early retirement but my mother didn't see that rationale, all she saw was that now I would be working for her for free! She has dominated and held me captive from my first day of retirement. I tell everyone that I have become a full time volunteer when they ask are you enjoying not working!
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Selfish is not doing what you want. Selfish is expecting other people to do what you want. Paraphrasing Oscar Wilde here, but I think it's apt.
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The simple truth is that most elderly people live on their own now either independently or in assisted living. The family caregiver is a throwback to the old days. A parent who insists a child owes it to them to care for them is showing extreme self interest. Really, what sense does it make for a child to donate their life to someone so they won't have to adapt to growing older? I think that getting angry and bullying a child is simply narcissism coupled with the fear of change. I have a feeling that most mentally healthy adults would adapt to a new way of living. Most people do prefer to be around people their own age doing activities they enjoy. I don't think most people would prefer sitting in front of their TV all day, waiting for God.

If your mother is mentally healthy you will probably actually be doing her a favor to help her redirect her life in a way that she's not absolutely dependent on you. The dialysis does complicate things admittedly. Is her kidney failure a progressive thing? I know that many people with diabetes are in their final years when they go on dialysis. I don't know about your mother.
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Johnjoe, something I've noticed is that people think of things better after a parent has passed. You went through some very difficult years. Not everyone is able to do that. I've been here with my mother almost 7 years now, but I would never encourage anyone to do what I've done. It depends on the personalities and relationships of the people involved.
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Oh, dear. You are putting overly kind words on my situation. Most sane people would ask me why in the world I put up with what I do. And my only answer is a blank look, because I sure don't know. I think it is because my mother and I are such different people and I have the ability to keep a strong wall built around myself, no matter how much battering it takes.
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