Should I be taking time to live my life? -

Should I be taking time to live my life?


I'm 40 years old.

I've never dated, but haven't even looked in about 5 years. Before I took on taking care of my Mom I'd get jobs through the temp agencies, hoping for something I'd like that would become full time. I've even given up going out once a week.

The social workers at the last place Mom stayed when she had pneumonia told me to spend some time to myself, which on their recommendation I did, and Mom told me I should have instead stayed and worked on our, admittedly messy, home.

My family when I try to vent frustration to them only respond with "You chose this life by only having temp jobs" or "You'll regret saying that when she's gone". The only one that seems to be on my side is my niece who keeps insisting on our getting a respite worker to work at least once a week, which Mom says she doesn't want and doesn't see a need for.

Given my age, should I be trying to get my life started or continue spending most of my time with Mom and waiting for the unfortunate end to come, one I pray every six months to be pushed back another six months, and then get things rolling? I'd like to have a family of my own someday.

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Mymomsson, I'm sure that you know the answer to your question. Asking it allows us to give you confirmation and permission to do what you know you need to do. Your life is important. Your mother's life is important. The tidiness of the house is way down the list somewhere.

If your mother is in her final stage of life, that puts a little different spin on things. Then she should be on hospice, you should be getting support and encouragement from the hospice team, and your unwillingness to leave the house makes more sense. Hospice offered me some respite care, but I declined, saying I could deal with the last few months with my own support system.

But you do not indicate that your mother is near death. Any of us could die at any time, of course. Knowing that should help us be kind to each other and resolve relationship problems quickly. But it does not call for us to cling to each other. It does not call for us to give up our own living anticipating someone else's death.

It is possible, but not very likely (unless she is already in final stage), that Mother could die while you are away. It is possible that she could die while you are asleep, or in the shower. It is possible (but not very likely) that you could die while you are away. These things are out of our hands. Trying to structure our lives around the possibility of unexpected death is just not healthy. (My attitude is a little different once someone is in the active process of dying.)

Please do not base all of your decisions on what Mother says she wants or thinks is necessary. She is not well. She may not be capable of seeing the big picture. People who are ill often become self-centered in ways they cannot help. You must do what is right for you, as well as do your best for your mother.

Talk to your own spiritual leader. Is it right to not fully embrace this life you have been given? How can you balance your love of your mother and the commandment to love yourself?

I hope that you can start living your own life now.
Helpful Answer (10)

What Jeannegibbs said .. I'm sure you already know the answers and are seeking some form of confirmation. Dude!! Live your life as you see fit. Ignore the sibs who're saying that it's your own fault for working temp jobs. I did so for most of my adult life, because, frankly there were none that appealed to me to stay for much longer. I got bored easily. My choice .. and .. I'm living with the consequences. I'm 60 with no retirement in sight. I'm ok with that. I know I'll find my way through that maze.

When your mom says that *she* doesn't need respite, tell her that YOU do. YOU need to know she's safe (to my way of thinking, worrying that she might die is just too demoralizing) **and** YOU need a bit of a break, so that you can continue to take care of her.
Helpful Answer (9)

You are 40. Waiting for mom to pass is not a life for her, much less for you. You need a job, not a temp job, a real one. Can mom go to adult day care? I understand she won't want to, but that is not the point.

If you can't see yourself pulling away from mom, you may want to see a therapist.
Unless you are wealthy, you will need a job. What about your own retirement? You cannot wait until 60 to start planning for that.

Bluntly, a 40 year old without a career, much less a job, will have a very difficult time dating. Not because women are gold-diggers, but most women want to be with someone that can offer security and has at least an equivalent job. More importantly, you need to be your own man before you think of sharing a life with someone else.

Live your life. Mom did.
Helpful Answer (8)

Dude, you have got to start building your life now. Get a career, get an education if need be, but start building it now. You cannot live to just take care of Mom. No mother in her right mind would want that for her child. I'm a mother myself and do NOT want either of my children to give up their lives to take care of me. As much as I love them and part of me wants to hold onto them forever and never let them leave, that's not realistic. I will have to allow them to grow up and lead their own lives because if they simply live to take care of me and stay under my wing, so to speak, what will they do when I'm gone? They'd be lost and may possibly resent me for putting them in that position. No, I want better for my children. I want them to be happy, I want them to find their soulmates and give me grandchildren one day, a long time from now. (they're only 3 and 7)
Helpful Answer (7)

You should seek balance in your life, that includes getting out with friends and pursuing a hobby and getting exercise in fresh air. You prevent burnout by having more than just home duties, expand your horizons.
Helpful Answer (6)

i just spent 6 years with my mom up until her final breath. during that time every woman i met was a user who wanted her automobile fixed. in hindsight mom had no sneaky agenda like that. she just loved, trusted and needed me. time well spent, heck with those skanks.
yea theres angst watching your life slip past but i contend that caring for her was more rewarding than than dating insincere women.
Helpful Answer (6)

WOW! So much good info on this feed!!! Have you ever been in an airplane...the flight attendant talks about the air masks...before you help someone else, you must put your mask on first! You have to be alive and healthy to be good to someone else. If you don't take care of you, you may be in a position of resentment later! You don't want to resent "what mom did to your life" later. Some concerns mom a controller not wanting you to leave her alone? Are you afraid to be "out in the world?" You don't want to hit the world on your own cold turkey when it is moms time to go. Put the air mask on today....take charge of what you need to do for one gets out of this world will be gone when it is her time...whether you are sleeping, out on a dats, at work, in the shower, on a vacation....its all in the
bigger plan. Don't put yourself in a position to "wish I woulda" the rest of your life. Life with family is the most important thing...but, you have to also look at your own life so you don't get burned out and/or resent the situation the REST of your life. I wish you the best with what YOU feel is right.
Helpful Answer (6)

Not to scare you, but I live in a condo and the guy at the end of the hall appears to have had no life outside of taking care of his elderly mom. His mom died last November and he's been a mess ever since. He's been using prescription drugs and starts to tear up at the mere mention of his mom's name. We've had to call the paramedics on him twice because he's sitting in a stupor in the parking lot or driving his car (last time into oncoming traffic) or people are driving him home because he's so impaired. If he continues on this path, he's going to either kill himself in his car or kill someone else (that usually happens with people who drink/drug and drive - the innocent person dies). He's a sad, sad case. I tried to help, but quickly saw he needed much more help than I could give him.

So as PStiegman says, you HAVE to build a life apart from your mom. You need friends and activities that will ground you and keep you engaged and involved in life when your mom is no longer here. If you don't need work for the money, then get out and do some volunteer work that is far removed from caregiving. Find a volunteer activity that is something you like. Or start going to church or get involved in some kind of group. You deserve a full life apart from your mom. Your family (other than your niece) just doesn't get it. But we do, so come back here for support.
Helpful Answer (4)

YES, get your life started!!! Use respite care, do what you have to!!! I use monthly respite care and it has done wonders. I'm 42, my mother will be 81 in January. I still like going to theme parks and concerts, which we can't do with mom. We use out of the house respite care. My husband and I drop her off for 1 week per month. It makes me a better caregiver to have this alone time with the hubby. You need the time to find yourself. Mom had been living with us for a year before I started the use of respite care. I had forgotten about the world outside. It's still there!!!
Helpful Answer (4)

You need to live your life. I don't have your exact situation, but my father has dementia and his wife takes care of him. I'm 55 and can barely recall the last time I had a serious relationship. Dating at this age is very difficult, and I can tell you it doesn't get easier to meet people as you age. Agree with Jeanne - we're supposed to fully embrace the life we've been given. I'm not saying I've always done that, but I'm not dead yet, so there's still time. And you have time. No healthy parent would want their child to give up their life to take care of them. It's not the way to live.
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