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Giving it all up to be with the old Mum
Old 05-27-2019, 05:14 AM   #1
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Giving it all up to be with the old Mum

I am 55, living in SE Asia, charmed life as an expat - but seriously considering moving back to the UK to be near my elderly mother as well as a sister who has learning disabilities.

The quandary I face is where is the line between family and doing one's own thing. I can retire in a year or so (that fact also scares me), so if I really want to I can stop work in the near future. Of course every month worked is cash in the bank and chance to live in Asia. Living in Asia, seeing how Asian families work as a unit is quite different to the west, is also giving some direction.

My childhood was difficult and was apart from my family a lot of the time since very young - so I really now feel a fierce need to be there and stand up as the son and look after my family.

Has anyone faced this and how did it pan out!?
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Old 05-27-2019, 05:51 AM   #2
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Somewhat. I didn't have to move to look after my aging mom and aunt, but it kept me close by to do so. It didn't seem like I had to sacrifice much tho as I had help from part time sitters. And I wanted to help out so I didn't mind staying nearby. My aunt passed away in 2009 and my mother in 2013.
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Old 05-27-2019, 01:09 PM   #3
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I helped my mom take care of my dad for 14 years. Once he died I needed to move for a good job. Some years I used all my vacation and sick leave to fly home to help out. Never considered quitting my job. My 2 siblings helped more being closer and being older they retired sooner. They didn’t help at all with my dad.
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Giving it all up to be with the old Mum
Old 05-27-2019, 01:21 PM   #4
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Giving it all up to be with the old Mum

90 yo mil (lives nearby) was going to move in with us - in a cross country move to Arizona. She decluttered her place. I started preparing for a new az house. Put the snowbird condo up for for sale and have a contract on it. Emptied all belongings out of the condo. Readied our Illinois house for sale. Put in an offer on an az house last week. An hour later, MIL changed her mind - sheís not moving. And DW is not moving without her mom. So far Iím not happy about the whole ordeal.
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Old 05-27-2019, 01:24 PM   #5
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90 yo mil (lives nearby) was going to move in with us - in a cross country move to Arizona. She decluttered her place. I started preparing for a new az house. Put the snowbird condo up for for sale and have a contract on it. Emptied all belongings out of the condo. Readied our Illinois house for sale. Put in an offer on an az house last week. An hour later, MIL changed her mind - sheís not moving. And DW is not moving without her mom. So far Iím not happy about the whole ordeal.
Damn!

Good luck straightening this all out!
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Old 05-27-2019, 01:28 PM   #6
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90 yo mil (lives nearby) was going to move in with us - in a cross country move to Arizona. She decluttered her place. I started preparing for a new az house. Put the snowbird condo up for for sale and have a contract on it. Emptied all belongings out of the condo. Readied our Illinois house for sale. Put in an offer on an az house last week. An hour later, MIL changed her mind - sheís not moving. And DW is not moving without her mom. So far Iím not happy about the whole ordeal.
Yikes!
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Old 05-27-2019, 01:31 PM   #7
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90 yo mil (lives nearby) was going to move in with us - in a cross country move to Arizona. She decluttered her place. I started preparing for a new az house. Put the snowbird condo up for for sale and have a contract on it. Emptied all belongings out of the condo. Readied our Illinois house for sale. Put in an offer on an az house last week. An hour later, MIL changed her mind - sheís not moving. And DW is not moving without her mom. So far Iím not happy about the whole ordeal.
I remember you posting about this and others asking what if the above scenario comes to pass. I'm so sorry to hear this. I'd be fuming myself! I'd be tempted to move to the AZ house and let DW stay in the IL house until MIL passes, if that's how she feels. But that's easy for me to say.
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Old 05-27-2019, 01:44 PM   #8
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I'd be tempted to move to the AZ house and let DW stay in the IL house until MIL passes, if that's how she feels. But that's easy for me to say.
When men and women decide to live apart "for while" it can be habit forming. Older men unless they are truly rich may not have much luck finding female companionship and sex. OTOH, a reasonably good looking woman who enjoys sex with men will always be popular.

Ha
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Old 05-27-2019, 01:46 PM   #9
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I remember you posting about this and others asking what if the above scenario comes to pass. I'm so sorry to hear this. I'd be fuming myself! I'd be tempted to move to the AZ house and let DW stay in the IL house until MIL passes, if that's how she feels. But that's easy for me to say.
Luckily I made the offer on the Az house contingent on selling both our condo and Illinois house. The seller thought it over for a day and then declined the offer based on the contingencies.

I had a backup plan to buy a vacant lot and have a house built. Had the lot and house plan picked out. But MIL gave us the news before I executed the backup plan.

So at least I won't have to worry about a pending house purchase. But I probably won't have a snowbird condo anymore either.
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Old 05-27-2019, 02:58 PM   #10
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, a reasonably good looking woman who enjoys sex with men will always be popular.
I can't fathom how that would not be true!
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Old 05-27-2019, 03:06 PM   #11
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I would want to kill her. Her friend’s must be dead by now so not sure what she is staying for. Is your wife upset? Ha, people don’t want to give up a loving long term marriage for just any warm body.
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Old 05-27-2019, 03:35 PM   #12
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I bet it's just the change ... at that age change like that is traumatic.
Still, last minute change of mind is pretty inconsiderate considering the life changes that you and your wife are making around your MIL.
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Old 05-27-2019, 04:33 PM   #13
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I would want to kill her. Her friendís must be dead by now so not sure what she is staying for. Is your wife upset? Ha, people donít want to give up a loving long term marriage for just any warm body.
That's just it. She still has several friends around. She goes out for lunch several times a week with different groups, and still goes to exercise class with friends. Her 94 yo sister is in a local nursing home. MIL visits her sister often, but her sister doesn't know who she is.

DW is upset, but she won't tell her mom how she mucked up our plans. MIL has the beginning of memory issues - I don't think she understands how we relied on her initial "yes" to this plan.


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I bet it's just the change ... at that age change like that is traumatic.
Still, last minute change of mind is pretty inconsiderate considering the life changes that you and your wife are making around your MIL.
Yep - she realized that she didn't want to go through a change. And she mentioned that as the reason for changing her mind.



OP - If I were you, I would work as long as you planned to work. Maybe take a trip to the UK to assess the situation. But I wouldn't quit the job or move to the UK until you have had several months to think it over.
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Old 05-27-2019, 05:08 PM   #14
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Ronstar, since your MIL is already 90 years old, maybe it would help to regard this as a temporary delay in your plans. I am thinking you could use the time to declutter more and more, maybe sell the house (and rent?) and solidify your plans for Arizona.

Rhodestine, I don't know if this will help in your decision making, but it does seem to me that as we age many of us feel a stronger desire to live near family. I'd recommend visiting your mother, and maybe during the visit, the best choice for you may become apparent.
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Old 05-27-2019, 05:10 PM   #15
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The quandary I face is where is the line between family and doing one's own thing.

Has anyone faced this and how did it pan out!?
Going through a bit of this myself. My brother had a massive stroke 2 years ago and now lives (just a block away) with 90 year old mom.

He's a bit demanding at this point because he's housebound unless someone takes him out; and he wants to go out all the time! Breakfast, lunch, dinner, massage, doctors, haircuts, golf, swimming or just ride around. He doesn't need a lot of help but mostly needs a driver. Mom also picks up a lot of slack.

I usually set aside an hour or two each morning for him. We're both early risers (5AM-ish) and DW sleeps late, so usually by the time I'm back home DW is just getting out of bed.

I have set my own personal 'line' where DW comes first (most of the time) but with no other siblings a lot is left to me to usher him around. Right now it works and I fold in his other activities/needs when DW is otherwise occupied (gym, shopping, hair, out with friends etc)

Longer term (once mom is no longer around) I'm looking at PCA home help for a half day each day who can provide companionship and driving in order for me to have my own life, travel and such.

I think setting a routine where the person doesn't expect you after certain times (in my case usually after 12PM) works. They tend to learn how to fill in those other hours with TV, naps, or just hanging out at home. Irregular visits/hours can make it harder IMO.
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Old 05-27-2019, 05:48 PM   #16
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I am 55, living in SE Asia, charmed life as an expat - but seriously considering moving back to the UK to be near my elderly mother as well as a sister who has learning disabilities.

The quandary I face is where is the line between family and doing one's own thing. I can retire in a year or so (that fact also scares me), so if I really want to I can stop work in the near future. Of course every month worked is cash in the bank and chance to live in Asia. Living in Asia, seeing how Asian families work as a unit is quite different to the west, is also giving some direction.

My childhood was difficult and was apart from my family a lot of the time since very young - so I really now feel a fierce need to be there and stand up as the son and look after my family.

Has anyone faced this and how did it pan out!?
We have some things in common. In the end, I moved DM to assisted living place where she is very content. But before, every time I considered moving my mom to my place (we live about 400 miles apart most of my life), I decided against it. DM has a very strong personality that would have come to clash with me and DW. She has all her relatives, friends, and other children as well close by. So, plucking her out of her env to move her in my place didn't look like an option. Giving up my place and living env to move near my mom was not an option either. If you think your life will stay "sane" and can still enjoy your life while living close with your mom, by all means, do so. But I don't recommend sacrificing your "life" to take care of another. If you are not happy, you can't make another happy. That's my 2 cents.
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Old 05-27-2019, 05:48 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by haha View Post
, a reasonably good looking woman who enjoys sex with men will always be popular.

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I can't fathom how that would not be true!
Yeah....that was the understatement of the year.
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Old 05-27-2019, 08:04 PM   #18
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90 yo mil (lives nearby) was going to move in with us - in a cross country move to Arizona. She decluttered her place. I started preparing for a new az house. Put the snowbird condo up for for sale and have a contract on it. Emptied all belongings out of the condo. Readied our Illinois house for sale. Put in an offer on an az house last week. An hour later, MIL changed her mind - she’s not moving. And DW is not moving without her mom. So far I’m not happy about the whole ordeal.
So deep down how do you feel about your DW and her response to this. You're not getting any younger and who knows how long her Mom will "need" her. Are you supposed to just put your personal desires on hold indefinitely?

Why can't you relocate and your spouse check in on Mom with trips from from AZ, you already snowbird...

It's like you have to sit and wait for your MIL to pass away before you can get to the life you want, it seems arbitrary on your DW's part. Not to mention it puts you in a bad spot, here is nothing like knowing something bad has to happen for you to get your wishes fulfilled..
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Old 05-27-2019, 08:40 PM   #19
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If I was your wife I would move and visit frequently. When she can’t be alone time to move to a local facility or one by you guys. Although, if it comes down to it I wouldn’t sacrifice my marriage.
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Old 05-27-2019, 09:46 PM   #20
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Ronstar, since your MIL is already 90 years old, maybe it would help to regard this as a temporary delay in your plans. I am thinking you could use the time to declutter more and more, maybe sell the house (and rent?) and solidify your plans for Arizona.

Great advice! And that is the plan at this point. Iím decluttering, but not at a breakneck pace. Should be ready to put the house up for sale next spring. Then rent or buy locally dependent on MIL situation at such time that it sells.

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So deep down how do you feel about your DW and her response to this. You're not getting any younger and who knows how long her Mom will "need" her. Are you supposed to just put your personal desires on hold indefinitely?

Why can't you relocate and your spouse check in on Mom with trips from from AZ, you already snowbird...

It's like you have to sit and wait for your MIL to pass away before you can get to the life you want, it seems arbitrary on your DW's part. Not to mention it puts you in a bad spot, here is nothing like knowing something bad has to happen for you to get your wishes fulfilled..

This really puts my plan in jeopardy because my main purpose in moving to Arizona was to do a lot of hiking, biking, and exploring landscape photo spots before I got too old. But my clock is ticking - Iíll be 64 in a couple of months. DW doesnít want to (or physically canít) take part in some of the these trips.

So for a while, Iíll do some exploring / traveling on my own. A week or so at a time. DW can stay here close to her mom. I donít fault MIL in any of this. We didnít sit down and talk this over with her in enough detail at the beginning. DW just asked her if she would like to move with us and she said yes.

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If I was your wife I would move and visit frequently. When she canít be alone time to move to a local facility or one by you guys. Although, if it comes down to it I wouldnít sacrifice my marriage.

The move and visit frequently plan could work, but DW takes her mom grocery shopping and to doctor appts whenever we are in Illinois. While snowbirding, I sense that DW feels that she should be near her mom in case she needs something. And I can tell that her mom canít wait until we come back in the spring.

This wonít jeopardize our marriage as long as I can do several small solo trips while DW stays home.
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