I'm 36 and an only child. My mother and I lost my father a over a year ago to cancer. My mother is 70 and lives a 40 minutes drive away. As you can imagine the cancer brought us together and was a very difficult situation especially at the end. I had to fill in my Dad's role while living my own life and grieving. My parent's were very needy to me for support emotional and otherwise.
Now that my father is gone, my mother continues to be emotionally needy. I call once a day and try to visit once a week. I have to do quite a few repairs to the home as it is large and aging and my father isn't around to take care of it. She is too stubborn to move.
It can be very hard for me to find time to take care of myself because I have to commit time to her and the house. Even when there are no repairs to make, she expects expects me almost as emotional support. I am 36 and single but would like to have a family one day, but I don't see how I can even do that if I need to take care of my mother all the time. I try to encourage her independence, she doesn't have many friends, or a job to distract her. It is a heavy weight to bear. I am trying to establish boundaries but she isn't taking it well. I had a date, and my mom got upset with me because I wasn't there to fix her toilet (I didn't know it was broken). She told me that she is upset because she thinks I "don't want to be part of the family anymore."
I know she is just grieving but how should I cope? She makes me feel guilty.