Maz, I agree, don't let your mother drag you into any debate about whether you should or should not have a holiday, or whether you do or do not need a break from her! Like I say, just 'tell' her what you will be doing.
Interesting (and perhaps revealing!) that there was a 'situation' when you last went away - was that to punish you, perhaps? Or to try and get you to come back early?
I'm afraid I rather hold to the opinion that, at some deep subconscoius level (and sometimes not so subconsious!) there is a kind of Darwinian struggle going on between carer and caree. The caree is 'desperate' to get the carer to commit 24x7 to endless, perpetual care, and will pull every psychological trick in the book, ruthless, and without compunction or compassion or consideration for the carer, to achieve that.
Think of a baby wanting food in the night! It cries, and cries, and cries - it's never ever going to think 'oh, dear, Mum won't like a broken night, and she does need her sleep, i know, so I think I'll wait till morning'!!!! Same with old folk - they want US and they want us ALL THE TIME at their disposal.
It's about power, I suppose. A baby only has power when it has power over our emotions, to make us care for it. Ditto with our elders. They more powerless they get, in terms of being dependent on others, the more urgent it is for them to control our emotional response to them.
I agree the 'impulse to mollycoddle' is almsot impossble to ignore! I do it with my MIL - a sort of URGENT RUSH to get her a cup of tea, to make her breakfast, to take her out for a nice drive in teh countryside, to fuss over her and make her warm and comfy.....
Very, very hard to fight against!
But....once we are away from them, it becomes easier!
They do try it on you know - not necessarily deliberately, but all the same. When I took my MIL back to her flat in the new year, the morning I left she sat by the TV in her usual chair, as I had my breakfast, and looked around her helplessly. "How will I manage?' she asked in a vague, trembly sort of way. I just said brightly something like 'oh it will all come back to you!'.....and when I went off shopping for her, and returned, she was fine, and had already made her own soup for lunch. She's been fine every time I've phoned her since!
So you d have to blank out the lemon face and the 'pressure' that they exert, like a forcefield almost, all around them, to keep us in orbit, to keep us in line. They go on about their ailments (lucikly, my MIL doesn't!)(she's great like that, thankfully), and as you say, never dream that anyone else can ever have anything amiss (and they have no sympathy, either, because any one else's infirmity is competition for them, and your ailments are a threat to her, as they may incapacitate you as her carer, whicdh is your primary function in life now!)
I do think, overall, one has to 'disengage emotionally' quite a lot. We aren't horrible, just 'not really involved' - a degree of indifference. It's why, I think, professional carers are so good with them - because they don't really care, that's why! There are no chains and knots and childhood programming to bind them to the caree, and byand large carees seldom play up professional carers the way they do their relatives!
All the best, and definitely take your break, and don't moddlecoddle your mum!
(If you want to 'salve your conscience' - not morally necessary, but you may illogically feel it anyway! - how about giving her some 'nice treats' when you come back!)