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I Hate My Mother

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She didn't beat me or lock me in a closet. I just genuinely do not like her -- and people find this hard to accept.

two women

Guest blogger Gina: I am not close with my mother and this is a concept that people are unable and unwilling to accept. They say things like, "Well, she's your mother so you have to love her." I always think, you know there are jerks who have kids every day. And I'm sorry that's it's uncomfortable, but every now and then you are going to run into the child of one of those jerks. It was always so difficult because it was so unacceptable for me to not like my mom. People (mostly adults) stuck up for her and -- by doing that -- made me seem like I was the crazy one. It was incredibly frustrating and when you think about it, really stupid.

We asked momlogic contributor and psychotherapist Jill Spivack if it's okay to hate your mom. Here's what she said:

As the saying goes, we don't choose our family. We are all born into a set of circumstances where we don't necessarily have much control. We are born with a particular temperament and our parents have both their own temperament as well as their own life experience which, combined, made them who they were to be as people as well as our parents. For some lucky kids, their parents can be nurturing, supportive, non-judgmental, loving limit-setters and consistent and present in their lives. For others, parents can be less than perfect and sometimes really abusive, abrasive and disabling.

While there is no such thing as a "perfect parent," we are all hoping for a good enough one. But unfortunately, for some, this isn't even impossible. Their own lives and experiences have often crippled them beyond a point of return where they cannot be the kind of parent we need. Do we need to empathize with their history? Maybe. There's some degree of "anger reduction" when we understand that maybe our parents' experience was as difficult for them as they were to us.

Should we continue to allow ourselves to be treated hurtfully or abused once we are adults? NO! It's very important for adult children of "not good enough" parents to come to terms with the cards they were dealt. If they feel that an ongoing relationship with that parent will cause them ongoing damage, they need to set boundaries with that parent.

If it is impossible to set enough boundaries or the parent is especially toxic, it is sometimes necessary to disengage completely. Before this, I would ask: Is there any way to remedy/repair the situation? Does their parent have the ability to take in your needs if well explained or maybe with support from a counselor? Has the parent who made the mistakes been in therapy or trying to change or repair what they've done wrong? You really need to know who you're dealing with and the extent to which that parent is "disabled." Just like you wouldn't ask a paraplegic person in a wheelchair to get up and walk over to you, you sometimes may not be able to get a very emotionally damaged parent to change and treat you the way they should have as a child. If your parent has disappointed you beyond repair, abused you emotionally or physically, you're lucky to realize as an adult that they treated you badly and that you're going to learn to be a better parent to your own children.

Go see a therapist if you need guidance and support. Deal with your anger and disappointment and try to make conscious decisions about the way you'll be with your own children. Consciousness will save your children from experiencing a negative relationship with you. And for adult children of "not good enough parents," be sure to recognize when you're taking the pendulum too far in the opposite direction with your own kids. If your mother was, for example, emotionally neglectful, the natural tendency would be for you to overly-coddle and overstimulate your own child for fear of her experiencing the same neglect you felt. However, if you aren't careful, you can over-do that nurturing stuff -- robbing your child of normal independence and competence.

What if one of your children's friends doesn't like his/her parents? Unfortunately, that child is still under their parents' care until he's 18 years old. I would empathize and listen to the child's feelings if they are trying to talk to you about it, but this is not territory you can necessarily get involved in, unless there is extreme emotional or physical abuse. Doctors and teachers are mandated to report abuse, so if you suspect something very serious, talk to the child's doctor or teacher anonymously and let them look into the situation.



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298 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous October 1, 2008, 11:09 PM

no one REALLY hates their mother.

a. October 2, 2008, 4:28 AM

way to read the article.

Laura October 2, 2008, 7:47 AM

To anonymous: Don’t speak for everyone, maybe you just didn’t have a crappy enough mom.

Cindy October 2, 2008, 10:44 AM

” Anonymous on October 1, 2008 11:09 PM wrote:

no one REALLY hates their mother. “

Actually, there are many out there in the world who do! Mine, wasn’t my mother, but my father - who molested me…however, there were many years where I DID hate my mother…for letting it happen and for not teaching me that it was wrong.

BHC October 2, 2008, 11:30 AM

Although I can understand that there are “bad” parents out there and I can empathize with their children, sometimes there are completely other circumstances that can cause a child/adult to “think” they hate their parent.

But as was my case, my beautiful daughter with whom I had a loving and extremely close relationship with for 17 yrs, was alienated from her mom when divorce took place between her father and I. Unfortunately, the divorce took on a more serious set of circumstances involving parental alienation - in our case, paternal parental alienation (it does exist), which not only involved my daughter’s father, but also his family (her grandmother and aunt). At age 12, my ex-husband gave me total custody of our daughter because he had no time for her during his post divorce escapades, but as soon as she turned 18, he and her paternal family made sure they took their bitterness and hate toward me by brainwashing and programming our daughter into believing that my motherly love and concern was turned into nothing more than extreme meddling and holding her back from “having any fun” in life. Today, I have not had a relationship with my 22 yr. old daughter for the past 4 yrs. Talk about complete shock and devastation - that has been my life for the past four years.

While I do understand that my daughter is the gravest victim in all this, I still cannot believe that anyone would want a daughter to hate a mom who was a woman with so much love for her child - and showed it though word and deed. She does know that my arms are open for her if and when she decides she want to come into them.

She was in college, but due to her lack of being taught any values in education or work ethics during the critical college years by the paternal parent she resided with, she did not make it back into college, nor does she work, take online classes - nothing. In fact, she now lives in the college town where she has a few friends she made while at college who know nothing of her personal life-trying to be a part of the college crowd but not letting them know she no longer is a student there. She lives quite a distance away from her father and I (and we both reside in the same small town), so there are very few home visits-but she would only visit her paternal family, completely shunning her maternal family. How lonely it must be for my daughter to be on the playground of life with everyone around her going on to learn about life either through getting an education or at least finding a job to help with their own upkeep.

I feel sure that my daughter probably tells people that she hates her mom, but I do know that deep in her heart, she can’t possibly really believe that - I don’t believe God would let that happen. I pray she will be back and our mother-daughter relationship can be repaired, but in the meantime, we are missing out on so many good times. Just make sure you talk to anyone who may say they hate their parent, because there may be more to the story than they are outwarding showing or talking about. It can’t be healthy to hate a parent - at least not in ALL cases - just be aware.

Natasja October 2, 2008, 2:24 PM

I hate my mother too. She is selfish, passive aggressive, and disrespectful. Although I do feel bad about walking around with all this hate and anger inside me, I’m tired of feeling like I am a bad person for disliking someone who really deserves it. She made my childhood a living hell and its taking my whole life to heal from it. She has done nothing to change or improve her behaviour. She’s just a horrible person. Why should I have her in my life when she makes me feel so bad?

Proud Blue star Momx2 October 2, 2008, 4:05 PM

I Can’t say that I hate my mother,but I do dislike her with almost every fiber of my being! I am glad she brought me into this world so I could have 3 wonderful Boys of my own,and 2 Grand children! I do not allow the word HATE in my home,because I do not feel we know the true meaning of the word! I am sure there are people who do,but myself and my children do not and hopefully will not!
Have a Great day/evening everyone!

Angie October 2, 2008, 5:51 PM

I truly dislike my Mother. She is self centered and hateful. I often wondered as a child why she chose to have me. This was by the time I was 6 years old. A child that young shouldn’t know that it’s mother doesn’t like it. My Mom was a school teacher and from a good family. Even now I have to set boundaries with her. She is limited to access to my kids and myself. I am always on an emotional roller coaster when I’ve been around her. She’s hurt us so much, not physically, emotionally, that I have to keep my distance.

Heather October 3, 2008, 2:56 PM

I hate my mother. I want nothing to do with her! She has always been self -centered and unconcerned with her kids. We have given her too many chances and shes screwed herself on all of them. She blames everyone but herself for how things have turned out and will deny and reflect anything that conflicts with her own reality. As her daughter I still long for that mother-daughter relationship she robbed me of…but I know she isn’t capable. I’m currently nine months pregnant, she wasn’t happy when she found out, barely speaks of it, and has flat out stated she doesn’t want to be a grandmother. I could go on, but i won’t. I too have been judged for hating her, but no one ever treated me with specialty based on familial connections, so why should I have to endure her abuse just because she thought she couldn’t get pregnant while breastfeeding?!

NRC October 3, 2008, 11:38 PM

I’m in the same boat as many of you. Maybe we should start an online support group? Seriously, I think I am the only person I know who has a mother like I do. I don’t reckon I hate her but I have a huge amount of dislike, angst and disdain for the woman. I too long for some mother/daughter relationship that will never happen. Many of times I have thought my life would be so much easier without having to deal with her self-centeredness, her irrational thoughts, her self-pityness and generally just being emotionally unavailable in all respects. From a young age she has been all about her needs and wants. Men always come first and still do to this day. At 5 I was left with my ‘father’ and brother and she left to be with another man. I can’t discuss things with her cause it’s a huge ole argument. Anything I say like ‘don’t smoke around my kids’ is a judgement against her, she says. She’s childish, completely childish. And this is how I deal with her. But it’s hard. Cause there is a child part of me that wants to give it back just as much as she gives it but I have to stop myself or not talk to her for a while. But why is it fair that she spew at the mouth and then act like nothing happened? Or I am to take the higher road and ignore it as to not start WWIII? I tell myself that one day she will realize where she went wrong and what she missed out on but honestly I don’t know if she ever will. Is this a specific generation of women we are talking about here? Those that have ‘issues’ like this with their mothers I have found all tend to come from a certain generation. Many of my friends don’t understand my relationship with my mother and just can’t fathom not being close or disliking her so. I wish more of them understood.

Anonymous October 21, 2008, 9:42 AM

oh god… same here

Marie October 27, 2008, 7:42 AM

I hate my mother, as mentioned above she doesn’t hit me, but we fight each other. I think we can’t live together anymore, I want to leave my home…
I will, soon,
I hate her…

Melissa November 11, 2008, 1:08 PM

I’m 33 years old, and I can say with certainty, I hate my mother. She has not just caused harm to me but to her entire family. She is extremely aggressive, confrontational, a manipulator of the truth, and the list goes on. Yes, she suffers from her own mental anguish. But she puts her children through such turmoil taking down everyone in her path. She has alienated EVERYONE other than her own immediate family because she can control her immediate family. I’ve had many many many years to think about this. I’ve run the gammat of emotions. The bottom line is her behavior is unacceptable. Her actions towards her family are unacceptable. She has not once said she was sorry or claimed blame for ANY of it. As she says, “there are 2 sides to every story.” As those of us who know her, “There’s her side, and EVERYONE ELSES side”. If she would ever admit that she needs help and realize her role in damaging almost all of her relationships, I would try to help her. Yes, I hate my mother. I wish she weren’t here. And it feels good to let it out. I have a great life. I have a wonderful husband, and a wonderful little girl. I’m very happy with how my life has turned out. But when my mother is around, she brings it all to pieces. I can take her hurting me, but I cannot stand her hurting those I care about.

Just because you gave birth to me doesn’t mean I have to love you.

Maureen November 13, 2008, 9:20 PM


I see my relationshp with my mother in every single on of these comments. And yes, I too wonder if its a generational thing. My mother is now in her 70’s, and though she’s changed her strategy to a kindly old woman - she’s just as hateful as she ever was.

This woman made my childhood truly, a living hell. But so controlled - she had everyone convinced - or tried her best - that I was her problem. I too do not wish to hate my mother - but the fact is, she’s hateful, so its the appropriate response. I also used to think my mother would change - she hasn’t. This is her personality. She has been the biggest weight I’ve had to carry in my life, and it’s horrible to have to say this - but I truly wish I had never known her, that she had gone away as she threated to do so often when I was young. It’s also very sad that its taken me so long to admit this, because yes - it made me feel like such a horrible person to feel this way - I mean, what kind of person hates their own mother? What kind of unfeeling monster must I be? It helps to know that I’m not the only one. It is a real taboo - but I must agree that giving birth to someone is no reason to love them.

Pamela November 19, 2008, 10:41 PM

MY SON HATES ME FOR NO REASON,I HAVE GIVE HIM ALL I HAVE ,EVERYTHING I HAVE DONE HAS BEEN FOR HIM,HE IS 17 years old and i have always put him first and gave him everything that he needed but didnt always have the money when he needed it so he would get mad,I stayed in a abusive relationship to just give him the things he wanted,when I would try to leave he didnt want to go,so I stayed for him to make him happy but I couldnt take the abuse anymore so I left and he didnt come with me and I found someone that made me feel good about myself,we got married and now he acts like i dont exsist or his whole family including his own sister he says that he doesnt have time for us that he has that he has a new family ,I was never married to this man he calls his family,and his new girlfriend and her children,his real dad is a dead beat dad and I can understand why he has nothing to do with him,but I cant understand why he will not have anything to do with me,I have never abused him all I have ever done is love him and make him behave and have rules to go by,and my ex has put so much in his head and buys his love,I cant understand what I have done so wrong to make him hate me like he does and all his other family members,I have done everything I can do .What else can I do the police said he is old enough to make his own decisions and that he can stay with him if thats where he wants to be,I feel like there is nothing else to do but just love him and hope oneday he will come home. Why cant he love me back?

Alex November 24, 2008, 2:24 PM

Both of my parents suck. I’m 22 and can safely say that I hate my father, and I’m getting to the point that I can’t stand my mother. My Dad has always been emotionally abusive and allowed my siblings and I to be physically and verbally abused for the majority of our childhoods by the family that he remarried into. My mom is a depressive, self loathing, foul-mooded underachiever with less self control than a rabid dog. Not to mention the fact that she threw a giant stick in the gears as far as my college education goes. She now owes me thousands and thousands of dollars, all money that I have to pay back… that was supposed to go for college tuition and books. I’m half way to getting a bachelor’s degree and I don’t have the money to continue going to school because of her. And every time I get a job, she makes me pay all of her bills. She even had herself added to one of my credit accounts once without my knowledge. I’d move out, but I can’t accumulate enough money to do it. She takes it as fast as I get it. So yeah… it’s perfectly possible to hate your parents. I despise mine.

elena November 24, 2008, 6:59 PM

I HATE MY MOM TO!!cuz whenever i tell her not to say somthing to sombody she goes to them and tell them in my face right after i tell her not to and she says it like a joke but its not a joke i really mean not to tell any one.man i hate her so bad.i use to like her but right after she says stuff to sombody gets me mad.(I HATE MY MOM!!!!!

Totally Understand November 25, 2008, 8:35 AM

I hated my mom too so I was glad I could find this site. My mom was a totally repressed, depressed and pathetic lady whose only hope in life was to control me and treat me like a pet in a cage. I realised what was happiness after she died, and ever since I’ve been a much better, normal person since. Of course the childhood damage is done, but I’m glad she will never exist in my life any more. But despite my enormous hatred towards her, now that I’m fully grown I kind of pity her. She was really a failure in all aspects of life, so she had so much reasons to be depressed.

Michelle November 25, 2008, 11:38 AM

I too have problems with my mother. She has always been rude, played favorites, confrontational, and just plain mean. She can never say she is sorry for anything; she will turn it into a pity party. She always is putting someone down and talking trash about her own family. If you are sick and she hears about it, then the next day she has the same thing but worse. She can never by happy for you, it is always a pity poor me. She has three great children, and three wonderful grandchildren. But if you were to ask her or she her in action, she favors one. I have a wonderful family myself, and I don’t have any need to talk to her. I have my own cake business, and have grown in it over the past year. I have heard she has told people at her work and church not to buy from me. She says there are better bakers out there. It is like she is jealous of me for doing with I love. She can never be happy about anything. I wish she would seek counsel and try some medication. Maybe then we could fix our relationship.

Tina November 26, 2008, 5:47 PM

I am 24 yrs old and I don’t like my mom either. She is a very mean and selfish person. She never cares about her own children’s feelings, she does things without thinking about how it may affect us children. It’s always been this way, since I could remember as a small child. My relationship with her has never been a mother/daughter it has always been up and down, but recently it’s been down constantly. It began this past month when sis and I went on trip with a team to play in a tournament, she wanted to go, but for some reason did not want to go with her mother who was also going in her own car, who wanted her to accompany her. Since she did not want to go with my grandmother, my grandma came with me and friends in a rental car. My mom didn’t find out till after she went to grandmas house and found her gone. After I came back she yelled and even tried to hit me with her keys as if I were 10 yrs old. I stopped her and let her know that she could not do that to me. We yelled at eachother for about a few minutes till I remembered that noone could reason with this woman, I learned from her yelling at my dad when he was drunk leading him to hit her, which was not good for me to see, hear, traumatizing (acting without thinking of children). This was not because I went out drinking with friends, or having random sex with guys and leaving a kid with her, I don’t even have kids. It was a family thing, since the team consists of family members.I graduated from college, and helped her build our house, never embrassed her, always a good girl. She was mad because I took my grandma and not her, and that I could rent a nice car, but not give her money to help with mortgage or utilities, give me a break!!Which I have done since 17. she had told me before I left that she was not going at all and that was her final decision.I am not perfect, but she has never seemed to be proud of me, saying it only in front of others to make herself look good, but I have been pretty successful with school because of my grams and aunt, who are always there which I am lucky to have, since my mom never is, emotionally. At my high school graduation the first to run and give me a hug was my grams, no hug from mom, my dad was there who i was not talking to at the time and he knew it, but he didn’t care he still gave me a hug and kiss. At my college grad she said to me i need to give you a hug, like she was forcing herself too, and I said why?, cuz it was not expecting, and she said I don’t know I just have to. What the hell? She could have fakingly said cuz I am proud or happy, or something other than I don’t know!!I have never been able to confide in her, and if I tried to, she would either ignore me or just wouldn’t care. It seems that her priorities have always been either my alcoholic father who passed 2 yrs ago, whom she mainly fought with, not tried to help, and today money. Especially with me, she asks for money to pay the mortgage and utilities, since my first job at 17 I have always given her money for rent or whatever, and if I hadn’t applied for the mortgage with her we wouldn’t have the nice house we live in. Even though it’s nice, she makes it feel like a crazy house because of the way she yells, and calls us names. It seems she wants me out, get married, leave, are the type of comments I get from her, but I don’care, I’ll get married when i am ready.I am about ready to move out though, I have too, if I continue to live in that house I know the relationship we have now will be lost,which is not really much, but atleast we talk to eachother, forcingly on my part.


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