Mothers Day is Hard When The Mother Shows No Love


Mothers Day can be a rough time for survivors of dysfunctional family relationships. The key to overcoming all the emotional baggage that comes up with the pain of mothers day has been to take a look at what that pain is where that pain originated.

We are told from a young age that our parents know best. We are told and convinced that they love us and are doing their best and that they always do what is best for us. We are taught that they are right. The problem is that when we are dismissed, devalued or discounted by these same parents we don’t know how to reconcile those two polar opposite teachings. On the one hand, we have been brainwashed (convinced) to believe that that there is nothing as beautiful as a mothers love. On the other hand we are hurt by the dismissal of our mothers. Our pain has been minimized; we have been told that we exaggerate, that we outright lie, that we are too sensitive, that we are crazy, that we are don’t remember what “really happened”.

These are deflection tactics motivated by the need to cover up the truth. Mothers will jump straight to saying that we are ungrateful. “After all I have done for you, this is how you treat me!”

My mother would say; “Oh Darlene, you think you are so hard done by!” I never once thought about what that meant, I just felt the burn of shame for being ‘that daughter’… the daughter that thought her own mother was selfish. That daughter that thought her own mother was unloving and shame on me, for not understanding how hard it had been for my poor mother. I felt guilty for feeling frustrated. After all, my mother went through a lot in her life. And the whole world teaches that there is nothing as strong and protective as a mothers love.

The whole world teaches that a mother does the best she can.

A loving mother does her very best.

So I had to take a look at what a loving mother is. What does love do? What does love look like?

Does love ignore? Does love dismiss? Does love turn a blind eye to a child’s fear or to a child’s feelings? Is a parent entitled to follow different rules when it comes to love?

Is it possible that just maybe not all mothers are ‘loving’? 

Since I was looking at the belief that Mothers always do the best they can, I had to take a look at what is ‘best’.

Why was it best for me that my mother didn’t hear me and that she didn’t want to hear me? Why was it best for me that she didn’t protect me? Why was it best for me that she didn’t want to treat me with mutual respect? Why was it best for me that my mother didn’t validate my needs or that she communicated to me that my needs were a burden to her? How could that have been her doing the ‘best’ that she could?

And I told myself that my mother didn’t know any better. I told myself that that is just how it was ‘in those days’ and that there wasn’t any good help in those days. But those excuses didn’t hold much weight as I grew older because they don’t make logical sense. Why would a loving mother not realize that her actions were HURTFUL? Isn’t it part of love to consider the one loved? Is it part of love to convince the one loved not to bring shame on the family by talking about our pain? Isn’t it a bit of a truth leak when we are groomed to keep those deep dark secrets? Doesn’t that actually prove that they DO know better? What is the real motive behind being told not to tell and not to expose the truth?

Mothers who validate the truth have to take action against abuse therefore we can see what their motive is for ignoring us. They don’t want to do anything about it. It is so much easier to cover it up, either to protect herself or to protect someone else. But the problem is the message that it gives to the person that was harmed in the first place! It communicates that the abuser is more important than the victim.

As I struggled to reconcile how my mother could do her best verses the truth about the way she actually regarded me, my self-esteem got lower. I was an adult and she was still ignoring me, telling me that the problem was me. She was still communicating that the problem was and always has been, me.

Their main objective is to make sure that they switch the focus from themselves back on to you. When my mother brought the focus back to me, my actual grievance was lost and ignored as I was forced to defend myself once again. Every time that my mom pointed her finger at me, I started to think about my actions and I had been so brainwashed to believe that I was ‘nothing special’ that I immediately felt ashamed of myself for trying to have my own feelings validated.

How does a child do that?

When I really thought about the way that my mother taught me love, it was always about her. She didn’t love me the way she asked me to love her. I was supposed to put her first. I was supposed to be understanding of HER difficulties. I was supposed to submit to her wishes and to agree that HER value was greater than mine.

I thought perhaps that I was the only daughter in the world that felt this way and that perhaps I was the only daughter whose mother couldn’t love her. I believed it must be something to do with me, because she told me it was me.

My Mother would jump straight to reminding me about that one time I did something or said something wrong in her eyes. They will drag up anything that they can to bring the focus back to you and take it off of them. One time on the day I was released from the hospital with my newborn baby my mother brought up a whole list of things I did when I was a teenager. I was sick and weak and she chose that time to bully me. How is that love? How is that best?

Is what I was asking for from my mother, wrong? Is asking to be loved and accepted for who I am, asking for too much? Is it unloving to feel sad or even angry that although I tried my hardest, and even though my mother said she loved me, her actions show a different truth? Does love hurt others? And if you are one of those people that will point a finger at me and say that I have hurt my mother by standing up to her I ask you this: Is it loving to accept abusive treatment? Or is it MORE loving to say no to abusive, dismissive and disrespectful treatment because accepting that treatment gives a type of permission to the abuser.

Am I a disrespectful daughter because I finally stood up for me and said no to being discounted? I don’t think so.

Am I an ungrateful daughter because I don’t worship the person that birthed me? Am I a bad daughter because I don’t want to accept all that disrespect and blame anymore? I don’t think so.

Does it make me a bad daughter because I said no to the never-ending pain caused by the untrue and unfair judgment from my mother and said yes to me? I don’t think so!

I don’t believe any of those lies anymore.

(P.S. This post can easily be applied to fathers and other relationship partners as well. There is only one definition of Love)

This mothers day I am celebrating the freedom and true love I have in my life today! I Celebrate the fact that in spite of the upbringing I had full of false teachings about love, I became the loving mother that I am to my 3 grown children and that I have a wonderful mutually respectful relationship with all of them.

Please share your thoughts and comments with us! 

Exposing Truth; One snapshot at a time

Darlene Ouimet

Are you aware my e-book “Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing”? If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you, this 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to busting out of the fog and to healing.  Get yours here through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

For related articles please visit the Mother Daughter Category button here: Mother Daughter Category

125 response to "Mothers Day is Hard When The Mother Shows No Love"

  1. By: Anonymous Posted: 11th August

    Wow, reading your blog has brought tears to my eyes. It’s like we have lived the same life, right down to married with 3 kids. Your advice is sound too. Your attitude is exactly mine and how I have healed. Reading your blog is so uncanny. It echos my own feelings and thoughts to a T. I will definitely recommend it to others.

  2. By: jessica Posted: 26th February

    Hi Andria,
    Thank you for your support. I know this is a safe place to express myself and be understood. Sometimes that is all we need. Yes, once I got it out of my system and had a quick cry I moved on. Darlene is right and to hear it from a neutral party really helps. It IS about them. I am the first to admit that I am not perfect by any means but I am not a bad person. We brought my mother into our home for almost 3 years and the payback was fierce from her. She was physically ill and not able to live alone anymore but living with us was killing me. My depression got such a grip on me, I went to a very dark place. We went our separate ways 2 and a half years ago and I feel I am still climbing out of the hole. Most of the time I am above ground but on days like yesterday as well as holidays I feel like I am still underground. That is probably something that will be with me for life, just in varying degrees. I am blessed with a loving family of choice and hopefully have broken that sick cycle.

    Again, thank you for the kind words. They really do make a difference.

  3. By: Andria Posted: 24th February

    Hi Jessica,

    I hope you began feeling better later in the day. My circumstances are different, but I am no contact with my FOO and my sister-in-law. I still get cards on my birthday from my dad. I blocked his number on my phone, but later saw that he had left a message on my birthday. I don’t feel bad about not responding to his few gestures. It is too little too late. He is just going through the motions society taught him. I started therapy 6 months ago and it has helped tremendously. I have been doing grief therapy. I am in grief of losing a family that I never had in the first place. It is hard still for me. Going into therapy has dragged up stuff and it has been painful. I am getting validation from my therapist. But I still feel depressed. I am on anti-depressants and may be the rest of my life. I am 59 years old. I have a wonderful life, and am very grateful for all of my blessings. Just hang in there. I know it sounds trite. Darlene is right that it gets better with time. It was Darlene’s blog that first gave me the courage to go no contact. I could not make my family understand what they did not want to understand. Like Darlene says: it is always about them. I was always the one reaching out and doing all the work of the relationship. I got tired of that too. This family stuff makes one so tired. I have friends that understand and some that don’t really understand. What I have learned with going no contact is that I can make really strong boundaries with people. I believe this is an excellent skill in life. So if you made these boundaries with family and even gave them explanations for why you did what you did I believe you should be very proud of yourself on your 55th birthday. You did all you could. It is not your fault that these people don’t care. I know it hurts. It still bothers me. I have been working hard at my healing for 5 years. Again, it will get better with time. But for me, I think there might be a permanent wound that will not close. It is no longer festering, but I may have to be okay to have the wound. I can still live a good and happy life. I am glad you reached out on your birthday. I wish you many more.

  4. By: jessica Posted: 24th February

    I know it’s not Mothers Day yet but this is a hard day for me. It’s my birthday. 55 and I still feel like a child in some ways on some days. My story is long, Like many others here, and I’ve told it before on this post so I won’t tell it again today. However I woke up this morning in a true funk. Don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful for my husband, grown children and fur babies but it still hurts. I wonder sometimes if it ever won’t.

    It has been over 2 years since contact with my mother, 5 years since contact with my 3 siblings and last year a final cut off from my absent father (absent my entire life). In all cases except my mother I contacted each family member, explained my position and hoped for at least a reply. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I think that is what hurts the most. I am not even worth a comment in their eyes. Now on my birthday I secretly hope for an acknowledgement of some kind from some family member. Why?? I feel like a child. Do I need it? Do I just want it? Is it a narc trait like both my parents? Am I just being human? What I do know is I am tired of feeling this way. I want to cry today and I should be happy. I am hoping that writing here will help release me. I know my husband sympathizes with me but I also know there are women here that can relate in a different way.

    I’m tired. I’m tired of carrying this with me. Once I wrote to my older brother who sexually molested me and told him to carry that baggage for I was tired of carrying it. Funny, no response to that one either. I am worth more than this total disregard, Do I have to replace my hurt with anger just to get some relief? I don’t want to live life angry. I just want to be at peace. I’m not a religious person but I pray today that God grant me some peace. I used to pray that God would take my life in an accident because I couldn’t commit suicide and leave that legacy for my children. I am past that wish now, no longer wanting to die. I just want some peace in my life after 55 years of angst. I’ve told my husband not to be sad if I go before him because then at least he would know I was out of my agony. Depression is a terrible monster. One day you feel like you have a good handle on it and the next it rears it’s ugly ugly head. I will keep trying to hold on to that handle as hard as I can. Life is too short.

    Even if you don’t respond, thank you for reading. I know you understand.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 24th February

      Hi Jessica
      Happy Birthday! I understand the tiredness. I found that it got much better with time and with the work I did to change my belief system, especially realizing that the way they treated me/regarded and disregarded me ~ was about them and not about me. It was always about them. It really does hurt when they don’t respond to us when we try to articulate the problems we have had within the relationships but that too is about them. I have realized that if they heard me that they would have to say something or have to admit they were wrong but their unwillingness to o that is the very reason we have this horrible relationship with them in the first place.

      Keep holding on to the hope. It really does get better but it also takes time. Birthday and Christmas were hard the first few years for me. At first I was terrified that they would call. Then I was shocked and disappointed when they didn’t. And then came the hurt of yet another rejection… but today I don’t think about them on my birthday at all. 🙂

      Have a great birthday. You deserve it!
      Love and hugs, Darlene

  5. By: Andria Posted: 16th February

    Hi Yvonne,

    I’m glad that you are doing well, and getting settled into your new home and you have friends around you. I, too have learned to stay away from toxic people and takers.

    I have been in psychotherapy for six months now. I love my therapist and she has come up with ideas that I would not have thought up on my own. I just finished up the Grief Recovery book and it has been good for me. I am not “fixed”, but I feel better. I am not saying I still don’t have trouble with the fact that my parents didn’t care for me, but I understand and accept it more.

    I have a lot of good in my life and I can focus on that. I have learned a lot in my healing process. I am thankful for my animals and the kind people I let into my life.

    I always wish you well. Take care of yourself.

  6. By: Saoirse Posted: 15th February

    Just seeing if the comments work. 🙂

  7. By: Yvonne Posted: 15th February

    Hi Andria ,
    I tried to comment but my computer might be acting up. I have been living in my new home for six months now and Narc mom does not know my new address. I don’t call her but she leaves nasty voice mail messages. I don’t think that I will be free until after she dies.

    My Narc cousin took a job in San Diego so he can’t come to my home like stalking me. He only cared about money like a typical narc and I’m of no interest to him. I was afraid of them finding my new address and embarrassing me in the neighborhood.

    I don’t think my Narc mom will last too much longer. She is 85 now and father passed like in 2015. They were obsessed with each other and really can’t live apart. I think they will be together in the spirit world but I will not see them and it’s fine by me.

    I have friends again from my past spiritual groups so I’m not too alone. I’m adjusting to my new town and it was a good move. I never have emotional support but at least there are my groups. Hope you’re well. Take care.



  8. By: Yvonne Posted: 15th February

    Dear Andria,

    It’s Valentine’s and I was reflecting on my life. I am surrounded by friends from my past so I am beginning to not be too alone anymore.

    My Narc mom does not know my new address. I feel like I have been protected spiritually for the past six months. I did not feel safe and I thought mom and cousin could find me. My Narc mom found out that my former small home sold since it’s on Zillow and Trulia. She wants to control everything. Mom thinks that I can’t do anything on my own. If mom found out the truth that I have been living in my new home for six months she would be shocked. I don’t call her but she still leaves nasty phone voice mail.

    I was not really lying just trying to protect my boundaries. Narcs want to destroy every last bit of your success and happiness. Mom is now 85 years old and she won’t last too long without my dad who passed in 2015.

    I can’t believe that I have a big birthday this year and I will be 50 in May. I don’t know what it is about abused people but we don’t look that old or feel that old. I focus on meditation and spiritual books and stay away from toxic people. I am proud of the fact that I have survived so much.

    In the past, I really mourned my lost childhood. The problem was the mean people who gave me a bad time about this. I can’t change my past but I can have more good in my future. A life where I can never see my parents forever is total joy and freedom. I have been helped by this site EFB and youtube videos like Ollie Mathews. Take care. Blessings, Yvonne

  9. By: Andria Posted: 17th November

    Hi Yvonne,

    I am glad that you are settled into your new home and you have reconnected with your spiritual groups. I understand how non-family is much more than your real family.

    My mother kept us away from my father’s family too. They all live in Georgia and we lived in the Midwest. We visited a few times. When I was little we went twice, and when I was a teenager we went to visit a couple of times. But very few ever came to visit us. None of my family is close knit. My mother’s or my father’s. My husband’s family is very dysfunctional as well. Both his mother’s and father’s. We don’t talk to my sister-in-law any more and I don’t talk to my sister or my dad.

    Animals is what saved me in my childhood. I was running my own barn by the time I was 10 years old. I am so thankful that my parents moved from Chicago to a small town in Iowa and bought 40 acres and I had my own sanctuary in that barn.

    You can believe that there are people that you are related to that are not totally awful. I have no love for my parents, but I did love my mother’s parents. They were good people that showed me love and kindness. I believe I patterned my marriage after their marriage. They really cared about each other. My grandmother was heartbroken when my grandfather died.

    I understand getting tired about thinking about the past. I started talk therapy in August, and I am working on grief with a wonderful book. I was lucky and our family doctor recommended a good therapist. It is bringing stuff up for me and sometimes I feel a little scattered and sad. I had a lot of loss around the holidays 2 years in a row and of course all the holiday stuff on TV and everywhere can make one a little sad to know that you don’t have a family that cares about you. But one must carry on. I know I am strong and brave and I am doing the hard work of healing my pain.

    We have a simple celebration too. Our family is mostly of the 4 legged kind. 12 cats and 5 horses. I am so blessed to have these animals in my life.

    I too believe in karma. I know I was put into my FOO to become the person I am. I like that person. She is just fine. Sometimes it is easier not to have a sibling. In my case, neither myself nor my husband like our sisters. They are both narcs. We have put up permanent boundaries now. They are not worth having contact. They are both mean.

    I hope you have a good holiday season. Take care of yourself and since you are metaphysical you know that you are never really alone.


  10. By: Yvonne Posted: 15th November

    Hi to all— and Andria:

    My life feels much more quiet in my new home. I know that I did the right thing by moving. My Narc mom has no idea that I’ve moved. She believes that I still live in my former major city. I think that she will become more senile in the future.

    My horrible Narc Cousin took a job for a year in Saudi Arabia after being in the military for years. He couldn’t get a job anywhere and he does not want to go back to school. So he is not living with mom and she lives alone. I was afraid that cousin would find me and harass me at my new home. After mom dies and cousin returns home and we can settle whatever is left of the family estate then it’s all over with him.

    I live alone and it’s hard sometimes. It seems as if I have always been alone since I was an only child. The holidays are coming and it’s always the same with a simple celebration.

    I go out to my former spiritual groups and people remember me. These people have meant more to me than my own family of origin. I’m not depressed but I want to remember how to be happy and feel joy. I’m never moving again and it’s just too painful to go through so much trauma. Moving can cause a lot of emotional pain.

    I think that I’ve been searching for a place to call home my whole life. I feel safe because the “bad” people are gone—father died, cousin lives abroad, and mom is alone in her house. I have come full circle where I drive on certain streets and remember. I remember stores and places and it comes back to me. It’s like I have finished karma with the bad people and memories and now there is space for the good.

    I am so tired of thinking about my mom and the past. For all intent, my narc mom is basically “dead”—maybe not quite there in the physical but everything else.

    When my mom dies, it’s cremation and her remains go into a box. The military narc cousin will place her box next to my father in the veteran’s wall memorial in Arizona. I will NEVER visit them.

    Sometimes I think about my father’s family in the Midwest. I met them once and they seemed normal. My Narc mom kept me away from my father’s family so they are like strangers to me. I heard stories from my grandparents (father’s side) about their lives back on the farm. I really want to believe so much that my entire family is not too awful and there is at least one good branch. But they are a very tight, close group and I feel like a total stranger. I don’t know if there is anything more that narc mom has not stolen from me or destroyed. She was an evil monster and there is no love for either of my parents.

    Thanks for reading.



  11. By: Jo Posted: 23rd October

    I am jo my name is jo, I am not called rat
    I was called rat for the first 11 years of my life
    I am only just understanding what love is not, thanks to the birth of my own child. I am blessed by this child who has flooded my life with unconditional love I felt it form the first moment we met and it was right then I knew the truth, and she could see it too, this so called mother of mine, for the first time I saw fear in her eyes, she knew her lies where no longer going to work on me.
    I found strength thro the love of my son, to keep him safe and stand up to her. This was going to stop now, right now, that woman would never hurt me, this child or any other person !
    And she knows not to ever come near us ! Without me even getting the chance to tell her

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.