My Mom Never Wanted To Be A Parent — Here’s How It Affected Me

My mother is remarkably different from the kind of mom most people have — the loving, nurturing, and “mothering” mother.

My mother is the “anti-mother.”

She considers Mother’s Day a manufactured holiday, so acknowledging it in any way would be “pandering to the greeting card and flower industries.” I don’t understand her logic, but I’ve never been good at translating my mother’s ways.

Although I’m not a mother or a wife, I would never despise anyone for showing their appreciation for me.

But if I sent my mother a Mother’s Day card, she would rip it up and use the blank portions as note cards.

I wish I could believe that my mother knows that she hasn’t been a good mother and doesn’t deserve any parenting accolades. But I don’t think she’s concerned with her parenting skills. She’s far too narcissistic to care about how other people are feeling — especially her own family.

This is a woman who didn’t even go to her son’s funeral or her nephew’s wedding. It wasn’t even that she didn’t go out of protest — she just didn’t feel compelled to go out of a sense of love or family.

In some ways, it’s understandable that she doesn’t believe in a lot of holidays. She doesn’t believe in anything that stresses family togetherness.

For most people, giving birth to a child creates a bond that never dies, but my mother seems to be missing this bonding ability.

Both my brother and my father have passed away, and you’d think that would interest my mother in the remaining members of her family, but it doesn’t. She’s perfectly happy having a neighbor take her to her doctor appointments and spend Thanksgiving by herself with her cats and dog.

There are parents who live vicariously through their children, but that’s not how my mother rolls. She’s shown little interest in what is going on in my life.

When I had swimming lessons at age 7, she sat under a tree reading. I’d shout at her, “Look at me, Mom! Look at me!” but she wouldn’t take a second to stop reading her book and acknowledge me.

My mother always disconnected from me.

She’s never been excessively affectionate — a distracted kiss on the cheek at bedtime was about as lovey-dovey as she got.

Once, as I child, I became so angry with my mom that I swore I would never kiss or hug her again. I realized that I gave her a gift when she didn’t reconcile with me.

I kept my vow for years and was the one who finally broke my own pact.

It seemed odd not to touch my own mother — and odder still for her not to want me to. As evidence of this disconnect, there are a number of pictures of me with my mother in which she looks as she’s in a completely different room than I am.

Though my mom wasn’t gifted in the ways of mothering, she did take good care of me when I was sick. She’d feed me soup, read me Wizard of Oz books, and put cold compresses on my forehead.

She was a good nurse, and when she had her first facelift, I returned the favor. I picked her up in a cab (I didn’t have my driver’s license yet), made her tomato soup, and filled her pain medicine prescription. I felt that I paid my debt to her.

Despite the fact that my mother considers herself to be an agnostic, she prays that I will lose my house and be forced to live with her.

God comes in handy when you want what’s best for yourself — not what’s best for your daughter. It isn’t that my mom enjoys my company. She just wants to to cash in on all the caregiving she did when I was sick.

It infuriates her that I might not be willing to sacrifice my life for a woman who never put me first.

I can’t be sure that my mother has even a small place in her heart for me — her only living child. I’m not convinced that she isn’t happier when we are completely separate, no ties between us.

My mother not only doesn’t believe in family, but she also doesn’t believe in me.

Originally written by Christine Schoenwald on YourTango.

Featured Photo by Kyle Broad on Unsplash.


  1. This is an interesting article. I empathize with the obvious neglect you suffered from someone who clearly should’ve refrained from parenthood, yet I wonder if you are the only one suffering. Your mother has animals and can bond and is capable of showing love and or care as you said much like a nurse is able to be sympathetic while one is sick. Perhaps she is merely a product herself from a childhood of the same cycle of neglect and or trauma . There is always a reason for such behavior e.g autism , mental health challenges abuse of substances, as well as physical/ emotional can cause this residual pattern. If we look closely we can begin to notice it has very little to do with us and everything to do with the processes of emotional stimulus and brain function . This raises questions and I find it would be worthwhile for you both to seek a therapist to sort through the familial emotional dynamic. I wish you luck and feel free to contact me if there is anything I can do to help take care !

  2. Christine, I am so sorry you are in this situation. I can kind of relate to your mother and I truly believe her behavior is not on purpose, and not intended to deliberately hurt you. This is just who she is, and she cannot change her personality. Her misguided wish for you to have to move in with her may be an attempt to try to force herself to forge a relationship with you.

    Speaking for myself, I have Asperger’s and while I love animals, I have a difficult time bonding with people, I am not affectionate toward people, and I am not family-oriented at all. I also had a problematic relationship with my own mother, who had a difficult relationship with her mother.

    Are you sure she wanted kids, or was she forced to have them due to lack of abortion access, birth control, or perhaps severe family pressure?

    I never liked babies/kids and knew from early childhood I did not want them. I suffered an unintended pregnancy at age 20 (early 80’s) and resided in a US state where spousal consent was still required for married women to have an abortion. I would have indicated “single” if I had known. My husband decided he wanted me to have the baby, refused to consent to the abortion, and that was that.

    We lived in a small town with one abortion clinic and I had no way to get to the city, so I resigned myself to carrying out this unwanted pregnancy while exercising like a fiend and hoping for a miscarriage. This did not work, so I gave birth to a baby I did not want.

    I tried my best, but we never bonded and I never enjoyed motherhood at all, in fact I hated it. I so, so much wanted to feel like all the other mothers I observed and tried to force myself, but I never did.

    I feel very badly for the child (who is now an adult) because we basically have no relationship and no bond. Perhaps your mother is similar and just is incapable of being a loving parent to you, though she really, desperately wants to be.

    Whatever the cause, please know her behavior is a reflection of who she is and has nothing to do with you!!

  3. So sorry. I think your mom is depressed. She cannot be strong to fight as a fighter. She is weak. So, she is affected by many bad factors. I hope that she can recover. I wish all women can be happy. They are great moms.


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