5 Reasons Why Moms Get Jealous of Their Daughters: What's Normal & What's Not

Updated on June 9, 2020
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Ms. Meyers grew up with an insecure mother who loved to be center stage while preferring her daughters wait in the wings.

Moms can get jealous of a daughter's youth, beauty, accomplishments, and opportunities.
Moms can get jealous of a daughter's youth, beauty, accomplishments, and opportunities. | Source

Is Your Mother Jealous of You?

  • Do you have a strained relationship with your mother but don't know why?

  • Is she competitive with you, treating you more like a rival than a daughter?

  • Is she uninterested in your life, rarely inquiring about your career, your activities, and your kids?

  • Is she possessive of your dad, making it almost impossible for you and him to spend time alone together?
  • Do you get a strong sense that she wants you to do well in life but not too well?

If this dynamic sounds all too familiar, your mom may be jealous of you. Because you didn't understand why the relationship was tense, you were left in the dark: bewildered, unsupported, and emotionally abandoned. Today, though, you can finally acknowledge your mom's envy and accept her limitations. You can stop blaming yourself for the tenseness between the two of you and find peace.

Talking about maternal jealousy is perhaps the ultimate taboo, inimical to all we hold dear about motherhood and want to believe about mother love, especially that of a mother for her daughter. While maternal jealousy is a freighted topic, it’s not a rarity.

— Peg Streep, author of "Daughter Detox: Recovering From an Unloving Mother and Reclaiming Your Life"

Debunking the Maternal Archetype

The maternal archetype is a woman who's always sacrificing, supporting, loving, and doing for her children. In reality, though, our moms are humans with all the faults, frailties, and confused feelings that come with that mortal state. While rarely discussed in polite company, the subject of moms being jealous of their daughters is one that's intrigued me for a long time due to the rocky relationship with my own mother. For as long as I can remember, she has waged a one-sided rivalry against my sister and me, fueled by her deep-seated insecurity and undeniable envy.

A daughter knows something is wrong in the relationship with her mom but jealousy doesn't come to mind.
A daughter knows something is wrong in the relationship with her mom but jealousy doesn't come to mind. | Source

Blaming Yourself for Mom's Envy

While growing up, a girl may sense that the relationship with her mom is strained. The possibility that it's caused by maternal jealousy, though, is the furthest thing from her mind. Instead, she blames herself as kids are prone to do. She convinces herself that she's unworthy of her mom's love, attention, and support.

She may stop striving because her achievements are met with her mom's anger, ridicule, or silence. As a teen, she may suffer from depression and anxiety. However, It's not until she grows older, gets wiser and, perhaps, seeks therapy that she realizes her mom has been envious of her all along. With that aha moment, everything finally begins to make sense and she can begin to heal.

Like other women, I didn't appreciate the depths of my mother's jealousy until I became a parent myself. I only had feelings of love for my sons, not competitiveness. I relished, not resented, their time in the spotlight. I didn't experience any of the rivalry with them that my mom had with my sister and me.

By interviewing women with envious moms and in reading what experts on the subject had to say, I found five key reasons why mothers get jealous of their daughters. Some proved to be quite normal and understandable such as going through menopause and being regretful of their life choices. Others, such as being narcissistic, possessive of theirs husbands, and emotionally absent, proved to be quite disturbed.

5 Reasons Why Moms Get Jealous of Their Daughters

1. She's a narcissist.

2. She's in menopause.

3. She's possessive of her husband.

4. She regrets her unfulfilled dreams.

5. She's emotionally immature.

1. She's a Narcissist

While there are normal, natural reasons why moms get jealous of their daughters, narcissism is not one of them. Dr. Karyl McBride writes about self-centered women and the damage they inflict in Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers. Her book helped me understand how my childhood with such a mom led me to become a grownup with a flimsy self-concept and erratic self-care.

Dr. McBride says that daughters of jealous, narcissistic mothers may battle crippling self-doubt in adulthood. When they were kids, their moms treated them like accessories and not full-fledged individuals. As a result, their feelings, worries, and struggles went unnoticed and unattended. They grew up in a environment where they were to reflect well on their mom but to never outshine her.

In the process of doing this, they suppressed their own needs and desires in favor of hers. Therefore, it’s vital that they focus on themselves today by embracing their inner world: their thoughts, emotions, and dreams. Writing in a journal daily is a valuable way to accomplish this. It gives these women an opportunity to get in touch with themselves and, finally, figure out who they are and what they want from life.

Normal or healthier mothers are proud of their children and want them to shine. But a narcissistic mother may perceive her daughter as a threat. If attention is drawn away from the mother, the child suffers retaliation, put-downs, and punishments. The mother can be jealous of her daughter for many reasons: her looks, her youth, material possessions, accomplishments, education and even the young girl’s relationship with the father.

— Karyl McBride, author of "Will I Ever Be Good Enough?"

2. She's in Menopause

While jealousy from a narcissistic mother is extreme and destructive, envy from a menopausal mom is quite normal. It’s trying for some middle-aged women to undergo the change of life just as their daughters bloom into adulthood. It’s understandable that they may covet a daughter’s youth, vigor, and infinite prospects during this time.

During menopause, a mom may feel less womanly, less desirable, and less relevant in our youth-obsessed society. She may endure physical changes such as weight gain, drier skin, thinner scalp hair, and coarser facial hair. She may witness her daughter attracting the attention of men when she no longer does. As a result, she can feel more anxious and less confident.

The daughter of a jealous menopausal mom should be patient and compassionate. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, hormonal changes during this stage can make a woman irritable and depressed. A daughter, therefore, may need to turn to an aunt, a grandmother, or friends for support during this time when her mother is struggling and emotionally unavailable to her.

Envy comes from people's ignorance of, or lack of belief in, their own gifts.

— Philosopher Jean Vanier

3. She's Possessive of Her Husband

One of the most destructive things that jealous moms do is come between their daughters and their dads. According to psychologist, Dr. Nikki Martinez, this is caused by a mom’s low self-esteem. Her insecurity leads her to become territorial about her husband. She doesn’t want to share him with anyone, even his own flesh and blood.

When her mom is envious and her father is weak, a daughter can potentially lose both her parents. To avoid conflict, a feeble husband may surrender to his wife’s insecurities. He might do anything to keep the peace, even forsaking his own child. Consciously or unconsciously, he neglects his fatherly duties and pushes his daughter to the side. Tragically, she’s left without a healthy, loving connection to either parent and grows up feeling like an interloper in her own family.

Not appreciating that her mom’s jealousy is the reason for the distant relationship with her dad, the daughter blames herself. She becomes convinced that she’s unlovable. As an adult, she may still feel sad and confused about her childhood and the relationship with her parents. Working with a good therapist can help her understand her mother’s envy and the role it played in keeping her and her father apart.

A mother may be envious of the possibilities that have opened up for young women today.
A mother may be envious of the possibilities that have opened up for young women today. | Source

4. She Regrets Her Unfulfilled Dreams

Another common source of a mom’s envy are her daughter’s seemingly unlimited prospects. At a time when her own possibilities may be narrowing, she sees her child’s world open up. She may wish that she had enjoyed the freedoms that young women have today: exploring their sexuality, postponing motherhood, entering once male-dominated professions, buying their own homes, and being financially independent. As such, she may be resentful of her daughter and regretful of her own life choices.

Dr. Charles Sophy, a family and child psychiatrist, says that some moms even perceive their daughters as thieves who steal their sexuality. He has dubbed this phenomenon, Perceived Transfer of Sexuality (PTS). A mother feels threatened as her daughter’s sexuality peaks and hers declines. To her, it seems like she’s now in a fierce competition with her own offspring. Her daughter, meanwhile, is left flummoxed by the escalating conflicts with her mom, wondering what they’re about and hoping to de-escalate them.

I coined the phrase Perceived Transfer of Sexuality (PTS) to describe a phenomenon that is prevalent among my patients, regardless of background or socioeconomic status. PTS is a feeling that many moms have in regards to their daughters somehow taking away their own sexuality. In PTS, perception can lead to the feeling of competition between a mother and her daughter and thus be responsible for some of the most volatile interactions ever seen.

— Dr. Charles Sophy, psychiatrist and author

5. She's Emotionally Absent

In rare cases, daughters experience maternal jealousy because their moms are numb and detached. According to Jasmin Lee Cori, author of The Emotionally Absent Mother, many of these women were severely under-mothered themselves when they were children. As a result, they grew up to be desensitized adults who can’t connect with their kids in the affective realm. When their daughters are in the spotlight, these moms don’t feel pride and joy like most parents do. Instead, they feel sad and resentful because they didn’t have the same opportunities to shine when they were kids.

When a daughter figures out that her mom is emotionally absent, it’s both a revelation and a relief. She now knows the cause of her mother’s envy and no longer blames herself. If she starts practicing acceptance, realizing her mom won’t change, she can look elsewhere to build emotionally satisfying relationships and a strong support system.

In this video, Dr. Jonice Webb explains what it means to have an emotionally absent mother.

Were You Reared by a Jealous Mom?

If so, what was the cause of her envy?

See results

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

  • Why do these mothers hate their daughters and not their sons?

    It's not a matter of mothers hating their daughters but having a jealousy and rivalry with them. Moms don't feel the same competitiveness with their sons because they don't identify with them as strongly. It's perfectly normal that mothers feel twinges of envy from time to time as it's a basic human emotion. This is especially true when their daughters enjoy experiences in life they didn't: career opportunities, financial successes, travel to exotic places, etc.

    Emotionally unhealthy moms, however, feel more than twinges of jealousy. My mother, for instance, felt intense rivalry with my sister and me because she was incredibly insecure. She needed us to make decisions similar to hers in order to validate her life. Not surprisingly, we went to extremes to copy our mother's path so we'd win her love and approval. Sadly, we both became teachers like her even though neither one of us was suited to that profession. My sister got married at the same age as our mom (22), had the same number of children (3), and sent them to the same Catholic schools where our mom sent us. Even though my sister went above and beyond to get my mom's stamp of approval, she never did as my mother alternated between being envious of her and highly critical of her.

    When moms get jealous of their daughters, it's best for their daughters to distance themselves. I moved away from my mom (both physically and emotionally) after having my own kids. She had been jealous of the attention I showed them and I felt caught in the middle. When I thought about it, though, I knew it was time for me to grow up, choose my husband and sons, and start a healthy life away from mom. It was the best decision I ever made and contributed greatly to a strong marriage and happy family life.

  • What do you think about a mother who is envious of one daughter but not the other?

    A mother who's jealous of one daughter but not the other isn't unusual. In fact, I spoke with a woman recently who had just that situation. She had married an anesthesiologist and had traveled the world with him. They built a home together on several acres, and she was able to afford designer clothes and well-crafted furniture. Her sister, on the other hand, was married to a blue-collar man like her dad and lived modestly.

    Their mother was extremely envious of the wealthy daughter and always referred to her as “the doctor's wife” in a haughty tone. She preferred spending time with her less affluent daughter because they had more in common. She rarely spent time with her other daughter, the doctor, and their two kids because she felt inferior to them. Even though the family did everything in their power to make her feel at ease, they couldn't stop her from running the same negative tapes in her head that said: “I'm less than. I'm lacking. I'm not as smart. I don't fit in here.”

    When the couple divorced after 22 years of marriage, the mom wanted to renew the relationship with her daughter, but it was too late. The daughter had wanted her mom to be there during the good times and the bad...not just the bad. She accepted that some people had been jealous of her when she was married to a successful doctor. However, she could never accept her own mother's envy and, thus, no longer wanted anything to do with her.

    Some people, like this mother, have flimsy egos that prevent them from having relationships with anyone who they believe is better off than they are. Being around a person who's smarter, more attractive, more accomplished, or more affluent is too hurtful to their fragile self-concept. This ugly part of human nature is why jealousy is aptly called the green-eyed monster.

    People who are consumed with such envy aren't happy because they focus on what others have and what they lack. Being grateful is not a part of their daily spiritual practice like it should be. That's why “comparison is the thief of joy” is a powerful mantra that some individuals recite in their minds whenever feelings of jealousy creep into their consciousness.

    Part of maturing is seeing our parents as human beings with frailties and limitations just like everyone else. Hopefully, you can stand back now, realize your mother struggles with jealousy and insecurity, and not take it personally. It has everything to do with her and nothing to do with you. Accepting her “as is” will bring you peace and relieve you of stress.

  • I have separated myself from my mother, both physically and emotionally. But she went a step further by convincing two of my children to live with her. Now I have no family or my own children. Because I won’t have anything to do with my mother, I barely get to even talk to my kids. Much less get to see them. Do you have any tips?

    Your situation has decades of complexities that I can't address. I hope, though, that you've discussed them with a therapist. Even when it's necessary to separate from a parent for one's mental well-being, it's still a traumatizing experience. We all long to have a warm and loving mommy and daddy and, when realizing that's not going to be a reality for us, it's devastating, no matter what your age.

    While it's hurtful that your kids have chosen to live with your mother, you should do everything in your power to stay connected with them. Fortunately, we have texts, cell phones, and e-mails today so you can contact them without talking to your mom. Set up get-togethers for coffee, lunch, walks, or movies in neutral locations. Make it clear that you want a relationship with them even though you've disconnected from their grandma. Don't put them in the position of taking sides.

    I'm sorry this is happening in your life and the heartache it's causing. Keep the lines of communication open with your kids. If they experienced you as a loving, supportive mom, they'd want to stay connected. If that wasn't the case, you could offer a sincere apology for where you failed and promise to do better. Best to you and your family.

  • My mom is an insecure narcissistic and jealous. I am also a child of rape. I have always thought that the latter was the reason she hated me, but now I understand there are other reasons to explain her contempt. My biggest issue right now as an adult is her jealousy of me spending time with my stepdad to take him to doctors appointments. I'm 61 she's 80. There's no reason for her to be jealous at this point is there?

    With you being 61 and her being 80, it's time to practice acceptance from this point forward. Your mother will be jealous, petty, and insecure until the day she dies. She may be jealous that her husband enjoys spending time with you. She may be jealous that you're able to do things she can no longer do. She may be jealous because you're younger and in better health. It doesn't matter why she's envious; it just matters that you accept she is and not let it bother you. It has everything to do with her, not you.

    I'm answering your question after a week-long visit with my 82-year-old mother. She's a deeply insecure woman who's always gotten easily jealous of others, especially my sister and me. She sees other people's happiness, achievements, wealth, and acquisitions as a personal affront. During her visit, she expressed envy that I have two teenage sons who are thriving academically and socially. Instead of complimenting me on my good parenting and their hard work, she constantly labeled us as being “so lucky.”

    In the past, it would have bothered me but now I just let it go. In fact, it even makes me chuckle to myself. When I'm with her, I use the words of the spiritual writer, Eckhart Tolle, as a mantra: “Accept this moment as if you had chosen it.” Instead of fighting the situation, I learn from it and become a better person.

    It's said that whoever causes us the most emotional pain is our greatest teacher. I imagine that you've learned many lessons from your mom's insecurity and jealousy. The fact that you put up with it in order to take your stepdad to his medical appointments says a lot about your honorable character.

    I know that you wish your mom was different and you had a loving relationship with her. Yet, when you accept her with all her limitations, you'll let go of a lot of stress.

  • I have a mother who acts almost childish. She's a God-fearing woman, but I notice she's been getting jealous because I spend time with my son and husband on weekends or I barely come out of my room (I currently reside with her). I just don't know what to do with her behavior. She's always undermining me when it comes down to certain things I do. She's in therapy, takes meds, and has hobbies. How can I better understand my mother's behavior?

    The problems with your mother most likely aren't related to the subject of this article: mothers who get jealous of their daughters. As an adult child who lives with your mom, you've put yourself in a situation ripe for conflict. It's one where old patterns from your childhood come into play, and your mother once again sees you as a dependent youngster and not a mature, autonomous grownup.

    As long as you're under her roof, expect your mom to undermine your decisions and see you as incompetent. Instead of focusing on why she behaves the way she does, you would be much wiser to look in the mirror and ask yourself: Why did I put myself, my husband, and my son in this situation? While you may have practical reasons (you lost a job, you need to save up money for a down payment, etc.), you must appreciate that you had other options but chose this one.

    You may be wanting to re-visit your childhood in the hopes of fixing the past. You may be unconsciously hoping that this time your mother will be the loving and nurturing parent you longed for as a kid. There may also be something in your life that you're trying to avoid and your mother's house is serving as your hiding spot.

    Dr. Robin Smith says, “Adulthood is to finish the unfinished business of childhood.” You can't go back to fix the past, but you can use what you've learned from it as a guide to move forward. Since your mother is in therapy and on medication, she's in good hands and is getting the professional help that she needs. Leave her up to the therapist and concentrate on yourself, your marriage, and your son. If your struggles with her persist, call the therapist and ask her if you can join in on one of the sessions with your mother to discuss some issues.

© 2017 McKenna Meyers


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    • letstalkabouteduc profile imageAUTHOR

      McKenna Meyers 

      9 months ago

      Jennifer, I'm sorry about this. Our mothers are typically jealous of us because they're dissatisfied with their own lives and struggle with low self-esteem. When a mom favors one daughter over another, it's often because the preferred daughter is more like she is. They share the same beliefs, have commons interests, and make similar life choices. The mom feels validated by the daughter who follows in her footsteps and will be her legacy. I don't know if this is your experience or not but understanding why our moms behave the way they do can lead to acceptance followed by peace. Take care!

    • profile image


      9 months ago

      My mother was like this with me, but put my older on a pedestal and she's still up there.

    • letstalkabouteduc profile imageAUTHOR

      McKenna Meyers 

      13 months ago

      You've got to care enough about yourself to get into therapy and explore all this with a professional. It's way too much to handle on your own. Understanding your mom is a narcissist is a huge first step. Please reach out for help now so you can find some peace and direction.

    • profile image


      14 months ago

      I'm 42 and only recently realized my mother was and still is a narcissist. I grew up constantly being criticized, humiliated, never allowed to have an opinion or express any emotions, very repressed which caused me to internalize everything I was feeling, was always put down, she never told me she loved me, never hugged me, anything I did that I was proud of was soon shut down on me leaving me feeling ashamed and worthless. I have gone through my whole life with no self confidence, very angry, fast to retaliate, and have a massive fear of abandonment. Every relationship I've had has been pretty unhealthy, I think due to my behaviour. I have no real sense of who I am and no direction in my life, I started taking hard drugs at the age of 15 and still to this day use them. I always felt she was competing against me especially in male company. Friends used to say she was jealous of me and now I can see that, but dont understand why. She has done extremely nasty things to destroy me, and feel she is still plotting to destroy me, even though there's nothing more really she can take from me. If I want to do something to better myself she will give me 100 reasons why I can't do it, instead of being a supportive and encouraging mother and being proud that I'm trying to get somewhere in life, she will try every angle to make sure I don't do it. I've gone through life hating myself and wondering why I was the way I am, believing I had a few mental illnesses, such as ADHD, borderline personality disorder, PTSD, intermittent explosive disorder, but now I'm wondering whether it's really just the result of her abuse. I don't know how to heal from this, I feel it's a huge can of worms I really don't want to face or deal with, as it's very painful still

    • letstalkabouteduc profile imageAUTHOR

      McKenna Meyers 

      19 months ago

      Barbara, I'm in awe of all you've had to carry and the strength you've shown to survive. You not only had a jealous mother but an emotionally disturbed one. You have every right to be angry. I hope this can be a starting point for you to write down these incidents and gradually free yourself of them. I'm sure your mother's death has triggered a lot of painful memories. I admire you for dealing with your rage in a constructive way. Take care!

    • profile image


      19 months ago

      My mother passed last year after a long life. Thankfully she refused to come see me after I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis as she was afraid it was something else and she might catch it. No amount of explaining that an autoimmune disease isn’t contagious would convince her. Looking back that was to my benefit l, as now I don’t miss her so much. What I’ve found mostly since she is gone, is that I am angry. Angry how she treated me as an adult, and as a child. She was big on slapping me, & then backhanding me again. If she happened to be in the kitchen & had a wet dishcloth in her hand when she got mad - I didn’t even have to be in the kitchen at the same time - when I walked in she would come across my face with that dishcloth. I recall being slapped so many times before beginning school at age six. She kept that up until I was a teenager and I grew larger than she was. She used the silent treatments too, additionally telling me she couldn’t even stand to look at me. When I was around 12, I cooked a peach cobbler. When my sister bragged on it, mother asked if it was as good as hers. Sis didn’t say yes, just said it was really good. A couple of weeks go by & I decide to cook another & go to the spot where I had put the recipe. Mother had thrown it away, yet when I asked if she knew where it was she used her standard lie “I don’t know what you’re talking about”. I made straight A’s all through school. The educators wanted me to skip a grade & mother said no. Teachers would write complimentary things in my report cards, & Mom would read them out loud, followed with a sarcastic remark or guffaw. I took a job before driving age, she berated me all the way to my first day. I quit at the end of the day because I knew I couldn’t take another morning of that. At fifteen I took another part job which I could drive to after school. This time she stated I took it only to be around “my no good friends” - which is the way she had described all my friends, whether she knew them or not. She never let me close my bedroom door & made clear that if I did she would take the it off its hinges. According to her a closed door meant I was up to something to be ashamed of. If I wrote a letter, she would take it out of the mailbox, read, & throw away (another “I don’t know what you’re talking about). I wanted to play basketball in middle school. Since she was never athletic, she didn’t want me to be, so she bought athletic shoes for me 3 sizes to big. As a result I was constantly made fun of (clowns feet) & didn’t make the team as I was always tripping. She told us kids many times lies that she wanted us to tell others. Skip to adulthood. When my only child was born, after seeing her for the first time, the first words out of my mother’s mouth was “oh look there’s a bad spot” (there was a light birthmark on her ear).

      I could just go on & on. I think I may need to journal to be able to FINALLY turn loose of this lifetime of anger & hurt.

    • letstalkabouteduc profile imageAUTHOR

      McKenna Meyers 

      20 months ago

      Binita, I'm so glad you wrote your feelings down and had a good cry. Those are two very positive ways to release your emotions and make sense of your situation. I recommend you write in a journal each day about your feelings and become empowered in the process.

      You're grieving the loss of the mother you wanted but will never have. When you accept your mother as she is, you'll be able to let go of the stress and find peace. You need to stop longing for her unconditional love and embrace what you do have: the family that you and your husband created. This family is within your control, but your mother is not. You cannot change who she is.

      Whether it's cultural or not, you are enmeshed with your mother, and that's unhealthy. For the sake of your marriage, your kids, and yourself, you need to take a giant step backwards from her. It's not good for you to speak with her every day and have her visit for 3 months. It's disruptive to your psychological well-being and, therefore, unfair to your family. They need you to live in the present and not reach back into your childhood to repair the past.

      You may want to read my article called “5 Ways for Daughters to Heal From an Emotionally Absent Mother.”


      Keep writing about your feelings and take good care of yourself!

    • profile image


      20 months ago

      I am literally in tears after reading this. No surprise that I am connecting this with my life and my mum.

      I am Indian origin and living in uk since past 17 years plus. Since I was 11 years old, I used to notice that my differentiated between me and my brother. I used to confront her. Occasionally she admitted that it’s her son who is going to look after when she will grow older ( that’s how it works in our culture) anyways we grew up and I studied well , got my post graduate degree , and Mum said wish my brother would be cleaver in study instead of me and I used to ask why ? She said , he would have generate better living for her and my father. It hurt. Sometimes I used to show her mirror , that how wrong she is , she used to get angry very quickly , either cry loudly or hurt herself. And then I apologise.

      When I was 17 year old, my mum and dad forced me to get married ( arrange marriage ) for 3 days I kept saying I won’t get marry at this age, the groom was from USA so this way they and my brother would get chance to come to USA ( due to blood relationship ) this is not possible for uk. I locked my self in room and only come out if needed , they used to come and force me to say yes to get married, I stood on my feet and kept refusing and warned them if they force me then I will go to police as 8m India , you have to be 18 to get married. Then they took emotional torture, and told me how bad I am as a daughter and not giving them chance to go to USA. Anyways ... luckily that groom refused me and then continued my studies. At the age 24, I got married ( arranged ) but I said YES for the reliance. And luckily we both love and understand each other very well. Soon after marriage , I joined him to Uk, where we worked hard and build our business and then home and have our family. At the time of my pregnancy, I called my parents at my house, they got struck by our business and wealth, first I tried to give away what they were demanding , and soon I realised that I can’t fulfill there demands always. And soon I started to say No .... the whole thing is so changed .. that’s 15 years ago and still it’s sour. Soon after my son’s birth, I had some allergy and couldn’t sleep for four days. I requested my mum to look after my son for one night ( they were in my home ) but another room , she denied and said I can’t do that, that’s your responsibility. Anyways ... when I didn’t buy many gifts for them , dad said we will go back with empty suitcases, made me feel guilty that I am not fulfilling my duty as a daughter. They used to run away from my house and making us look for them, as they don’t know the area or language so we were really worried.

      I lost m6 dad after few years. I refused to buy expensive gifts. But in returned I wasn’t much welcome at my mums house. If I go for 3-4 days with my family. My mum and brother makes plan for us to go elsewhere so we understand and move.

      I am very emotional person, and still talk to m7m everyday and expect that she will love me wholeheartedly. But the relationship is stil sour and in any case , I will not buy their love. But I want love as I am her daughter. She never have praised about how much my husband takes care of me and how much he loves me. Each time we go on holiday, she say... why spending money on holiday ? How fat I am , when I lost weight , she never praised me , infact that was the best achievement for me.

      If I say , mum I want to see you, she will it say , come home then , and then after talking same thing three four different ways, I directly ask , can I come, why you never invite me ? She says ,,, I haven’t said no , so I add but you never have said come either. And she keep quite.

      She has come and stayed at m6 home . 3 months at a time. I used to take her on holiday here and back home, after end of the holiday she said , I only came to please you otherwise holidays doesn’t interest me.

      My problem is , I want to be loved but without any condition and free of charge. I talk to her everyday , any during normal talk, if I said we made good profit by doing this, she feels right jealous, so I have to think before I say so I don5 make her jealous, but it shouldn’t be this way. She now compares my so. And my brother’s son with their study , that hurts

      I can still go on, but may be another day.

    • letstalkabouteduc profile imageAUTHOR

      McKenna Meyers 

      21 months ago

      S.M--Don't be so hard on yourself. I'm in my fifties and have just started sorting out these dynamics with my mother. You're way ahead of the game. Now that you have insight, you can tackle these issues, move forward, and not become a prisoner to your past.

      Part of becoming an adult is realizing that our moms are complicated human beings with insecurities, jealousies, and selfish desires just like everyone else. Like your mother and many others, my mom had fierce issues about food, her weight, and her body image. Not surprisingly, I inherited them all. If you could get a handle on those now (with professional help if needed), you'll save yourself years of struggle and heartache. It's only in the last few years that I've found peace with food. For decades, I had focused on dieting, exercising, and exerting willpower when I really needed to concentrate on my depression and anxiety.

      Remember self-esteem is built by challenging ourselves to do hard things and accomplishing new challenges. We have the power to become more confident women. It takes a lot of hard work, though, a willingness to take risks, and an ability to persevere after failure.

      Don't be too hard on your mom. Women in our society deal with enormous pressures to be thin and look beautiful. At the same time, we face enormous portions at restaurants and expectations to eat, drink, and be merry at the drop of a hat. It's a lot of crazy-making and unrealistic expectations for all of us.

      You have a wonderful life ahead of you. Embrace it!

    • profile image


      21 months ago

      I was in tears when I read this article. I graduated college in December of last year and moved back home with mom and dad. I realized that I have this dependency issue regarding my mom about something in particular. Today, I told my mom that I was interested in working out just to get in shape and she responded: "I don't want you too because I am scared you'll look better than me." Now, I know I am a grown adult and will go work out if I feel like it but her response shook me then I started questioning my childhood and figured out that my mom was always the jealous type. As long as I remembered she has always felt insecure when it comes to her body. As long as I remembered she has always made negative comments related to my body then she would say something positive and it would confuse me. No wonder I had an eating disorder for two years as a teen and during my last three years in college. No wonder that now I have serious trust issues regarding relationships and low self-esteem. No wonder I have commitment issues. I am so frustrated that I figured this out now than years before. Thank you for writing and publishing this insightful post.

    • letstalkabouteduc profile imageAUTHOR

      McKenna Meyers 

      22 months ago

      Wendy, you're a wise woman to step back from your family and look at it in an objective way. So much of the time we just react to whatever is happening at the moment and don't look at the big picture. I know now that so much of my relationship with my mom was shaped by her alcoholic mom. I get that on an intellectual level and it helps immensely. On an emotional level, though, I still ache for a loving, nurturing mother. But, at least, I can be that for my kids. Thanks for writing and sharing.

    • profile image


      22 months ago

      Love your line about "Even today, I refer to my mother as the teenage daughter I never had!" Exactly what I have concluded after reading many books on this topic. It's all she can offer and I have learned to "accept it." I've also learned that she brought some baggage with her from childhood, but she also left some behind. That being that her mother would be critical of her weight and was never satisfied. It also reminds me of when I was a child

      we would go to family functions and my mother would always be in my grandmother's shadow; kinda like when someone is talking about you, but you are standing right there. It's the very reason I don't attend extended family functions with my mother. I could even go back a generation further. From what I've learned, my grandmother had a deadbeat father during the depression era, was one of 12 siblings and she was the oldest and had to care for them in a motherly role at a young age. Would make sense then that may be she wasn't valued much other than what she could provide, so when she found her opportunity as an adult to get validation, she got it at all costs.

    • letstalkabouteduc profile imageAUTHOR

      McKenna Meyers 

      2 years ago

      Cheryl, I'm sure it was painful to remember all that and write it down. In the long run, though, it will help you make sense of your life and move forward in a stronger, healthier way. As an objective someone reading it, I can feel your internal battle, wanting a relationship with your family but knowing it doesn't serve you well. I really don't see how having your parents in your life will benefit you or your child. In fact, I see the opposite. I hope you continue to write and work through your mixed feelings. Seeing a counselor would also be a great idea because you want to fully enjoy your husband and son and not let the past interfere with the present. You moved away, which was the right thing to do, and now you have a second chance to build the functional family you never knew. Please do this for yourself because you deserve to have peace and joy in your life. Much love to you.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      My mom does exactly this. I’ve lived in New Jersey for 10 years after meeting my now husband. I have 1 son, and my mom was not there for my pregnancy, she wasn’t there for the birth. She didn’t even call to see if I was ok after my c-section. Yet she should always call and complain about her not getting to see her grandchild so I told her to come and visit us in New Jersey she said she didn’t have any money so I offered to pay for the gas to get here (minded I’ve took flights, greyhounds, and drove to Ohio every 4/6 months) so after I offered the money then then said her car wouldn’t make the drive from Ohio. So then my husband offered to get her a rent a car she said she didn’t have car insurance, then we offered her flight tickets she tried to say my dad was scared of flights yet he took flights going to Vegas when I was younger. So then I ask since he was so “scared” how about she just come then she said she had too much to do. Then we offered her greyhound tickets and she did she couldn’t sit for so long. There was just no way around getting them here. Yet I was the bad persons because I couldn’t just up and move back to Ohio. It’s always excuses. My mom bought my brother 3 cars all which he wrecked never once bought be any such thing. My mom also hates me so bad she’s turned all my family members against me. My brother gets all the recognition yet she even signed papers for him to drop out of school after the 7th grade. Before he was about to go into the 8th grade she allowed him to drop out. My brother also flunked kindergarten and fourth grade. And was trouble in school constantly. I never got in trouble and the teachers loved me and that made my mom angry. I graduated high school a year early and went off to college although I never finished college I at least made an attempt. My mom and brother smoke cigerates and pot and that was something I never did. So they’d both get in my face and said I acted like I was better than them. They were only happy when I was crying or upset about something. If I did well on anything they’d be furious and find something to compare themselves to. My mom would call me fat, which I was 4”10 and 109lbs she’d say I’d be a nobody and I was a whore, and would keep saying I had a pooch belly. Her name calling made me very depressed and even my dad would make fun of me when ever I was on my period he say go fly away on my air plane wings referring to the wings on the maxi pad. My brother is 30 years old and still lives at home and has no relationship and no kids he had 1 girlfriend and he beat and chocked her and the cops were called and my mom stuck by his side. My mom has another child from a previous marriage and that kid was removed from my moms care from cps. She to this day says her ex husband kidnapped his child but I think there’s more than what’s being said and I’ll never know. My parents never told me they loved me unless it was to show off around other people. My brother always got cell phones and expensive shoes and clothes. My clothes most of them came from the thrift stores I did get some new ones every now and then but they had to be on sale or cheaply priced or from the clearance rack while my brother got Jordan’s or Nike air shoes and designer clothing. My mom would even tell lies to my dad so that he would hit me with the belt, one time I was so scared that my mom said she was going to tell my dad something I did when he got home from work and I remember being so scared that I stuffed a pillow inside my pants so that I wouldn’t feel the sting of the belt as bad. As I grew up my mom would never let me get a job she said I wasn’t fit to get any job and would say things to make me feel small. For years I wondered why I couldn’t work like all the other teens and my friends. And my family members would call me lazy and stupid and a retard because they thought I simply wasn’t trying when I really was my mom never let me turn in any application I had to hand them over to her then I found out she was just throwing them in the trash. Later after I got married it all made sense she was getting a social security disability on my name and when I was little I’d ask her about it and she got angry every time I’d bring it up she threw a glass ash tray at my face. After that I ever asked her about it out of fear. She lied to my dad too saying she wasn’t getting any gov assistance. So when I moved out I was trying to get health insurance because I was born with dislocated hips and born at 2 pounds. My mom smoked through out her whole pregnancy and it caused my pre mature birth yet she blames me saying it’s my own fault and because of me I made all her teeth fall out while she was pregnant because I took all her calcium. She said I was born early because her uterus was tilted too much. My moms 1st child and my younger brother also came out pre mature but they weighted at 4 and 5 pounds as I was 2 pounds. I’m sorry I’m all over the place with my post I’m going back to my childhood remembering different things. My dad also used to beat my mom and I was so scared I urinated in my bed once and the next morning I was whooped for “peeing the bed” me and my brother would be in bed and all a sudden you’d hear glass breaking or you’d hear my dad crank up the heavy rock music and they’d start screaming and fighting and me and my brother would run and shake and scream e wry time dad would punch Mom in the face or drag her around the house. It was always some sneaky stuff that my mom would do that set my dad off but I was scared to death around both of them. I may have been a happy kid on the outside and we seemed like a normal family but behind closed doors it was so different. My dad put my moms head through the apartment wall that my mom covered it up with a large picture frame. Then when I grew up I’d bring up the fights and the domestic violence to my mom and she say I was lying and none of it never happened. I remember so many nights my dad would be in a drunken rage and me and my brother would have to sleep all night in the car but my mom would never leave that man she was more worried about getting his money from him. My dad paid the rent and my mom was taking the rent money and spending it all and we ended up getting sued and evicted and my mom blames the landlord saying she was lying too. Everybody is lying but my mom. Everyone is at fault but my mom. No one is good enough and when someone is better off than she is”they’re stuck up” or “they think they got it all” the jealousy and rage really shows through my mom and my brother. I believe my parents were on other drugs as well that I’ll never know because I was so young at the time but I have my doubts. Anytime I was happy or I had something positive happen I was always put down. She’d squash anything that filled me with joy. Even today now I’m 31, I hardly hear from my mom or dad, and when I do hear from my mom she still puts me down or wants to gossip about someone. It’s never happy phone calls and my dad he just doesn’t want any involvement with his children he has 5 kids and isn’t in contact with any of them. They have no remorse and my mom even took all my gold I got over the years from family members. It’s just so many things I could write forever but deep down I get so sad and depressed when I see families together laughing in a restaruant or at the park, I feel a bit jealous myself when I see a father with their daughter. I’ve brought this up to my parents and all I got was the cold shoulder and a utter discrace response saying I was acting retarded. I wish my whole life that my family functioned normal. My mom wouldn’t even let me wash my clothes in warm water she removed the knob from the washer so that I could only use cold water. It just got to the point I had to move out of Ohio and far away from that state. I love Ohio but the people there are toxic. I also from being born at 2 pounds I walk with a limp and had many operations on my hips I was told by realitives that my dad shoved my mom down a flight of stairs when she was pregnant but Mom says no she says she didn’t even know she was pregnant with any of her kids?

    • letstalkabouteduc profile imageAUTHOR

      McKenna Meyers 

      2 years ago

      I'm sorry your mother does that, Lee. I know how much that hurts. My mother would sabotage me with that behavior when I was growing up and beyond. When I was all dressed up and ready to go somewhere—prom, a job interview, a musical performance—she'd nitpick my appearance. She'd point out a hair out of place or a tiny spot on my blouse. It would drive me nuts and make me so insecure. At least, you and I are now aware of that pattern and, while still annoying, it won't damage us like it once did.

    • profile image

      Lee nichol 

      2 years ago

      I have a mother exacaly like'that when u look good or happy they try there best to put u down

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 years ago from The Caribbean

      This article is very insightful and your points really make sense. Thanks for the education on a topic to which I'm sure many women can relate.


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