Happy Mother’s Day! Knowing what I titled this, you should imagine the biggest shit eating grin you’ve ever seen plastered across my mouth and a gaze of understanding in my deep brown eyes. Me & my mum haven’t talked since a dust up on Christmas Eve 2017. I ended up Ubering home around 1am.
If you too have a complicated relationship with your mother, today probably sucks and no one wants to talk about. Well, this autistic fucker loves facts, lists, and finding ways to talk about the most troubling things in our society. So, here we are friends. Here’s 8 of the biggest ways your mother failed you. Don’t worry, dads will get theirs come Father’s Day.
Neglect of YOu
One of the main ways that mothers can harm their children is through neglect. This can take many forms, such as failing to provide adequate food, shelter, or medical care, or not giving children the emotional attention and support they need. This more common in young or first-time moms. Often moms are told that being a mom doesn’t mean they have to stop living, that’s a lie. When they realize this, they often try to make it work anyway. Neglect can have serious consequences for children's physical and emotional health and can even lead to long-term developmental issues. Since we love our moms, we often just begin asking for less and living that way.
Self-neglect & Drug use
Mothers may also harm their children through their own mental health struggles. For example, mothers with untreated mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, or substance abuse disorders may have difficulty providing their children with the care and support they need. This can lead to negative outcomes for children, including behavioral problems, emotional issues, and developmental delays. The 50’s housewife drug addict mom was a common movie trope for a reason. Quiet as it’s kept, moms have used meth & speed in multiple forms to keep up with the demands of modern womanhood for the last century.
Another way that mothers can harm their children is through physical or emotional abuse. This can include hitting, slapping, or otherwise physically harming children, as well as yelling, belittling, or manipulating them emotionally. Neglect and abuse can have lasting effects on children's well-being, including low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Typically, moms resort to this to maintain structure in the household to best of their ability. Still, it fucks us up by setting a horrible example for how we should navigate the world and get what we need.
Some mothers may be overly involved in their children's lives, which can lead to a lack of boundaries between the mother and child. This is known as "enmeshment," and it can cause children to struggle with developing a sense of autonomy and independence. They may feel suffocated and have difficulty separating themselves from their mother. This can be especially harmful when the mother uses the child as a source of emotional support, rather than the other way around. This is common in all family structures, but single mother households are more at risk due to social isolation.
AKA Emotional incest covers a similar but different phenomenon where moms turn boy children into young husbands and girl children into sisters. Both are expected to stick with the mom for life because she has failed to develop relationships on her own. This commonly shows up in bringing you into adult fights or issues so you can support her side, often against the father. This breeds nothing but hatred for both your parents as you’re experiencing all this stress through child’s eyes that can’t process it all. It also makes you think relationships are all bad since she failed to show the good side of her or your father. Very few children are able to see past the mess and remain close to their fathers. Your mom stole that relationship from you.
Many mothers may have unrealistic expectations for their children, which can be emotionally damaging. For example, a mother may expect her child to excel in academics or sports and become angry or disappointed when the child falls short of those expectations. This can lead to the child feeling like they are not good enough or constantly striving for perfection. The expectations can also extend to the child being responsible for the mom’s survival, geriatric care or taking on the clean up job of a deceased/absent partner. The tiger mom is the iconic high expectation parent.
Many moms think they’re being kind by accepting whatever their kids do and excusing it away. They want to protect us from negative emotions and themselves from feeling them through us. This sets us all up for failure cause we never learn that life is cruel and unfair. We enter the world believing that there’s always a helping hand and we’re being oppressed if their isn’t. This warps our entire world view to see people who make us feel good as good people when they’re usually just manipulating us. People who make us feel ambivalent or negative become detestable enemies. This destroys or ability to make close relationships because vulnerability is uncomfortable.
Some mothers may use coercive control to manipulate and control their children. This can involve threatening or punishing the child if they do not comply with the mother's wishes. The switch, belt, back hand, chancla, scandal, frying pans, backhands, and “wait till your father gets home” are all tool moms use to control us physically. But since most women rely on emotional control, guilt is the mom’s favorite tool to keep their kids in line. This can be especially damaging if the mother is using the child as a pawn in a power struggle with a partner or ex-partner. Though this stereotype is often associated with hard to please fathers, typically mothers will use this more often.
Some mothers may devalue their children, which can lead to low self-esteem and a lack of self-worth. For example, a mother may make negative comments about her child's appearance or abilities, or consistently compare them unfavorably to siblings or other children. This can be especially damaging if the mother's criticism is constant and ongoing, which it usually is. Often moms think they’re encouraging you but truthfully, they’re setting your self-worth lower and lower.