Just Because She’s Your Mother, Doesn’t Mean She Likes You

Mother getting flowers from son“I love all my kids the same.” Most mothers say this and perhaps it’s true from a certain angle. But from other angles it hard to substantiate and in some cases it’s flat out obvious a mother prefers one child over the other.

As for the way I titled this post, I think it is possible for a mother to love a child but just not like them all that much. The reasons for this are endless.

There may be a personality conflict. The kid simply rub the mother the wrong way. The mother may need a scapegoat or someone to carry her shadow. The kid may look (or act) like the father who the mother has come to loathe, etc.

Scenarios like this are not uncommon. It may be uncommon to talk about them but that doesn’t mean anything.

The mother may feel justified in disliking her child or she may feel terribly guilty. She may express her feelings overtly or she may conceal them and be successful at that, particularly if the child doesn’t want to know.

The child may not want to know, or may just be unable to figure it out because he or she has never had it any other way. As an adult, the child may even be relieved with the knowledge when they realize, they don’t much like their mother anyway and so much is explained.

Sometimes the mother is well intentioned but her kid just doesn’t live up to her expectation for him or her which may or may not have been realistic in the first place. Bad news for the child if he or she becomes the receptacle for the parent’s feelings of disappointment in life.

Sometimes the mother and the child both know the feelings are there but they fake it for the rest of the family. I’d like to read what you know about this.

Note – I wrote this in 2010. I’m bringing it up today, because I just consulting with an adoptee.  In some cases, adoptive parents bring home the adopted baby and it doesn’t go so well. This scenario is rarely discussed.  It’s a taboo topic.  Think what denying this might do to the adopted child, who is now an adult. It’s unfathomable, really.

Know a mother who does not like her kid? Did your mother not like you?

156 thoughts on “Just Because She’s Your Mother, Doesn’t Mean She Likes You”

  1. All of these statements are true:
    Saying “I love all my kids the same.”
    The mother may need a scapegoat or someone to carry her shadow. The kid may look (or act) like the father who the mother has come to loathe, etc.
    Scenarios like this are not uncommon. It may be uncommon to talk about them but that doesn’t mean anything.
    The mother may feel justified in disliking her child. She expressed her feelings overtly.
    She becomes the receptacle for the parent’s feelings of disappointment in life.
    She faked it for the rest of the family.
    I figured it out.

  2. Thinking about this I can’t separate out the fact that so many women are victims of abuse in marriages, both obvious and hidden. Drug and alcohol abuse is rampant in our society, as well as other addictive behaviors like blaming and shopping and watching endless tv. There are so many cultural and historical factors that play into this, on the world stage and running through family histories. Women have learned to pander to males and disdain the feminine. Factor in the birth experiences of modern medicine where most women were drugged, terrified, and encouraged to give their babies bottles and forgo the bonding that happens with natural birth and nursing, then to quickly abandon their children and go get a real job making money. Postpartum depression is poorly understood. Any of these things can and do make moms ‘dislike’ their children, stealing their natural humanity to feed our great god of commerce. So I choose to forgive my mom, and teach her to love by loving her, regardless. It’s a decision I make every day. She knows it, she feels it, and we have all grown richer for it, and we are healing.

    1. im not good with expressing my words but you summed up many of the minefield of challenges in this topic… thanks

      great topic elsa.. and loaded 😉

    2. I share your experience of loving the living. I still falter and return to practice re-centering and re-love myself to love others. Thank you for your thoughtful insight.

  3. My mom would say my entire life she HAD to love me but she didn’t like me. Not a fun experience and has taken decades to process

  4. I had a noncommittal relationship with my mother: my 8H Libra Sun conjunct her Vertex; my 2H Aries SN conjunct her Mars; my 4H Gemini Mars conjunct her Sun; and my 7H Leo Uranus/asteroid “Jayne” conjunct her asteroid Vesta. We didn’t see eye-to-eye on much of anything. However, I respected her work ethic in raising our family.

  5. ”Stop being like your father (a Taurus)!
    This was of course impossible: my Moon is in Taurus.

    I don’t like her either and filed a complaint about her with the police. The police reprimanded her. She is not allowed to come round no more.

  6. I could write a book on this subject.

    My mother recently died and I hadn’t seen or heard from her in many years. After she was cremated, one of my brothers stopped by and I told him, “She didn’t treat her kids any better than she treated her dogs.” He said, “That explains why we (me and my brothers) bond with animals and not humans.” We both shook our heads in agreement.

  7. Before my mother’s feelings about me, there’s her feelings about being a wife and mother. I never got any sense that she got any satisfaction or fulfillment from either. And it’s not that she was a repressed physicist or engineer stuck by society as a housewife. She didn’t long for work outside the home. She had gotten into a bad rut where she was most satisfied and comfortable contemplating how misused and unhappy she was. Tough rut to get out of.

    I’m the youngest. I don’t know if she liked the older children better — from conversations I’ve had with sibs, they have a very similar impression of her. Maybe it hit me harder, I don’t know. The estrangement was there from the beginning of my memory. I turned to my older sister (10 yrs older) as a surrogate mother. I was very close to my dad, as a child. Mother was envious of both relationships, but not never invested in building a relationship. (She invested in very, very few relationships. She was ultimately, completely wrapped up in herself.)

    She was very burdened by life, in her opinion. Any kind of responsibility to nurture others was giving something she hadn’t gotten herself and she resented it mightily.

    1. this resonates so much – my Mother doesnt invest in relations yet expects so much from other people fawning over her?!
      has always felt bitter that she being the only daughter with 4 brothers had the responsibility on her shoulders – yet she just mothered us the same. Monkey see Monkey do – her own Mother was always swearing and belittling them as kids so obviously she struggled as a Mother too (she was a wonderful Grandmother though)

  8. It is my personal experience and from observing others that both mothers and fathers have a favourite child. I also agree that you can love someone but not like them, and this cuts both ways, i.e. parent to child and child to parent. I would say my mother and I love each other (for the simple reason that we are mother and daughter) but do not like each other.

    Astrologically we are primed to see our parents in a particular light – aspects to the Sun and Moon and planets in the 4th and 10th houses. In that sense parents get a rough deal as the projection onto them is inevitably very strong, at least throughout childhood or until one gains some awareness of one’s own internal dynamics.

    Astrology helped me enormously to first understand my mother complex and then, over many many years, to work on it. This has changed my relationship with my mother for the better. The main gain I had was to let go of my unrealistic expectations of her. For that I had to learn to mother myself in the way that I need to be mothered.

  9. I actually confronted my mom about not liking me. She said I picked too much whatever that meant. At least she didn’t deny it.I had a heart wrenching discussion with my daughter when she was about 10 years old about her Dad not liking her.{He loved to blame her for our problems}.I explained to her just because we are born into a family doesn’t mean we will always get along.

  10. There was a post from way back where Elsa mentions a 12th house moon making a sacrifice, I think that’s was the word, for their family??
    I have a 12th house Virgo moon trine Neptune in the 4th house of Capricorn. I think my father’s Pluto opposes this natal moon. I’ve always carried the shadow for my father (and possibly my other family members as well)

    I think my mom has to or feels that she ought to love me. But I’ve only ever felt unconditionally loved by a stray cat we took care of that passed away a couple years ago.

    I definitely am aware I am impaired on some level because of that kind of childhood.

    I work in a daycare and I’ve had parents express to me, how much they disliked their own kids, in front of them. Unfortunately I see this a lot.

      1. Yes, only we can do something about it in the end. And hopefully it all works out somehow without anyone else being harmed.

  11. Oh yes, Elsa, covert narcissistic mothers DO say that they love their kids all the same, but this is just talk. Social talk.(My own had Jupiter in the 10th). But the sly dynamic is that they have a golden child or more; and a scapegoat, definitely, through whom she will project her shadow and consider a.. thing? To be played with? Sometimes through violence and at other times through sarcasm or demeaning, thetefore teaching the golden child(ren) to act the same (triangulation) so that the brunt of the actual hatred remains diffuse and she can continue her sly abuse in the dark (my Pluto is in the 12th House) and keep a saintly image. I only learned what was truly happenning after she died and left it all to HER children, as I was considered a sub-something, despite her vehement constant speech about equality. The day she died I was amazed to feel something for the first time in my life, ever: my constant fear, dread, anxiety, my forever background that i could not know the origin of, just vanished! After 63 years!!! And even my myopia (i have been wearing glasses since the age of 7) rectified itself automatically!!!she was litterally vampirizing me without my knowledge!!!

  12. She controls and in return wants to be provided for. Every scenario in the mother/child relationship, in my case, can be reduced to that statement.
    I am a marked scapegoat. I am the child that reminds the mother of a husband she tries to dismiss the existence of. I am the child who confronted the control.
    As an adult, I am estranged from her. The healthiest relationship is no relationship at all.

    1. that first sentence -gasp! that is my Mother!
      She admits to a Bitter heart, blaming others for her bitterness…its a real struggle.

  13. I don’t think my mother liked me very much, or perhaps she was unable to express affection.
    She herself had a “hard” mother, who’s own mother died when she was 6 and was replaced by a mean stepmother. No coddling! And my mother was the last of 3 kids, unexpected and probably unwanted.
    Both my (1 year older) brother and I were “accidents”, but she did prefer my brother.
    When he was a teenager and my mother bothered him he really got mad, they would have great fights! For my part I tried to avoid her as much as I could, she scared me! (Mars in Libra in 12th) (and Moon opp Sun, Saturn & Pluto…)
    Although I wasn’t very close to her, I think I understand how it must’ve felt for her – being a houswife and mother was not her cup of tea.
    I never wanted to have children, for some reason or other. So I guess I’m like her, somehow.

  14. I dont think my Mother likes anyone! Lately my sister and I feel completely written off with my Mother focusing relations on our adult kids, her grandkids (lots of guilt to ensure they visit her)
    she is exhausting, anxious, controlling…somedays the child in me yearns for that Mother love but at 52 Im so used to not having that.

  15. I am also a Mother and sometimes I find myself detached from Motherhood/that maternal yearning. My boys are young men now – I do find my eldest son pleasant to talk to, we just gel more and are interested in academia/books/documentaries…my youngest son I also admire for his many qualities that I don’t have – he makes friends easily, has a fun loving and crazy personality (shine shine) with loads of competitive drive! I’ve learnt a lot from both my kids!

  16. Definitely think this is more common than spoken about. It’s true for me anyway. I’m an only child. I don’t think either of my parents would have had children if it wasn’t practically mandated in the mid-1960’s. My mom now has dementia and a plethora of other health issues. I’ve had to move back home to take care of her. I’m praying that the Virgo new moon in my 4th house brings a miracle solution. The end of my rope was a couple of years ago…I’m down to meager threads of sanity now. LOL.

  17. I have little knowledge about astrology. I love my daughter and we have always had communication problems. It is sad and frustrating for both of us.I usually have no idea what she is saying and I get lost and then zone out. I have wondered if it is because my mercury is in Virgo and hers is in Pisces.

  18. “taboo subjects” always love ’em! lol … this post might be why I only had one … joke aside I realised that’s all I’d be able to cope with! but my virgo moon would have worried about equally loving both I’m sure!!! I used to tease my mum with hypothetical scenarios where she’d have to pick between me & my brother … she always refused to! I think she would have picked my bro, can’t blame her – think they had an easier ride in terms of compatibility – he was certainly a calmer/ easier kid! – it’s just a fact … but I never felt bad about it as I felt she loved me ‘just the same’ in a way … now we’re older … it’s still good – me & my mum have new compatibilities that maybe she doesn’t have with my bro … but I feel she loves us both ‘just the same’ … being a mum is a tightrope & I feel she’s walked it well!! massive shout out – she may well be reading this :0)

  19. My mother’s Pluto in Cancer cons. my Venus opp Saturn in Cap. which in not great for a Taurus…there are other things too.

    I did not like my mother and she did not like me.

    The word Love. Just a word. My mother once, when l was about 8 said: you know we love you dont you? I was in shock…l didnt know what to say.
    It felt like a trap.

    I loved my grand mother– totally. l still do today. My mother didnt like it…and took a kind of macabre pleasure in telling me how she died.

    I did not go to my mother’s funeral and after will issues– l am glad.

    One of my best memories is of my mother is when we tried on wigs in a department store. (I had to go to the city for dental work). We drew a crowd. Hammed it up. We shared the stage equally– once. She was a Leo and l have a Leo Moon.

  20. On the face of it my mother definently did;iked myself, but was that really from a sane rational mind, I think not, she was a victim of what she thought, all the voices floating around in her mind; I now realise that she was a paranoid-scizaphrenic undiagnosed as she spent up to a year in a place than quickly moved: I met her in my twenties and she was not the person I thought she was when I was a child, she seemed like she had something wrong, she was going out to buy a packet of smokes, I suggested the nearest shop to her no the man had looked at her funny: a social worker in my teens visited her and left with a headache so he said, and said you are not going back to her:this woman was the most angry, violent person I have ever known: give me a child for seven years and I will give you the man, comes to mind, and yes I can see some of her ways in myself.

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