Find A Therapist logo.

Why Does My Mom Hate Me? How to Cope With These Feelings

Written by:

published on:

Updated on:


Note: Your support drives Find-A-Therapist. We earn a commission if you purchase services through our ads.

Looking for a therapist?

Feeling unloved or misunderstood by a parent can be deeply troubling. It’s essential to acknowledge that most often, feelings of hatred from a parent are not based on reality but on miscommunication or unresolved issues.

Family dynamics are complex, and what might seem like hatred could actually be a manifestation of stress, mental health struggles, or difficulties in the parent-child relationship.

6 Reasons You May Feel That Your Mother Hates You

Mother and daughter

There are several reasons why someone might feel as though their mother harbors ill feelings towards them.

These can range from differences in parenting styles to specific behaviors that create a sense of animosity. Each reason touches on various aspects of the parent-child dynamic that can contribute to these feelings.

1. Parenting Styles

How a mother chooses to raise her child can profoundly impact the child’s perceptions.

Some mothers adopt an authoritarian approach, emphasizing strict discipline and control. This style often leads children to interpret the lack of warmth and autonomy as dislike. In contrast, an overly permissive style might result in neglect, leaving the child feeling unloved.

Regardless of the style, mismatched expectations between the mother and the child can create a sense of being misunderstood or even hated.

2. High Expectations

Some mothers place exceptionally high expectations on their children, believing this will drive success.

This constant pressure can be overwhelming and lead the child to feel they are never good enough. The lack of acknowledgment of their efforts can further deepen these negative feelings.

These high expectations can come in various forms, from academic achievements to personal behaviors. When children fail to meet these expectations, they might feel resentful and believe that their mother harbors animosity towards them for not living up to her standards.

3. Continuous Criticism

Continuous criticism can significantly affect a child’s self-esteem.

If a mother constantly points out flaws or shortcomings, the child may start to feel unloved. This persistent negativity can overshadow any positive interactions, leaving a lasting impression of disdain.

Such criticism can range from minor faults to significant aspects of the child’s life. It often feels as though nothing is ever good enough, fostering a belief that their mother dislikes them.

4. Lack of Quality Time

The lack of quality time can also contribute to feelings of being hated.

When a mother does not make an effort to engage with her child, the child may feel neglected. This absence can be physical or emotional, where the mother is present but not truly involved.

Engaging in activities together, having meaningful conversations, and showing interest in the child’s life are crucial. The absence of these interactions can lead the child to feel unimportant and unloved.

5. You’re Afraid of Your Mother

Afraid of Your Mother

Fear can be a powerful indication of perceived animosity.

If a child is afraid of their mother due to harsh punishments, verbal abuse, or volatile behavior, this fear can easily translate into feelings of being hated. The child might associate their mother’s intimidating actions with a lack of love.

Living in constant fear can distort the child’s understanding of their relationship, making them believe that their mother harbors a deep-seated dislike for them.

6. Mean Behavior

Mean behavior, including harsh words or actions, can reinforce the feeling of being hated.

If a mother regularly resorts to unkind behavior, the child is likely to internalize this as a sign of dislike. This can include mocking, belittling, or ignoring the child’s needs.

Mean behavior can be sporadic or consistent but invariably leaves the child feeling hurt and unloved. Over time, these actions contribute to a sense of being despised by their mother.

How to Cope With a Mother Who Seems to Dislike You

Coping with a difficult mother can be challenging, but by using diverse strategies it is possible to navigate this difficult dynamic.

Reflect on the Relationship

Start by examining the history of your interactions with your mother. Consider where the tension stems from and any patterns that emerge.

Reflect on specific incidents and behaviors that have contributed to the current state. Understanding these triggers can provide insight into why these feelings exist and how to move forward.

Frequent arguments or negative comments might indicate deeper issues. Writing these down can help identify recurring themes. This reflection stage isn’t about placing blame but understanding the factors involved.

Improve Communication

Open and honest communication can sometimes bridge divides. Choose appropriate times to talk and use “I” statements to express feelings without sounding accusatory.

For example, “I feel hurt when certain things are said” can open the door to more empathetic discussions.

Active listening is crucial. Show genuine interest in her perspective even if it differs from yours. This can build a foundation of mutual respect and understanding.

Creating Healthy Boundaries

Healthy Boundaries

Establishing boundaries is essential for maintaining mental health.

Determine what behaviors you can or cannot tolerate and communicate these boundaries clearly. This might include limiting the time spent together or certain topics being off-limits during conversations.

Boundaries help prevent resentment and provide a sense of control. Ensure consistency in maintaining these boundaries to build a more respectful dynamic.

Practice Self-Care

Taking care of one’s own emotional and physical well-being is vital. Engage in activities that bring joy and relaxation, such as reading, exercise, or hobbies.

Regular self-care routines can help manage stress and improve overall mental health.

Consider seeking support from a therapist or support group. Professional guidance can offer new coping strategies and a safe space to express feelings without judgment.

Strategies for Handling Criticism

Criticism, whether overt or subtle, can be detrimental. It’s important to develop coping strategies.

One effective method is to politely acknowledge the feedback without internalizing it. For instance, simple responses like “I understand your point” can defuse tension without escalating the situation.

Another strategy is to set mental boundaries, reminding oneself that the criticism may reflect more about the giver’s state of mind than the receiver’s worth.

Accept and Move Forward

Acceptance doesn’t mean approval. It signifies recognizing the reality of the situation and finding ways to cope effectively.

Understand that you might not change your mother’s behavior, but you can change your reactions to it.

Acceptance helps release the need for things to be different. This mental shift can lead to a more peaceful and empowered state of mind.

Cultivate Positive Relationships

Focus on building and maintaining relationships that are uplifting and supportive. Surround yourself with friends, family members, or mentors who respect and appreciate you.

Positive relationships can offer the emotional support and validation that might be lacking in the relationship with your mother.

Engaging in social activities and being part of a community can also foster a sense of belonging and happiness.

When to Seek Help?

Family therapy

Considering professional support can foster healthier family dynamics and provide tools for dealing with complex emotions.

It might be time to seek help when communication breaks down, or when consistent feelings of neglect or animosity arise.

The Benefits of Therapy for Family Relationships

Therapy can address underlying mental health concerns and improve parent-child relationships. It offers a safe space where both parties can express their feelings and concerns without fear of judgment.

A therapist can help identify patterns of behavior that contribute to tension and provide strategies to manage those behaviors.

Families experiencing parental burnout can also benefit. Therapy might facilitate healthier coping mechanisms, enhancing overall family harmony.

For those dealing with complex emotions such as feeling unloved by a parent, therapy can be instrumental in dealing with those feelings constructively.

Therapists Specializing in Family Conflict

Online Therapy and Accessibility

Online therapy has made mental health support more accessible. It’s especially beneficial for those living in remote areas where in-person therapy may not be available.

Online platforms like BetterHelp and online directories such as help connect individuals with qualified therapists who offer flexible scheduling, making it easier for busy families to attend sessions.

These services often provide a wide range of resources, such as articles and community support, which can complement individual or family sessions.

Exploring online therapy options could be a significant step towards improving family relationships and mental health.


Mothers may face their own emotional challenges, which can impact their interactions with their children. These challenges might include personal stress, mental health issues, or unresolved conflicts from their past.

Self-reflection can help both mothers and children gain insight into their feelings and behaviors. Sometimes, seeking professional help such as family therapy can provide valuable perspectives and improve communication.


Lacy, C. M. (2015). ” I love my children… but I hate being a mom”: exploring narratives of maternal ambivalence in anonymous, digital spaces. Link.

Additional Resources

Prioritizing our mental well-being is paramount in today’s fast-paced world. The digital age has redefined therapy and psychiatric care, making support more accessible than ever. To guide you towards a healthier state of mind, we’ve partnered with pioneering names in mental health.
Note: We collaborate with top-tier mental health companies and we earn a commission if you purchase services through our ads.

Online Therapy

Discover a path to emotional well-being with BetterHelp – your partner in convenient and affordable online therapy. With a vast network of 30,000+ licensed therapists, they’re committed to helping you find the one to support your needs. Take advantage of their Free Online Assessment, and connect with a therapist who truly understands you. Begin your journey today.

Relationship Counceling

Whether you’re facing communication challenges, trust issues, or simply seeking to strengthen your connection, ReGain’s experienced therapists are here to guide you and your partner toward a healthier, happier connection from the comfort of your own space. Get started.

Therapist Directory

Discover the perfect therapist who aligns with your goals and preferences, allowing you to take charge of your mental health. Whether you’re searching for a specialist based on your unique needs, experience level, insurance coverage, budget, or location, our user-friendly platform has you covered. Search here.

Mental Health Assesments

Use our mental health assessments to explore concerns like ADHD, anger issues, depression, and toxic relationships.

About the author

Eliana Galindo
Eliana is a dedicated psychologist from Colombia who has gained extensive experience and made significant contributions in child development, clinical psychology, and rehabilitation psychology. Her work as a rehabilitation psychologist with disabled children has been transformative and compassionate. In the child development field, she creates nurturing environments through assessments, interventions, and collaboration with families. In clinical psychology, she supports individuals overcoming mental health challenges with empathy and evidence-based approaches. Inspired by her experiences, Eliana is motivated to write about mental health, aiming to raise awareness and advocate for a compassionate and inclusive approach to well-being.

You might also be interested in


In some articles, we include products we think are useful for our readers. When you buy through these links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

Information on our website is for educational and informational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a mental healthcare professional.

If you need an immediate assistance:

Medical Emergency (US) – 911
Medical Emergency (Global) – 112
Suicide & Crisis Lifeline – 988
Full List of Emergency Resources 

Online Therapy, Your Way

Discover the ease of starting therapy with BetterHelp. Complete the assessment and connect with a licensed professional therapist online.
Note: We earn a commission if you purchase services through our ads.