real life

'My mum is an 'anti-mother' - and doesn't care who knows.'

I try to see it as a blessing that Mother’s Day is the one day a year where having a parent who doesn’t want to be a parent really pays off. I don’t have to send my mother any Mother’s Day cards or flowers; I don’t have to express my love or gratitude for her giving me life in any of those standard ways.

I’m completely off the hook – even saying “Happy Mother’s Day” to her would upset her.

She doesn’t believe in celebrating Mother’s Day, just like the way she doesn’t believe in family. I’ve gotten used to having a mother who’s remarkably different from the kind of mum most people have — you know, the loving, nurturing, and mothering kind of mothers.

My mother is the anti-mother.


She considers Mother’s Day a manufactured holiday; therefore, to acknowledge 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.

I think it would be nice to have a day of appreciation. Although I’m not a mother, a wife, or even a secretary, I would never despise anyone because they wanted to show their appreciation for me.

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 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 people related to her.

This is a woman who didn’t even go to her son’s funeral or her nephew’s wedding. It wasn’t that she didn’t go to protest the event, just that she 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. It isn’t out of some religious belief; it’s because she doesn’t believe in anything that stresses family togetherness.

If I sent my mother a Mother’s Day card, she would rip it up

For most people, giving birth to a child creates a bond that never dies but my mother seems to be missing this gene. Both my brother and my father have passed away, and you’d think that would make my mother more interested in the remaining members of her family, but it doesn’t.

She’s perfectly happy having a neighbor take her to her doctor appointments, or spending 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, Mum! Look at me!” but she wouldn’t take a second to stop reading her book and acknowledge me.


My mother has always been very disconnected, rather than connected to her family members. She’s never been the excessively affectionate — a distracted kiss on the cheek at bedtimes was about as lovey-dovey as she got.

Once, as a child, I became so angry with her that I swore I would never kiss or hug her again.

I realised I had given her a gift when she didn’t pursue any kind of affection reconciliation. 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 where she looks as she’s in a completely different room.

While she 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 face lift, 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 got her prescription for pain medication filled. I felt that I had 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 is best for yourself — not what is best for your daughter. It isn’t that she enjoys my company so much, just that she would like to cash-in on all the care-giving she gave me 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.

Mother’s Day is difficult for me with everyone posting on social media about how much they love their mothers and how much their mothers loved them. 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 separated, no ties between us, for my mother not only doesn't believe in family ... she doesn’t believe in me.

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