I Do Everything Right, So Why Does My Mom Hate Me?

Updated September 04, 2018

Mother-daughter conflict is as old as time and often the topic of many classic as well modern novels. Freud believed that the mother figure could very well be the root of all grown children's neurosis, but it is probably much simpler than that. Mothers have the age-old desire to see their daughters achieve what they did not in their generation.

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The Origins of Conflict

When a mother experiences fear or concern for a young daughter's behavior, she also remembers when she was young and how receptive she was to her own mother's advice, talks and shouting matches. Yes, there is a progression and any daughter or mother can attest that sometimes advice and talk get bypassed and shouting becomes the way of saying this simple sentence: I love you and I am so afraid of you making a mistake that could cost you your future.

Part of the reluctance to say these very true and meaningful words is the memory of how obstinate she was at "that age." Even if a mother has done most everything right herself in a mother-daughter relationship, there may come a time when she projects her teenaged behaviors, thoughts, and feelings upon her daughter.

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Most good mothers are so, not because they had a stellar relationship with their own mothers, but because they did not, and they are determined to have a good relationship with their daughters. The intent and pledge to do so is so strong that when there seems to be the least threat to that relationship, that sacred alliance, the mother lashes out at whomever or whatever poses the threat. Often, that may be the daughter herself, who at a certain and normal age of her development, wishes to assert herself as independent of her mother.

Fiction is Fact

Anyone who was a member of the cult following of the Gilmore Girls (2000-2007) remembers the enviable relationship between Lorelai and Rory. The only time there were ever disruption to their harmony was when there was a male in Rory's life that posed a threat not only to their mother-daughter relationship, but also to the brilliant future Lorelai saw for her daughter; the one she herself did not have, because of a boy that ultimately led her to become a teen mother.

The juxtaposition of their relationship is that Lorelai would not take anything for her daughter. However, her cognitive mind recognizes that had she not become a mother at sixteen her life would have been easier, if not better. This sort of cognitive dissonance is the stuff for which mother-daughter relationships are made of. Mothers love their children. Mothers love their daughters, but they wish so much more than motherhood for them.

If It Is Not Hate, It Must Be Love

When a mother and daughter come to an impasse in their relationship, it is painful to them both and it may seem that they hate one another. The daughter may feel that no matter what she does, her mother hates her. The truth is that rarely do a mother and daughter actually hate one another. They simply find themselves at odds in the relationship. The daughter needs independence, and the mother is afraid to let go and allow her daughter to make mistakes; mistakes that could possibly be fatal, or at least heartbreaking.

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There are no easy answers for any mother or daughter. However, open communication is a must even when it is painful and even when there may be raised emotions and voices involved. No matter the issues, the words I love you should be expressed often in the conversation. Even if these words are prefaced with I am angry or I am disappointed, or especially, I am afraid. No psychologically healthy mother ever hates her daughter. She simply does not like the power that the child has over her to drive her back to when she could have changed her course and did not.

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Daughters: Be Kind to Your Mothers. They Love You No Matter What You Do. Mothers, Be Kind to Your Daughters. They Love You No Matter What They Do.

For more information or advice on mother-daughter conflict go to Betterhelp.

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