Mom, I Love You, But I Don’t Want to be Like You

When it comes to motherhood, I sometimes feel a little lost. I find myself looking around for a good example of what a good mom should be. Not because I want to get sucked into the comparison game, but because I want to make sure I am doing things right.

Here’s the thing, I know no mom is perfect.

I also know my mom replaced me a long time ago with her personal demons. Truthfully, I don’t have many happy memories from my childhood. Our home was filled with beer bottles and an emotionally absent mother. It was unpredictable – some days were good days. On good days, she made dinner, checked homework, and read bedtime stories. Other days were not good – it was a “fend for yourself” kind of life. On bad days, my mom would lock herself in her room all day or she would send me to a relative’s house for the night.

Mom I Love YouFast forward through missed birthdays, graduations, and other big events, like my wedding. To this day, I have no relationship with my mom. She still has the same struggles as before, only I no longer have to live with them. When I see her, on rare occasion, I can hardly believe she gave birth to me. I feel no personal connection. When I hear other women talk about how annoying it is that their mother calls them every day, it hurts. Mine never calls. There aren’t any mother/daughter dates. We don’t go out shopping or get our nails done together. I don’t confide in her with big decisions or vent to her when my husband forgets to start the dishwasher. It’s just not in the cards.

I don’t want sympathy or a pity party.

I believe my childhood has made me into the strong person I am today. I know it sounds cliché, but it’s true. If you know me, you would probably think I had a normal, happy childhood. Questions about my mom I usually brush off. I’ll never tell you that I haven’t spoken to her in months. I don’t mention that as much as I want to cut her off completely, I just can’t. I won’t admit to the fact that most of my decisions as a parent come from not wanting to be her.

I want my children to have a normal and happy childhood. I don’t want them to have to worry about what sort of situation they’re coming home to every day. I try my hardest to cook dinner for them on a regular basis, and tuck them into bed after a bedtime story each night. I want them to know they’re loved not just through my words but through my daily actions. I am determined to provide a stable life for them … and myself. I hope to be a mom they love, with no twinge of pain behind it. I want them to have a childhood they looks back on with fondness, not tears. I want to be better than the mom I had, for them.

Mom, I love you. I just don’t want to be like you.


  1. I could have written this. The parenthood journey sometimes feels so lonely without that “mentor” to guide me. I use a lot of mama friends, but it’s really just not the same.

  2. I grew up with alcoholic parents. My mother died of breast cancer at the age of 52. I was 21 years old when she passed. I didn’t have a good child life. But like you , I can say that it has made me stronger and I rely on my Father in Heaven to give me the love and affection I need. He alone is my all in all. I don’t know where I would be if it had not been for the love and grace of my true Father, the creator of Heaven and Earth. 🙂

  3. I can relate to this a lot. It is so hurtful and frustrating at times, as I am still in the middle of turbulent situations at time with my mom (and her strained relationship with my dad). I need distance to keep myself sane. I am in therapy so I can avoid being like her. She never calls me and when I call her about once a month she may or may not be interested in talking.

    The thing I hate the most is in group settings when you’re asked, “Who is your hero?” And everyone talks about their moms. Who is my hero? I don’t know, but it’s not her. I wish things could be different. But at the very least I’m determined to be a better mom than she was, even though I still am so imperfect at it.


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