“No matter what I do for her, it’s never enough.”
“My mom is simply never happy for me, however hard I try to please her”
“My mom makes me feel guilty about everything.”
“My mom always sees the worst in me.”
“I always feel bad after talking to my mother.”
This article is for you if any of these sentences ring a bell.
The first person we come into contact with in the life of each of us is our mother.
We are born through a relationship and in a relationship, and it is quite natural that relationships with others are important to us throughout our lives.
The first touch we feel is a mother’s touch; whether we like it or not, mothers are very important.
A mother is a being on whom, as babies, we depend on 100%. Whether she can recognize our needs depends on whether we will later be able to recognize our own needs.
However, what happens when the mother is not happy with the child?
What if the mother does not know how to deal with the child when she does not have the capacity to provide him with the unconditional love and acceptance that he needs to grow into a mentally healthy person?
There is no such thing as a perfect mother. But a good enough mother is all you need to be a satisfied and successful person who has the capacity to achieve harmonious relationships with others.
If you have the impression that your mom makes you feel bad, there can be many different reasons for that. Let’s look into them, one by one.
My Mom Makes Me Feel Worthless
Let’s suppose that next to your mother, you feel as if all your successes are worthless as if nothing you do makes sense or is important, even though you know objectively that it is not so.
In that case, it is important to understand that it is certainly not your fault that you feel that way, but that there is something in your mother’s behavior that sends you the message that you are worthless.
Such messages are extremely rarely direct or verbal. It is extremely rare that a parent will consciously, clearly, and loudly tell their child that they are worthless.
When you have a strong experience that you are worthless next to your mother, it means that her behavior towards you contributes to making you feel that way.
The ways in which a mother can make a child feel worthless are very diverse:
- Maybe she doesn’t pay attention to how you feel and ignores your feelings even when you express them directly. In this way, she sends a clear message that your feelings are not important, and if this is repeated often, it is highly expected that you will feel worthless in her presence.
- Perhaps your mother underestimates your successes, fails to praise you for your efforts, and acts as if it is completely normal and insignificant to be successful. Instead of congratulating you when you achieve something, she just skims over it and asks you to, say, wash the dishes.
- Maybe you have an older brother or sister who requires much more attention, and since you don’t cause problems, your mother feels that she doesn’t need to pay attention to you.
- Maybe your mother has problems in the relationship with your father, so even though she loves you, she doesn’t have the capacity to deal with you properly, so she fails to notice how you feel.
- Let’s not forget that there are also immature mothers who perceive their children as rivals. A child who feels his mother competes and compares with him will first feel insecure. Instead of feeling supported and appreciated, these children have to compete with their parents. They often end up feeling worthless because they typically believe it is their fault that their mother did not know how to love them properly.
Whatever the reasons behind your mother treating you badly, it is not your job to solve your mother’s problems. A child who does not receive enough attention often has a desire to save the parent who neglects him.
The thing is that the parent always has far more possibilities and ways to save himself than the child, no matter how much the child feels guilty about the parent’s problems.
What to Do If Your Mom Makes You Feel Worthless?
To establish a relationship with your mother, you must know some basic things about the mother-child relationship:
- In the relationship between parent and child, the responsibility is always mostly on the parent. However you may behave, and whatever you do, your parent has an advantage over you in terms of experience, and the role of a parent is one of support and protection.
- Maintaining the relationship with the mother is vitally important for the child. When a baby is born, it will do everything to maintain its relationship with its mother because its life depends on its mother’s proximity. The baby has no idea whether its mother is good or bad. It directs all its capacity to keep the mother’s attention, whatever that mother is. If the mother neglects the child, the child is more likely to believe that he is not worth enough, that he is to blame the mother for not getting enough attention, or to believe that his mom is bad.
So, if your mother treats you badly, if she criticizes you and in other ways lets you know that she doesn’t value you, that you are not important to her, it really has nothing to do with you or anything you do.
It has to do with the way your mother was raised and the way she was treated. In most cases, our parents repeat the patterns they grew up in.
The more toxic your mother’s upbringing was, the harder it will be for her to be a good enough mom and realize she has a problem.
If your mother constantly makes you feel bad about yourself, the best course of action is to distance yourself from her and seek emotional support elsewhere.
Turn to close friends or family members who can encourage you and believe and see the good in you.
Restoring Your Self-respect
When we receive such toxic messages from the person who gave us life, our self-esteem most often suffers.
If we didn’t get what we needed from the other parent, it’s very possible that we won’t have a clear picture of what we’re worth, what we’re like, what we can do, and what we need.
To feel good, it is crucial that we have a good opinion of ourselves. So, for a start, get to know yourself – here are some techniques that will help you with that:
- Write down seven of your best qualities on paper.
- Ask close friends to name at least three of your good qualities.
- During the day, write down everything nice that someone says about you, everything nice that happens to you, and then put those pieces of paper in a bigger jar. Insert one or more pieces of paper regularly every day. When the jar is a little full, read all the papers from the beginning. You will learn more about yourself than you think.
- Keep a diary about everything that happens to you, what is important to you, and what you feel.
If you are curious, you can try to understand your mother better. Keep in mind that this understanding won’t give you the attention and love you’ve been missing, but it can reduce the tension in the relationship.
Talk to the mother about her mother. Ask her how her mother treated her and what she thinks about it. Ask her how she feels about her mother.
Ask her how her family treated success and what qualities were considered desirable.
When you have all these answers, it will be easier for you to understand how your mother became what she is today, and it will be easier to come to terms with the fact that you may never get what you need from her.
But keep in mind that as long as you are aware of what happened, there are great chances you will get what you were missing through some other close relationship.
Your mother can criticize your appearance, attitude, successes, failures, and friends, and it is quite normal to feel bad next to a person who does not support you.
It is also quite natural that you want to please your mom, even when you know her behavior towards you is not okay.
That is why it is very important that you know yourself well, both your strengths and your weaknesses, set adequate boundaries in your relationship with her, and allow yourself to outgrow her.