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Girls Growing up without a Mother - Mothers Without Mothers

Growing up without a mother can be difficult

Growing up without a mother can be difficult

Want to talk to other women who are going through life without the support of a mother?

Women Without Mothers

Do I have a mum?

Many people take mothers for granted. Mum is the one who's there to help you tie your shoes, brush your hair, get ready for school, learn about make-up and help you prepare for your first date.

Later mum is the one who helps you plan your wedding and helps you through the fears of your first pregnancy and then the labour pains while your husband turns pale and swears he'll never make you do that again.

Some girls lose their mother when they are young to illness, a tragic accident or something unexplained. They can remember their mother, or at least smile at a photo of her and wipe a tear away.

But what about the girls, teenagers and women who don't have the chance to have a mother there but don't get the chance to mourn her, either?

What about the women stuck in limbo because their mother has decided that she doesn't want to be a mother?

When your Mum doesn't want you.

So why are there girls who have lived and grown up with their fathers with little or no contact with their mothers? Well for a start, here are some reasons:

  • Alcoholism.
  • Another man.
  • Mental Illness.
  • Not wanting to have kids.
A mother is a guiding figure in a girl's life.

A mother is a guiding figure in a girl's life.

So how does this impact on a female?

Mothers are there for so many important parts of a girl's life. But when they aren't there, or are only there part time it can make a girl or woman feel:

  • Unwanted.
  • That they did something to make the mother leave.
  • Jealous of other girls.

And a major one?

Torn - knowing they want an older female role model but also knowing that their mother can never take that role.

No matter what...

...there's no replacement for a real mum. No step mum, de facto mum, grandma or aunt can fill the role, no matter how much they try or how well meaning they are.

Having a mother who doesn't care about you or you know just isn't good for your emotional stability can be hard. I know, I've been there.

I haven't found a solution yet. However, I do know one thing - it will make you stronger.

Choosing to eliminate your mother from your life...

My mother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was just two and a half years old. Throughout my childhood and teenagerhood she had multiple breakdowns and said and did some terrible things. 

I realized as I grew older that no matter how much I craved a mother figure in my life, my mum was not the person to take that place.

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It may be hard but sometimes you have to realize that enough broken promises means you should end the relationship.

*Photo by 31910792@N05


Julie on April 14, 2020:

My step daughter’s mother left when she was 6 years old she moved to another city. A t some point she moved back to the same city but saw the children inconsistently Both grandmothers attempted to fill the “mom” role. Fast forward ... I met my husband when his motherless daughter was 22 years old we have now been married 27 years The daughter had continually been a problem for my marriage to the point that I am once again considering divorce. She is married and has children Of her own. In my view my husband and his daughters relationship is strange she wants to insert herself into our marriage and household and decisions and my husband permits it He will even lie to me and manipulate situations so that his daughter will get what she wants The crazy thing is if they would talk openly to me I would be willing to compromise I’ve Feel as if I have always been set up as an adversarial opponent. Advice please...

Venkatesh on December 26, 2014:

I think you might be able to help me,

I like a girl from a very long time .

Her mother abandoned her when she was born.

She is very much reserved and doesn't talk to anyone much.

She thinks being in a relationship is just waste of time.

Is it a good idea for me to tell her how i feel?

Madison on December 13, 2014:

Okay, so my mom wasn't so bad, but last year she started calling me ugly or fat because I wouldn't put my hair up and I didn't want to go on a diet because I was okay with how I looked, but she didn't accept that and would always pick out my clothes and was stricter with me than she was with my brothers. She just started slapping me when I say something she doesn't like.

And whenever I go to my dad he agrees with her ,makes fun of me or gets angry.

random passing-byer on July 20, 2014:

The part about "no one can replace the real mother isn't entirely true.

I was raised by my stepmother from a very young age, (I'm 22 now)

I see her as my real mother, to me she is my mother and will always be.

I have none of these issues the post says.

But the catch to this is that my step mother was there for everything and raised me, She treated me like I came from her blood.

Shermia Trueheart from Texas, USA on May 25, 2014:

I really want to comment a long comment on this hub, but I don't have time and I want to come back... Hubpages should add a "Read Later" option of something...

Alaura on January 29, 2014:

I've grown up with a mother who constantly came in & out of my life, I felt lost, hopeless, & torn. I wish I could say I want her to be my mother, but she isn't fit for that position. It sucks knowing that you're 15 & unwanted by someone who gave birth to you thinking that would solve alcohol issues. It didn't work, I pushed her away because I was done with the disappointment on both ends of my parents. In the end, I feel wiser, more mature, and more grateful to the mothers who are actually there for their little girls. If anyone goes or is going through what I am & what I have, know that you are so much stronger than you think. Don't ever give up on yourself, no matter how much pain you have in this moment you never know how great you can be.


The girl who lost her mother & survived

FlourishAnyway from USA on May 29, 2013:

I am sad for your experience. Although I feel blessed with a wonderful mother, I do see young ladies around me -- including second cousins -- who have rejecting, mentally ill, and/or drug addicted mothers, and it affects them greatly. I truly wish you well.

Auraylia on April 12, 2013:

hi i thought i would a 13 year old girl and my parents divorced when i was about 1 year dad won me and my half brother in the divorce and we never once heard from her again.i don't know really anything about her for sure.all i know is she was insane.i don't know what was wrong with her because i've heard different things.i grew up with just my dad.who is a disabled angry alaskan bear man to be honest.i never got close with any family members because i didn't trust them and also because most of them lived in the lower 48.i basically was forced to become a mother for my brother and a caretaker for my emotionally abusive dad while trying to raise myself in our poor little has been a challenge to say the sorry if i seem whiney but im just trying to explain the situation.i wanted to say thank you because if you believe it makes you stronger then that gives me hope for my depression and my future

Nina on February 06, 2013:

I can totally relate to this. My my parents divorced when I was 4 and my father was awared custody due to my mother's bipolar disorder diagnosis. I am now 32 and still struggle with my mother on many levels. I never really bonded with her in a "mother daughter" way and often felt neglected and unloved by her simply because I don't think she knew HOW to be a mother. With all that said, I stopped expecting her to be a mother and decided to just be a friend to her instead. Many times I felt that I have had a role reversal with her, in which I was more of the mother and she was sort of like a daughter. Its been hard, rough, strange, and unusual, but I will say this - I have decided to LOVE her no matter what. There have been times when I felt having her out of my life would be better, but let me tell you - the depression and bitterness will get WORSE and begin to have a negative impact in your life. All I can do is love and try my best to be positive to her despite everything. Through deciding to love and forgive her actions, I am no longer angry with her on a level that would cause destruction to my own life. It is NOT easy, but I still embrace her and just try to be a friend. I have no expectation of ever establishing a close "mother daughter" bond with her. I just don't want to contribute to any guilt and shame she must already feel from what people perceive as "failure".

melaboo on January 20, 2013:

Hi I am a 32 year old female and my mother abandoned me when I was 6. I have wonderful memories of having a mother but have spent the rest of my adult life feeling lonely and missing out on having a mother daughter relationship. If my mum leaving me was not enough to screw up my mental state, I spent the rest of my childhood living with my father who had a sex change! Seriously, if I had the time and motivation to write a book it would be a best seller. Anyhow, although i suffer from depression, I have managed to get on the straight and narrow after a good few years of abusing myself (drugs n alcohol) I am now a social worker in child protection with a degree and a beautiful baby girl who is my absolute world. It makes me wonder even more how a mother can walk away from her child. For anybody wondering, I tracked down my 'mother' in 2012 and have now finally managed to put to bed the desire to have a mum in my life. Having met up with her and the things i see in my job I have finally (thank god) concluded that some mothers are just not cut out for the job and a child's life may actually be better off without them. One thing I am 100 % certain about and that is I LOVE being a mother. ;-)

iwillbestrongforyou on December 31, 2012:

i think that my mother having an anuerysm has changed me forever. i used to be the most affectionate person you ever met but now its hard for me to even give my father a hug because i feel like ive lost the ability to be close to anyone. its getting better because im finally coming out with my story and all my friends are trying to get me to come out of my shell more. but its still hard to get close to anyone.

JESS on December 30, 2012:

My mother left me and my 2 sisters when we were 10. 8 and 6. I try to act tough and have always seeked my dads approval acting as a son that dad has never had i find it really hard and have a lot of anger inside me i don't think ill recover from it and find it really hard to express love myself. I don't like being hugged now nor will i give hugs.

ridina on November 22, 2012:

Wow, I can definitely relate to this story. My mother was diagnosed as bipolar and schizophrenia when I was 4 or 5. I have no happy memories of her. My parents eventually divorced when I was 8 and my older sister and me opted to stay with my father. I never had a relationship with her and my father didn't remarry until I was 20. I am 32 now (my mother died 4 years ago) and I still feel a HUGE void in my life due to not having mother love. I had a lot of promise to be something prestigious (like a doctor, etc.) but because of the emotional void, I have suffered with depression myself for several years.

Any empty-nesters out there looking for a daughter? :) sigh...

iwillbestrongforu on November 16, 2012:

When was 12 my mother had a brain aneurysm. she was a great mother for sure, but every day i woke up wondering if she was going to be dead. not even two months after that my brother started raping me day and night. i turned to smoking and cutting real quick after that because i honestly wanted to just be dead. my father loved us both but i couldn't confide in him like i could a mom. i started keeping secrets from everyone, even my best friend. i was scared that if i shared too much they would leave me. i put a big fat thick mask so that i wouldn't be hurt again. i ran away from God because i was afraid He was going to hurt me too. im in my senior year of highschool and since then i have gone from a scared kid to a strong woman and learned who i am. at the age of 13 i pulled myself out of my cutting so because i was afrain my father was going to come home and find me dead, and after all he has tried to do for my family i could never do that for him, no matter his faults. at the age of 14 i put my foot down and told my brother if he ever touched me again i was going to order a rape report against him and he left me alone. i was able to forgive him and have an ok relationship with him. at the age of 17 i found out that instead of being the youngest of just me and my brother, i am the youngest five children three of which are from my fathers previouse marrige and i have never met. there has been many deaths in my family and i never completely got out of my depresstion. but the emotional and mintle effects have coused even more damage. my mom lived but she wasn't herself. she lost the ability to speak right and also was paralized on the right side of her body. the day she had the surgery for the blood clot the doctors had to take out a portion of her brain, so now shes like an overgrown child stuck inside of a 57 year old body (by the way im writing this on her bday). the role of mother and daughter have flipped completely between us, and i always took the role of the woman of the house, even though i have never been a domestic person. today im 18 and and right after i turned 18 i got a tattoo of a sparrow that says learning to fly because that was the best way i could sum up the whole thing and how i felt. i felt unloved and unwanted and that i was just a piece of filth. i felt unworthy to even look someone in the face. even today i have problems having any kind of relation with anyone because i still get scared that im just going to mess up and they're just going to turn their backs on me. on the other hand, i found out who my real friends were. they never left and have been there for me thru thick and thin. my moms old best friend has taken me under her wing, but even so shes not MY mom, but i love her to death because she saw my pain and was there. i don't think ill ever get over it, i still cry about it sometimes, today actually, i still miss the crap out of her, still angry that shes not here but i know a few things for sure: God is always with me, my future kids will never be without me until they're ready to fly on their own, and i still have the ability to love. God bless all of you.

stephanie on July 24, 2012:

my mother left me when i was 5, my parents got divorced and she took my 3 older half siblings with her. she drank a lot back then and still does. she does drugs and smokes. i always believed she abandoned me, i would cry every night. i have problems with any kind of relationship because i keep everything in. she rarely visits but what she mostly does is promise to visit and never does. it hurts thinking back when i used to sit by the front window and watch the cars when i heard she was supposed to be coming over. I'm told that I am strong but i feel weak, like there's this void or piece missing from me. it hurts to think of her and its even worse that i look so much like her that i don't want to look in the mirror. she has hurt me for almost 12 years now and it scares me that this feeling is probably never going to go away.i don't want to carry this pain in my chest for the rest of my life. i know i will get through this but its so hard right now. i have no one to talk to, who understands. i used to cut myself and they marks always said MOM. i don't do this anymore but its still tempting. i know i am strong even when i feel weak.

ammah from United States on July 11, 2012:

Thanks so much for sharing. Many of her behaviors can be attributed to her condition and the medications as well. Its hard to sympathize when you are a child, as you are desperately in need of that love and nurturing. That person to set boundaries and compassion. I am so sorry. But, as you had mentioned, you are stronger through the hardship and the fact that you are writing this is a testament to your good nature. I hope you the best in life. There is a brighter side to every dark story. Thank you for showing your strength and your will power to change things that are not within your control. Thank you so very much. Bless your soul.

? on May 15, 2012:

My mother left me and my 2 sisters and brother when I was only 1, I'm the youngest of the four. Talking from experience I would say it didn't effect me much at all as I don't miss what I never had. Or maybe it has effected my outcome with out any obvious traits. It effected my brother and sisters a lot more as they felt the full effect of losing a mother.

My sisters spent there whole childhood and teenage years just looking for attention and approval from men. Where my brother was completely independent and shut out from the world, focusing fully on his education and future. My dad although he tried his very best was very clueless on how to bring up children himself, probably due to his bad upbringing as he lost his father at 4 and his mother was very neglecting towards him.

Overall we all had to raise ourselves up alone. We are all very independent and reserved people. I have noticed that I am more at ease around male company and don't have many female friends, mostly because I don't really have patience for women and am uncomfortable with their presence. Saying that, I have always been very different from other woman and have always found it very hard to form and maintain lasting bonds with them. Whereas with men I can keep a bond for years on end even if their intention is to be more then just friends. I guess its just the attention I get from them that I enjoy. Apart from that there hasn't been a major negative impact on us. If anything just a positive impact as we are all very strong, independent and strong willed people.

Susannah Birch (author) from Toowoomba, Australia on May 02, 2012:

Thanks for the comment Bethany. She sounds a lot like my mum when my parents divorced. She went from strictly religious to sleeping with random guys she met online and dressing like a teen.

Bethany on May 01, 2012:

My mother has just been diagnosed and is now taking medicine for her bi-polar syndrome. She visits my 3 younger brothers and me (I am 16, my brothers are 11, 5, & 2) on the weekends, and rarely calls. My parents are going through a divorce, and she has treated this like the prime of her life. She's started smoking, cut her hair off (Dad always loved her hair long), and is having sex with men. The other day I asked her if she would take me to get some sandals, and she said she only had money for her cigarettes. I feel worthless, actually. Like I was a boulder on her, keeping her down. I swear to God I'm going to be the opposite of my mother. I will never put my future kids through this. I know the pain.

sue on April 10, 2012:

Ita hard growing up with a mother who never wanted you, I had this at 15 I left home through difficult circumstances, I had 2 children but sruggled with my daughter who is now in the 30's she knew I can't love and I have no answer why this is so, but I believe its all to do with my onw upbringing, its sad, mothers are supposed to love, but it is not always possible my daughter has given me so much pain.

Amy on March 17, 2012:

Yeah my mom has a mental illness of bi polar. I'm 17 and I just now realized that her mental illness makes her not okay to be a mother. I live with my dad now. And having no mom is probably one of the hardest things for a teenage girl. It's also hard having to have the ability to distance yourself away from someone who you miss. I do notice that without a mom I get jealous of other girls easier.

Jc on October 29, 2011:

My mom was mentally ill. I haven't married although I am healthy, fun and attractive. I hope it's not due to a lack of mother figure .... People who know me say I am very strong

danielle on July 16, 2011:

im fighting custody for my nine year old daughter for two years who lives with her dad three hours away from kills me that shs not with me.its so hard on every1 always wins though and that sux

Mariya on May 08, 2011:

I lost my mother to suicide when I was 5 after comin to America and I'm 22 still searchin formsomething that will never be there. I can't stop crying all I cantuink about is the fear of not knowing how to be a mother one day.

Abby on September 14, 2010:

Its so sad because there truly is no answer, and everyone knows being stronger isn't good enough.... All I have is a lack of fear, a new found habit of crying a lot... Good luck.

Lina M... on August 19, 2010:

At 32, I have just now come to terms with the fact that I was emotionally abandoned by my mother. And it's ok, I used to cry and get upset, but the minute I realized that everything that my mother did (or not did) was not my fault, that's when I finally found a lot more peace in my life. God bless all of you and be strong.

Shalini Kagal from India on August 18, 2010:

You look back and you write from a position of strength - but it's hard for anyone to think of a little girl without a mother's love that so many of us just take for granted. Life can be so unfair and it takes a special person to pick up the pieces and carry on!

Jaspal Singh from India / Australia on August 14, 2010:

Certainly, Mother plays a guiding role in her kids life.

Maggie Griess from Ontario, Canada on August 13, 2010:

WryLilt, so sad you had to experience this in your life. We all assume parents love their children, unfortunately the sad truth is some do not for the reasons you stated. Moving on is the only healthy choice since you can't change another! Congratulations on your journey of self!

ross670daw on August 13, 2010:

Hello WryLilt

We sometimes take our Mothers for granted, I know I did at times, I can't imagine what it must be like to go through life without having that 'stable' figure present and guiding me through. I had a similar relationship to yours, but with my father.

I congratulate you on your journey and wish you well.

Well written hub. Go Aussie

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