Is it ok to be mad at my mom?

I’m 25 years old and I’m angry with my mother.

She did well raising us. She came from a poor family and used her skills to create her own business. She didn’t even graduate college. Over the years, she earned money to buy us a house and several necessities. She paid for our education, she gave us allowances. She just made sure we were okay financially.

And we are okay. Until now. Or maybe it’s been a long time but I’ve just realized it now. I recently resigned from my job and while I have my savings, I don’t have to rely on them too much because I don’t really spend a lot and most of the things I need she buys (we still live in the same house). I’m grateful in that aspect.

But I’m just frustrated with my anger at her. She was never loving, never emotionally attentive. She never said “I love you”, hugged us, kissed us, not even a moment where she actively showed she appreciates us. Even though we’ve grown as respectable, responsible adults. Despite the difficulties we experienced and how we’ve overcome our struggles. She never told us she’s proud of what we’ve become.

And she gets angry when we do things wrong. Absolutely humiliates us. Undermines us for every wrong thing, even though she could simply tell us to do it right and not berate us.

I’ve confronted her about it on several occasions. Told her she’s too cruel. She should be kinder; aren’t we her kids? She would always throw the same argument: but I gave you food, money, all the things you enjoy! Which is true.

I just want to know if what I feel is valid. And if I should just move out or something. Maybe space will make her more loving? I resigned because of work stress (and maybe I’m having a quarter-life crisis? I’m just lost right now. Figuring things out. But generally okay, like I just need to rest for a while) and I don’t feel like having a job just yet, but maybe I need to find a job soon so I could interact with her less.

8 replies
  1. jessica
    jessica says:

    What you are demanding of your mother is what she demanded of you- perfection.

    It sounds like your mother shut down her emotions as a survival mechanism to be able to provide everything practical in your childhood. Balancing all of that with raising kids takes a lot out of any mother. That, and she might not be as sensitive personality wise anyway.

    The good news if you were raised with a decent head on your shoulders, not shackled by poverty. Your mom allows you to live under her roof at 25, provides necessities and support.

    You are aware of your anger. You earn decent income. You have a lot of time on your hands right now. Get into a therpaists chair for some emotional support and get back to work. Take advantage of all the practical support you have to get to your 30s better equipped with what you need.

    You need more support than your mother can give right now (or perhaps ever).

    Don’t move or do things to make other people do things, that just lets you put off learning how to take care of yourself wholly.

    Curiously, is any anger directed at your dad?

    These are things to explore with a therapist- but dont neglect your adult life while doing so (job, housing, goals, relationships.)

  2. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    You need to move out of your family’s house. If you have been able to work and accrue savings then you are capable of getting a job that supports you outside of the house.

    This is a time in your life when you are supposed to be separating from your parents and making an identity of your own. If you’re angry at your parents, then you are in that stage — of separating — but you are not really able to do it because you live with them. Which makes the anger that is typical from someone your age even more intense.

    Separating oneself from parents is really difficult. It’s even more difficult if you have to sort out your feelings about growing up in their house while you are still growing up in their house.

    No feelings are wrong to have. But there are wrong ways to deal with feelings. So move out. And you’ll have more perspective to sort through your feelings.


  3. Stephanie
    Stephanie says:

    Two cents from a 23-year-old: everything goes both ways. You want to be treated and respected as an adult, but it’s difficult for your mom to do that because you’re still living with her, so she still thinks of you as her little daughter, a kid that needs to be taken care of AND told what to do. The distance that you gain from each other when you move out will probably help your mom realize that you are a grown-up, and it’s time for her to stop interacting with you the same way she did fifteen years ago.

  4. Tina
    Tina says:

    You are allowed to feel however you want, but so is your mom. Your mom is who she is. You have to stop expecting her to be your idealized view of who you think a mother should be.

    I had similar feelings about my mom. I pretty much feel like she has never loved me the way I wanted to be loved. After a lot of time and soul searching, I realized that she will never show me love the way I want her to. I have had to accept what she has to offer in terms of showing love and affection.

    As others have noted, you need to move out. She still sees you as a child and treats you as such. She “berates” you because she sees you as a child who is old enough to know better and not make those mistakes you mentioned. She has no more patience for the mistakes, so she lashes out in frustration.

    You can’t change her, you can only change yourself. Good luck.

  5. YesMyKidsAreSocialized
    YesMyKidsAreSocialized says:

    Have you done the love languages test? It sounds like your mom’s primary love language is acts of service (working to pay for things house, bills, food, education) and it sounds like yours is words of affirmation. There is a short online quiz you guys can find (5lovelanguages), why don’t you both take a quiz and see what your results are? That may be the first step to understanding each other a little better.

  6. S.C
    S.C says:

    I can totally relate to this comment. My mum has never been one to show outward signs of affection (hugs, kisses or even smiles), nor praise, which my siblings and I craved for. My mum has been a SAHM since her marriage at age 16, and is not very confident outside the house. Since our father’s death 16 years ago, we have shared the responsibility of her care. She is very critical of everything we do and is a constant worrier. At present, she lives with my older sister who is divorced, and helps us with our business run from my home. Prior to my sister’s divorce, she lived with me (my husband, and 4 kids) for several years. Life is difficult when yr mum berates you, yr husband and yr kids for every little thing. My husband and 9 yr old son have aspergers. My 13 yr old son is aggressive and constantly complains about nan being too harsh over nitty gritties. But they all love nan’s food ! As I struggle with my family’s mental health issues, I’ve discovered that my mum suffers from chronic anxiety, and has a passive-aggressive nature.Her own mother died when she was an infant of 3 and she was brought up by relatives as grandpa remarried and couldn’t care for my mum and her two younger sisters.
    What I’m getting at with my long winded story is that her upbringing made her who she is, and as she gets older and less able, I make it my job to try and bring a smile to to her face. Baby steps, and you can’t change people, as the previous commenter said, you can change yourself. She does however, show affection towards the grandkids when they have met her high standards. I remind myself and the kids to think of a time when nan won’t be around anymore, and not to have regrets and wish we could have been better. Everyone’s situation is different, but when I’m having a tough day, be it with hubby, kids or mum, I remind myself that they are doing the best they can, and I take the good, forgive or tolerate the rest. I also remind myself to be more affectionate and loving towards my own kids as it doesn’t come naturally. YMKAS suggestion to chk out yr mums love language wd be helpful (you cd do the test for yr mum). Hope my comment helps. All the best

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