What Is The Mother Wound?

What is the Mother Wound? I get this question from many people.

A Mother Wound is the unresolved traumas a mother carries which she then passes on to her daughter. A mother wound is often located in the context of patriarchy which views women as less than. Much of the wounding a woman inherits corresponds to her position and role in the family, society, and culture.

As Mother's Day rolls around again, I think about all the daughters who are carrying the mother wound and the ways in which we miss our mothers.

  • Some mothers, like mine, have crossed over.
  • Some mothers are still here, but their daughters are estranged from them.
  • Some mothers are present, but absent. Lost to their daughters forever.
  • Some mothers are so unsafe their daughters must maintain distance for their own personal wellbeing.

It's very common for Mother's Day to bring up grief, guilt, anger, and so much longing for what might have been.

  1. The Hallmark event demands us to play the role, even if we didn't grow up with a loving mother.
  2. It places a lot of unrealistic expectations on a mother to be perfect and adoring all the time while doing like a superwoman.
  3. It creates shame and guilt in women who experienced abuse and neglect from their mothers but are forced into a false celebration of motherhood.

The pain of a mother wound cuts deep. She was supposed to love you, protect you, and keep you safeBut she didn't. If you're one of those daughters who struggles through Mother's Day, I'm reaching out with a virtual hug.

If you're one of the fortunate daughters who knew a mother's nourishing love but your mother is in spirit, I'm reaching out to you with so much compassion for the grief that is bound to surface.

Ultimately, we must all learn to mother ourselves, whether or not we had a good role model.

One of the tasks of being on this human journey is to learn to reparent ourselves with tenderness, compassion, and love. When we finally give up the hope that an unavailable mother will, one day, become available, we open to change and learn to take control of our own happiness.

I was invited to a podcast where I spoke at length about the mother wound.


If you've had a stressful or emotionally damaging relationship with your mother and need guidance, go here.

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