"Im your mother, there is nothing that could make me stop loving you" ....

(86 Posts)
HollyBerryBush Fri 25-Jan-13 20:47:31

...a line on one of those god awful Cartoon Network cartoons.

It made me think, is there anything that could stop you loving your child?

Mass murderer? serial killer? Would you still love them? visit them in prison? Drug addict? thief? consumate liar? killing a sibling?

Is there anything that would be the final line and no going back in your relationship with your child?

AIBU to ask what your deal breaker would be?

usualsuspect Fri 25-Jan-13 20:49:04

Who knows really?

I don't think I could stop loving them though.

Don't think I could ever stop loving her.
I might not like things that she does, may even not like her sometimes but I will always love her.

fluffyraggies Fri 25-Jan-13 20:50:23

is there anything that could stop you loving your child?

I tend to think not. Maybe i'm being naive? I hope i'll never have to find out.

brainonastick Fri 25-Jan-13 20:52:03

No, I often say that I will always be their mum and always love them. It's true. Ok, there might be some extreme circumstances which might mean I would no longer see them or support them, but I would still love them. That's part of motherhood isn't it?

I'll always love them all no matter what, I might not like them very much depending on what they are up to.

Mollie272 Fri 25-Jan-13 20:53:39

I don't think so - can't imagine any scenario that would stop me loving mine - even if I hated what they'd done.

ReallyTired Fri 25-Jan-13 20:54:48

AIBU to ask what your deal breaker would be? "

Me being murdered by my own child. Somehow I think that is unlikely.

andtheycalleditbunnylove Fri 25-Jan-13 20:55:11

she's my baby, she came out of my tummy. its a quality no-one else has. i'm committed to loving her. and its easy. i'm not giving it up!

amazingmumof6 Fri 25-Jan-13 20:55:24

stop me from loving them? - no, nothing, ever

stop me from liking them? - yes, loads of things, daily, mainly whining

report to police, cut off from money, throw out of house - yes, but after a lot of struggling and talks and trying to help first and it would have to be very serious and I pray to God I'll never have to deal with that sort of thing!

MusicalEndorphins Fri 25-Jan-13 20:55:45

I think you'd still love them, but be horribly ashamed and broken hearted. I've wondered that when I read about murderers and so on, how the parents and other loved ones of the criminal must feel.

HollyBerryBush Fri 25-Jan-13 20:56:49

Me being murdered by my own child. Somehow I think that is unlikely.

I wonder what the statstics on that is?

I bet it isn't as rare as we might think!

NotSoNervous Fri 25-Jan-13 20:56:59

I would always love my DC, if she did something terrible then we might not always get on/see each other, in extreme circumstances, but ill always love her

Tee2072 Fri 25-Jan-13 20:57:09

No, I'll never stop loving him. I don't always like him or his behaviour, but I always love him.

Foggles Fri 25-Jan-13 20:58:03

I can't imagine ever not loving my DC but the scenario about one sibling killing another is difficult.

I think my heart would just explode if something like that happened.

Nanny0gg Fri 25-Jan-13 21:01:23

Oh I think there are circumstances.
if I'd been the mother of Ian Brady, Myra Hindley, Fred West etc, or some other dreadful criminal, then I think I could stop loving them.
If I ever stopped feeling guilty myself, that is.

Fakebook Fri 25-Jan-13 21:05:48

Don't most serial killers have weird relationships with their mothers? The mothers are supposed to be really domineering and control freaks. I think some also abuse their children sexually and physically. I wonder if a mother like that would stop loving their child, or I wonder if they ever loved them in the first place?

Pollo Fri 25-Jan-13 21:07:32

I love them, all of them. 'Tis a pity, oh such a pity that two of them no longer love me. Just have to keep going for the one who does.

Hard to say. Any such situation would be an extreme, and we rarely know how we will actually behave in extreme situations until they happen.

I've just finished reading We Need to Talk About Kevin, and I do think if I was his mother I wouldn't be visiting him in prison, unless it would give me the chance to bash his head in with a frying pan!

HopAndSkip Fri 25-Jan-13 21:19:56

My mum says she has no feelings for me and my sister, and has done regularly since I can remember. (Often says she regrets having children, never bonded with us, that we ruined her life, that she doesn't understand how anyone could love us ...so on...)
Us and our dad are pretty sure she has some variant of mental illness though, as there have been a lot of "not quite there" and delusional/paranoid episodes from her over the years.
So I guess it's quite capable for a mum to stop loving, as apparently it was around the time we started getting some independence and going against what she wanted at around 5-6 that things started to escalate. According to my dad up until that point she was a doting-if somewhat obsessive mum.

differentnameforthis Fri 25-Jan-13 21:32:21

In all honesty, I think that is a daft question to ask. Who on earth could even consider not loving their children.

PeachActiviaMinge Fri 25-Jan-13 21:33:34

"On the average, about five parents are killed by their biological children in the United States every week."

" Killings of mothers and fathers each constitute about 1 percent of all homicides in the United States in which the victim-offender relationship is known."

Also seems your son is more likely to kill you for OP

I couldn't honestly answer your question though OP I can't imagine not loving my children but who knows what the future holds and what we could be driven to.

PeachActiviaMinge Fri 25-Jan-13 21:35:11

"I've just finished reading We Need to Talk About Kevin, and I do think if I was his mother I wouldn't be visiting him in prison, unless it would give me the chance to bash his head in with a frying pan!"

Ah but the question raised in the book is "Nature or Nurture" imo. It certainly seems at point like she is contributing to what he ends up being.

MrsKoala Fri 25-Jan-13 21:43:23

i remember reading about a teen who broke into a pet shop and tortured all the animals to death. i thought to myself, if that were my child i don't think i could love them anymore.

i have a son whom i love and would die for, but yes, i do think there are some things which are unforgivable.

HollyBerryBush Fri 25-Jan-13 21:45:46

I found the US statistics, but none seem to be published by the UK.

I think that is a daft question to ask. Who on earth could even consider not loving their children

Is it daft though? this board is full of broken relationships.

Something else popped into my head about DV, again statistics will be hard to dig out because it is a hidden subject, often not reported - but some of it is committed by children (male and female) against their parents, primarily the mother.

If itwas your partner slapping you about, you have the ability/option to disengage and leave - much more difficult if it is your child, regardless if they are 15 or 50 or you are dependent upon them in old age

Altinkum Fri 25-Jan-13 21:46:18

I'd always love them, if they committed a crime which done them some serious time in prison, I'd still love them, that 24 hours dosen't takeaway from day dot, I may hate their actions behaviour but I don't honestly think is turn and say I hate my children.

BridgetBidet Fri 25-Jan-13 21:46:30

I hate to say it but the kind of children who have mothers with that sort of attitude probably wouldn't turn out to be mass murderers or anything really horrible.

I would hazard a guess an awful lot of those who do are the ones who have mothers who don't really love them at all.

Or alternatively like Levi Bellfield have weird smothery worshipping relationships that fuck them up just as much.

MrsKoala Fri 25-Jan-13 21:46:48

dh's mum does not love her 2 daughters from her previous marriage, she can only love dh, so has disowned them. she doesn't like girls.

MariusEarlobe Fri 25-Jan-13 21:48:00

Don't think I could ever stop loving her.
I might not like things that she does, may even not like her sometimes but I will always love her

this exactly.

TheSecondComing Fri 25-Jan-13 21:48:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Altinkum Fri 25-Jan-13 21:49:15

Actually Bridget that's incorrect, studies show that most mass murders come from normal backgrounds, a very few come from one of the abusive groups!

CheCazzo Fri 25-Jan-13 21:50:18

I think that is a daft question to ask. Who on earth could even consider not loving their children

Have to say that I think what you've said there is pretty daft. It does happen. It can happen. Just because we can't imagine it doesn't mean it's impossible and I think it's not a bad thing to discuss it.

My mother doesn't love me. There is nothing my kids could do that would stop me loving them. If they did something horrendus in future years I would feel it was down to my parenting (that would be my view about myself and my children, no reflection on how I feel about anyone elses circumstances)

achillea Fri 25-Jan-13 21:54:26

I think in order to 'disengage and leave' your child (as you would, say, an abusive partner) you would have to put yourself through extraordinary pain and loss, so whatever the stakes it is unlikely that you would be able to NOT love your child because it would be too painful for you. A self-defence mechanism kicks in that makes it impossible to not love your child.

ColgateIsBest Fri 25-Jan-13 21:56:34

I think I could disown them if they did something truly awful because this has happened in my family (child sex offenses) but I think, from watching family, that you can continue to love them whilst rejecting them because of their choices and actions. It causes serious issues in families though.

Corygal Fri 25-Jan-13 21:57:08

People who get their children taken into care still love them, but sometimes they don't want to bring them up. Failed adoptions ditto.

I think love is too baggy a word to cover the bond in every parent-child relationship, to be honest. I also think that there are degrees of love - some parents don't love their children that much, for instance, not nec the egs above either.

It's socially unacceptable to admit, one of the last taboos, so I suspect the 'love-my-kids-but-not-that-much' scenario is rather more common than one would think.

WilsonFrickett Fri 25-Jan-13 22:02:43

I think you can 'hate the sin but love the sinner' but for some things (murder, sexual abuse) the love becomes buried under other complex emotions. That's why so many parents are in denial if their kids do horrendous things, it's so difficult for them to consider not loving their children that they disbelieve the truth, no matter how it's presented to them.

I think love is a choice. There may be circumstances in which I couldn't love my DS. I can't imagine what they would be. But, you know, if I was Hitler's mother, I'd prefer not to love him.

Fakebook Fri 25-Jan-13 22:02:45

Mass murderers are different from serial killers. Most mass murderers are normal people who flip and they usually have normal backgrounds too. I think Bridget is talking about serial killers. They usually have strange relationships with their mothers and are from abusive families.

HollyBerryBush Fri 25-Jan-13 22:03:40

corygal I think you have a correct assumption there.

steppemum Fri 25-Jan-13 22:13:45

I actually do say this to my children

I say it because I want them to come to me if they are in trouble, and to know that I would help, and because it separates bad behaviour from their personality (I love you, will always love you, nothing you can do will stop me loving you, BUT I do not like this behaviour, and this behaviour is not acceptable)

But it isn't a wishy washy love. Sometimes the help they might need is to be put in prison to protect others for example.

I think there is more danger in children thinking that they have no-one or now-where to go.

Corygal Fri 25-Jan-13 22:17:10

I wish I didn't, but when you look at the amount of adults in therapy you kind of wonder, don't you.

From my 'laife' experience, I know three people whose problems were unquestionably down to their parents not loving them. Middle class, no money worries, the full nice life...

...But of the three, the first was born 10 months after his brother as an unwanted surprise who remained that way (=heroin), the second was born to career parents who freely admitted they had second thoughts (=dropout), and the third, who displayed anxiety illnesses from age 4 was removed aged 22 to a secure psychiatric hospital from her parents' home one night - they 'hadn't noticed anything wrong, in all the years she's been with us'.

The statement scares me .... Almost an admission of some sort of blindness and dysfunctional relationship. I don't love everyone all the time ...

Herrena Fri 25-Jan-13 22:27:34

I was pretty sure my mother didn't love me for years and years, to the extent that I asked her (in all seriousness) if she sometimes wished I had died rather than my brother.

She claims to love me now, but I think it's because she doesn't feel ashamed of me (for being too fat, too awkward, too stupid - hey, I grew up) anymore.

I am deeply distrustful of statements like the one in the OP. I don't think anyone can claim to feel unconditional love, it just doesn't exist in my experience.

Having said that I am constantly wound up by my two little boys but I'd be devastated if anything took them away from me....

BeaWheesht Fri 25-Jan-13 22:30:21

Well, my dc are only little but I can't imagine ever not loving them - ever. I think if, god forbid, they ever did something truly evil I'd question where it, where I'd, gone wrong because I don't believe people are born evil. I know that as things stand they're loving, caring, sweet, naughty, curious little kids and something catastrophic would presumably need to happen to change them into someone horrific.

I'd still love them, I'd shop them to the police for example if they did something wrong, but I'd visit them and I'd try and get through to them but I'd make sure they knew that I never, ever condoned or excused their actions.

Morloth Fri 25-Jan-13 22:32:45

No, my love for my children is completely unconditional, there isn't anything they could do that would make me not love them.

That is what unconditional means.

Plenty of things they could do/say that would make me not like them very much and plenty of things that would break my heart.

Morloth Fri 25-Jan-13 22:35:03

Love doesn't mean always being softly softly and just putting up with their behaviours.

There are things they could do which would mean that I would not want to be around them etc.

My love for my husband is conditional, there are things he could do that could kill that love, for my sons, it is a completely different sort of thing.

BumpingFuglies Fri 25-Jan-13 22:37:25

My son has verbally, physically and emotionally abused me. I still love him, I always will. If he killed, stole or committed sexual crimes, I would still love him - I just would cease to support him. He's 14 btw.

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 25-Jan-13 22:40:06

I love both of mine beyond reason. I couldn't imagine anything that would change that. Always and forever. No deal breakers.

ZZZenAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 22:43:11

I tell dd that nothing would ever makecme stop loving her, it is love for life. Atm I can't imagine her doing anything which would make me stop wanting to protect her and fight her corner. We'll have to see how it pans out I suppose

edwinbear Fri 25-Jan-13 22:43:17

My mother disowned me last year, when I reneged on a promise to give her some money after dh was made redundant whilst I was on maternity leave with a 3 month old. So I think for some mothers it's relatively easy.

seeker Fri 25-Jan-13 22:43:51

Oh, pollo- your post touched me so much........

Shaky Fri 25-Jan-13 22:50:46

I haven't read the whole thread yet, but I will shortly.

I was watching a programme last night about prisoners on death row,

There was one bloke who ONLY set out to rape a woman but ended up cutting the throats of the woman and her child.

I can't imagine what I would do if that were my don

Shaky Fri 25-Jan-13 22:51:36

Sorry - *son

MaryPoppinsBag Fri 25-Jan-13 22:51:40

Mine are only 7 & 3 but if they committed a serious crime I think I would still love them, but for what they were before they committed the crime. And I think I would go through a period of grief for what once was.
I'd imagine then I would have to build up to forgiving them and then loving them again. And the love would be about helping them to change their life / get better.

catgirl1976 Fri 25-Jan-13 22:55:15

Nope. Nothing could.

Plenty could make me stop liking him. But never loving him

And doubtless, if he (god forbid) turn out to be a murderer or something else terrible, I expect I would blame myself

ZZZenAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 22:55:59

perhaps if Ihad a grandchild and my dc was mistreating that grandchild, my feelings for the grandchild might be stronger in that situation. Really can't imagine things like murder, extreme cruelty etc happening so feels abit abstract to me, perhaps when they are grown_up it becomes esasier to envisage them being capable of something like that

thegreylady Fri 25-Jan-13 22:58:05

I cannot envisage anything which would make me stop loving my adult dc though I sometimes dislike things they say or do ( especially ds)

thegreylady Fri 25-Jan-13 22:59:55

I can imagine things which would drive me to heartbreak and total despair but like cat girl I would blame myself.

edam Fri 25-Jan-13 23:10:53

I don't think I could stop loving ds. I can't imagine him doing anything really evil. But if you did have a child who did something terribly wrong, it's possible you could still love your child while being appalled at what they'd done. Or it's possible you would turn away from them in disgust, who knows?

Have just read 'Handsome Brute', the story of a double murderer (not as schlocky as it sounds, honest) whose mother did love him, to the last. And he loved her. Sadly didn't stop him being a sadistic double murderer, who went to the gallows. One positive thing about the book was that the author went to great lengths to do serious research into the story, rather than falling back on the lazy assumption that it must all be the mother's fault.

The other positive to do with mothering was that the writer told the story of the victims, especially the victim who had been wrongly painted as someone who brought it on herself - her daughter was able to finally the truth of her mother's life, not the nonsense the tabloids and writers of cheap horror stories churned out at the time.

Kalisi Fri 25-Jan-13 23:11:26

Well I guess I can understand how some other parents may, in extreme circumstances stop loving their children....
But for me no, not ever, Ds is practically perfect in every way grin

I sometimes work with families who, various members have committed crimes and there is an element of denial and a block, so they don't fully process what they have done.

Others have no quarms about disowning their children. Tbh, it is usaully to spare themselves from having to deal with the full force of emotions.

I have some personal experience of close friends, one committed murder and a family member, who i won't say what he done, being in prison long term.

I mourn their acts and the person that they could of been, but tbh, i still have the same feelings for them deep down.

I don't have contact with one of my relatives, to protect my own children, i support one of his children, who was bought up in foster care.

When he is in front of me, i see the 15 year old who desperately wanted his mothers love, but was already abusing drugs.

That is quite dangerous, so i focus on the mess that he has left behind, in the form of his children.

If at one time i thought that he could change, i would have supported him, but he is to far gone now, he is institutionalised. I feel a deep ache when i think about him and all he could have been.

I still visit my "lifer" friend.

I would still love my children whatever they did. You have to instigate some form of self preservation, though.

livvymc Sat 26-Jan-13 00:47:45

My mum used to say to me, "sometimes I may not like you very much, but I'll always, always love you"
I used to take offence to her saying that when I was 14-15, but looking back, I'm very lucky to still have her love me with some of the things I put her through!
We're like best friends now, and I'm grateful every day that she's still there for me.

DoJo Sat 26-Jan-13 01:21:43

My dad doesn't love me, or at least not by any definition of love that I understand. It seemed quite easy for him - he loves being 'right' more.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Sat 26-Jan-13 01:33:03

cory puts it so well!

'love is a baggy word'

It very much is. I think 'we' assume we are conveying a certain set of values & behaviours that are inextricably linked with 'love'... (we being a leap - based on what I used to think so maybe was just me!)

But have realised since having ds that love doesn't necessary mean any if the behaviours I mean. Like, love =

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Sat 26-Jan-13 01:44:20

Drat! Sorry on phone with snoring toddler on chest, typing awkward!

I meant stuff like Loving ds = putting him before me, always etc. these are things alot of people might mean, but for some people it's not true. I think there are alot of people whose children are in care who would say they love their children more than anything... Except it isn't enough to feel love, you have to do all the behaviours associated with it to really bring up a child well.

Or an example closer to home, I'm sure my parents say they love me, but they won't help me at all even when I've been desperate, as they are too self obsessed to get beyond their own needs (ie won't take some quick non invasive medical tests that are the only way to explain why I've become disabled, my prognosis, the likelihood of me passing it on to ds, or future children. They won't do it as they say it's too emotional for them, and they've been through too much. They also won't help out practically for the same reason, as it upsets them too much... Basically they put their own feelings ahead of their child & grandchilds physical health. I would rather die than do that to my child.

Not sure if that means they don't love me, or 'love' is a much smaller & less amazing concept than I thought it was.

Love doesn't necessarily mean the same as like. I think it's quite possible to love someone and yet thoroughly dislike them. Love isn't too logical, especially where family are involved!

DioneTheDiabolist Sat 26-Jan-13 02:25:44

My love for DS is absolutely unconditional. But it is not passive and certainly does not mean that I have to fawn on him all the time.
He has learnt that i may be cross.
And there will be consequences.
But I always love him.

We have a bedtime routine that doesn't change, regardless of earlier happenings, that makes him feel safe and secure in my love.

No matter what happens I will always love the beautiful, clever, funny person that I know my DS is.

GothAnneGeddes Sat 26-Jan-13 02:35:14

I don't think you can honestly know for sure.

Generally yes, but what if they did something horrific?

McNewPants2013 Sat 26-Jan-13 02:38:02

I will always love my DC, but i may not like what they have done but i will love them.

Loving and liking are 2 diffrent things

DioneTheDiabolist Sat 26-Jan-13 03:21:46

If they do something horrific then my heartache will be so much more than I could ever imagine. But I will still love my DC.

Love is lovely, but it's not always easy.

I think I could stop loving my children pretty easily. I think if they became Republican, military gun toting members of the westboro baptists I would probably cut them from my life. If they turned into serial killers I would find it easier to love them than if they became the exact opposite of everything I believe in. I watched a documentary today with the daughter of a serial killer talking - she said she loved her Daddy even though she hated what he did. I could understand that - but then when he was with her he was the person she knew and loved. If my kid became a wildly different person with wildly different values, that would possibly be a clincher for me.

SoleSource Sat 26-Jan-13 03:52:20

Who knows until it happens.

SaraBellumHertz Sat 26-Jan-13 04:53:11

flying I think that is a really interesting point - I could perhaps "forgive" something abhorrent, but more likely to be considered a "one off" like murder, more readily than I could my DC being everything that I loathe and detest as in your example.

CheerfulYank Sat 26-Jan-13 04:53:43

I don't think so.

I remember how much Jeffrey Dahmer's parents loved him, right til the end.

I remember someone asking his mother what he was like as a child and she said "he was like any other boy...I thought he was wonderful." It broke my heart. sad

exoticfruits Sat 26-Jan-13 07:18:55

I can't imagine not loving them- it is unconditional love. I may not like their behaviour, or I may not get on with them, but that is a different thing.

HecateWhoopass Sat 26-Jan-13 09:03:43

No. I dont think there is anything that could make me stop loving my child.

It is possible to hate what they've done, hate what they've become - but still have that powerful love for the baby you gave birth to, the child you raised...

That conflict of feelings must be extremely painful.

Theicingontop Sat 26-Jan-13 09:06:22

Killing another sibling. That would test it, for sure.

TroublesomeEx Sat 26-Jan-13 10:13:05

Well my mum doesn't love me. She once told my brother she must do because she wouldn't want anything "really bad" to happen to me, but it wasn't 'love' in the way she would expect to feel about a child (or felt about my brother).

I don't think I could imagine myself stop loving my children, but I can imagine that I could lose respect for them.

TroublesomeEx Sat 26-Jan-13 10:13:49

oh and she certainly doesn't love me anymore. Her behaviour is testament to that.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 26-Jan-13 10:15:04

Oh, I could lose respect, be disappointed, be infuriated and want to shake some sense into them.
How would that affect my love for them? Not a jot.

MrsMaryCooper Sat 26-Jan-13 10:25:03

No, I think that I would love him whatever he did. In the face of all logic and reason.

Jammother Sat 26-Jan-13 10:27:13

I am prepared to be flamed - yes, the love for

Jammother Sat 26-Jan-13 10:35:34


Your child should be unconditional but for me there would be some things that would be so unforgivable - sexually abusing a child, murder (different to manslaughter) that it would kill or certainly mute my feelings for my child. My love for my child is unconditional but if they did some of these things then the person whom I thought I loved is not the actual person they are - I am giving unconditional love to someone who only exists in my mind rather than reality. I would disown my child if they were a child abuser - it's a dealbreaker. I was abused myself so if they went down this route, it would be a personal betrayal. If they committed murder then I would have to consider the circumstances.

PoppyWearer Sat 26-Jan-13 10:47:03

Has anyone else seen the episode of "Wallander" (the original Scandi one with subtitles) where the adopted son kills the natural son of his parents (as children) and until he confesses the suspicion falls on a local man known to be a paedophile or child killer (I forget which) who lives with his mother and she is the only one who loves him - and then a brick is thrown through the window and kills his mother.

The other mother, of the children, decides to continue to care for the adopted son (after finding out he killed her natural son) and says "who else will love him now?". He is like the younger version of the man, IYSWIM.

It's very well written/acted and an excellent exploration of this theme.

FWIW, I think that I would love my children, even if I didn't like them/hated them for something they had done. I think that maternal/paternal love is something deeper/primeval/chemical/physical that is beyond our conscious control, to do with the propagation of our species.

ImperialBlether Sat 26-Jan-13 10:54:04

Poppy, I have to say that's why I couldn't adopt if I had my own birth children too. In that situation I just couldn't forgive the adopted child and wouldn't want to ever see them again.

piprabbit Sat 26-Jan-13 10:56:44

I can't ever imagine my love for my children being replaced with any other emotions. Indifference? Hatred? I may loathe the things they do, I may no longer like them as a person, I may have to choose not to see them or support them, but there will always be a background of love for the child I raised and the person I hoped they would become. There would be an awful lot of blame for myself too - as I think I would assume that I had let them down in some way for them to become a person I did not feel able to love openly and whole-heartedly.

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