Mother wound the wound that cuts right to the core of you. It is the feeling left in the body, mind and soul when your mother does not adequately and consistently nurture and soothe you when growing up. 

Your mother’s wound could have been caused by your mother not being present and not being warm and loving when she was around.   

It is the absence of seeing your mother as someone who is there for you no matter what and giving you the feeling even in adulthood that there is someone who really cares about you (even if she is no longer here). 

The worst kind of loss of a mother and the emotional wound is deepest when she was around but she was perhaps critical, emotionally neglecting and other abusive. Then you did not physically lose her but you never had the chance of being mothered like you deserved to be as a baby.  

A mother’s primary job is to nurture, sooth and upregulate a baby as well as of course look after the physical needs. When this does not happen in childhood it leave a deep longing for a connection, sadness and feeling of being different. 

Mother Wound is often the unhealed trauma that a mother passes forward in her relationships with her own children. This is not to excuse her behaviour and lack of warmth but it is to explain why she may have lacked vital mothering skills or a desire for it. 

I am writing this for all of you who have experienced the mother wound in some ways. This Sunday is Mother’s Day in the UK and this can be a hard day if you have lost your mother or you don’t or didn’t have the relationship with your mother you want/wanted to have. I am writing this especially for you who live in self-doubt about yourself and questioning about this internal void that nothing seems to fulfill. 

Previously I have written about the Mother Wound:

Mother Wound and the role of reparenting in healing

What to do when your Mother Wound gets activated

How does the Mother Wound impact men

Understanding the Mother Wound

How you might have tried to “heal”, numb or avoid the Mother Wound

The chances are that you are only coming to realise now that your relationship with your mother could have been different. 

Many clients say I just thought it was normal, it was the life we lived and I did not think of it being unusual. For some their mother’s behaviour may have been so different from the behaviour of other people that they had some awareness of things not being how they should have been. 

You might have tried numbing your pain with food, alcohol & other substances.

You might have tried (unconsciously) relieving the pain with relationships. You might have ended up in relationships where this mother wound has just been exasperated. If not healed and without awareness of the impact of the wound on one’s relationships, people tend to gravitate towards the same dynamic to have another opportunity to experience repair.

However, without awareness and with a partner who is also likely to have unhealed trauma, it is difficult to do this without help. 

You may have learnt to numb your emotions saying “it does not matter” (but it does). 

You may have learnt to numb and escape your feelings of shame and grief by running away from situations, even from therapy because you have not trusted your ability to tolerate these difficult feelings arising.  

How can you actually heal from the Mother Wound? 

The steps to healing your Mother Wound…

Acknowledgement Becoming aware of what you missed out on and what you long to have. Please don’t feel shame for this longing. It is innate and we are biologically designed to bond with our early care givers (and other people later on). Many books such as The children of emotionally immature parents, Running on empty, Will I ever be good enough can all be helpful in understanding your situation and experience. 

Shame and guilt All babies are born innocent on this planet. If your mother was / is incapable of offering the emotional connection you are longing for, it is not because you did anything or that you lack something. It may sound obvious but sometimes it is good to hear things being said out loud. 

Reparenting yourself Offering yourself the same nurturing and loving attention you deserved to receive from your mother. This self-connection can take the forms of journaling, different types of meditations, self-compassion, setting boundaries, assessing and soothing your emotions, sleep, following the natural way of living according to nature and the sun because it soothes your nervous system.  

Reprocessing the old wounds Why should we go back in time? Your body remembers every (unprocessed) experience you have ever had. Even if you try to reparent yourself and practice every possible therapeutic option, unless it is reprocessed, your trauma lives in your body. Your trauma will get activated in the present time and you may feel like you were the child responding to an adult situation. 

Two excellent forms of therapy that address the attachment trauma specifically are attachment focused EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) and AEDP (Accelerated experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy). They allow repair and create new neural pathways which result in the trauma being released and reprocessed. 

Good enough relationships An antidote for attachment trauma is having good enough other relationships. The more you surround yourself with loving people, it enables you to create new neural connections and feel more connected & loved.Being in a good enough loving relationship can be particularly healing. 

 How long will it take to heal?

I often get this asked and the answer is “it depends”…

It depends on… How much effort you put into your healing and reparenting, the relationships you surround yourself with, how comfortable you become with difficult emotions during the processing.

The work is not easy but if you take the challenge you will be rewarded. 


I hope you found this useful. If you would like to have support in understanding your Mother Wound, please check out my services page.