Motherhood: The milestone I wasn’t expecting…


“I don’t EVEN love you, Mummy!”

I’ve been in the dog house with my three-year-old this week, you see. She shouted at me with clenched fists, mouth set in an indignant pout. We’d clearly had a falling out of Nicole Richie-Lindsay Lohan proportions, and apparently I was to blame.

“You can’t EVEN do this! I don’t love you. EVER!”

She crossed her arms and turned her back on me – the price a mother has to pay for not letting their three-year-old watch Wreck-It Ralph on demand.

Usually I’d stifle a chuckle – her dramatics crack me up* – but this time I didn’t. I’d just witnessed a milestone I’d never seen coming. One you never read about in parenting books or hear bragged about over coffee.

For the very first time my child told me she didn’t love me.

She didn’t express her anger by stamping her foot or lobbing a book across the room. Instead she tried to rescind the emotional bond we forged the moment I first held her pink, squishy face against my chest.

We’ve got video of her first steps, photos of her birthdays and first day at preschool. But who ever anticipates the moment their child learns to turn their unconditional love into a bargaining chip? A weapon?

Her statement was outrageous, impassioned and too grown up all at once. And it made me smile (discreetly – you’ve got to take these things seriously, or face the wrath of an angry three-year-old).

“Well, I love you anyway!” I said, extra cheerily. “No! Just don’t EVEN talk to ME!”

We patched things up, of course. Probably because she needed a drink and couldn’t reach the milk in the fridge. Or because she was hungry. Turns out us mummies are handy, even if we are awful.

All was forgiven and forgotten until she didn’t love me again – this time because she wanted to stay at her Grandma’s house. “But I don’t love you, Mummy. I Love Grandma!”

The silver lining? She doesn’t know what hate is yet. And for that, I’m thankful.


Have your children ever told you they don’t love you? What unexpected milestones have your children reached? Please, share with us below!


*Other dramatic outbursts include the following response to my insistence that she pack up her toys before she watches a movie:

“This has been happening ALL MY LIFE! You CAN’T even understand! Just don’t, Mummy. Just don’t EVEN talk to me!”




  1. It’s heartbreaking to hear, isn’t it? My kid is the same age and starting to say the same things!


    • I guess it’s not too bad when they’re little and you know they can’t possibly mean it. I can’t imagine what it would feel like coming from a teenager! My three-year-old was back to brushing my hair and telling me how wonderful I was in no time…


  2. I hear your pain. My 3 year old finally said “you’re a mean mommy”. Honestly I can’t believe it took her that long to say it. Of course she said it because I didn’t give her what she wanted. It was funny, cute, and a little hurtful but it’s to be expected. She’s only 3…we got a long way to go. Hang in there!


  3. My kids haven’t said it to me .. but my Teen girl 16 can cut me down with one raised eyebrow. Her disdain for everything I say and do is immense. I take comfort in the knowledge that one day, she too will be the parent of a teenager


  4. Alison Routt says:

    I have been waiting for this with my three boys 13, 10, and 8. So far they haven’t uttered it. You were so calm about it! It seems a little heartbreaking. I’m not sure I would have reacted like you did. Good job Mom!


    • Thanks Alison! I knew she didn’t mean it so I didn’t take it to heart. It’d be much scarier hearing it from a teen, there’s more chance they actually feel that way! Sounds like you might be lucky enough to never hear it 🙂


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