20 Songs About Bad Moms

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Written By Julia Mehalko

Julia is a music journalist with a passion for retro songs. She holds a degree in journalism from University of Nevada.

Relationships with parents can be hard, regardless of what age you are. Relationships with mothers specifically can cause a lot of stress, anger, and sadness. If you’re hurting as a result of the relationship you have with your mother, this is the playlist for you.

Below, you’ll find 20 songs about bad moms. These songs vary in topic, though they all have something to do with mothers and their unfortunate parenting. If you’re looking for some sympathy and understanding, or to listen to a cathartic song that resonates with you, look no further!

1. “Because of You” by Kelly Clarkson

“Because of You” by Kelly Clarkson is about bad parents. Clarkson wrote this 2005 track when she was a teenager as she reflected on her parent’s divorce and how it affected her. Clarkson sings about her mother and father’s actions. Now, Clarkson realizes that she’ll never be able to truly love because of her parents and what they put her through.

Clarkson sings to her parents, saying, “Because of you / I find it hard to trust not only me, but everyone around me.”

2. “Mother” by Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd’s 1979 song “Mother”, which appears on their album The Wall, follows the narrator of the album as he struggles to deal with the world. Because of this, he turns to his mother who tells him to basically build metaphorical walls around himself. She’s overprotective and doesn’t want him to get hurt.

However, this overprotectiveness goes too far and the narrator ends the song by questioning his mother. Did she need to act like this? Did she need to treat him as if he was a child and be so overprotective that it becomes harmful to him?

3. “My Mom” by Eminem

Eminem has a lot of songs about his mother and their fraught and tense relationship. 2009’s “My Mom” is but one of them. In this rap song, Eminem explains that his own drug addiction stemmed from his mother’s habits, as well as her abuse. This is also a great song about narcissistic mothers and how they can affect children in their youth!

Throughout this song, Eminem details all the things his mother did to him. But he then says that he’s just like her, because of his own issues with drug abuse!

4. “Problem Child” by 50 Cent

In 50 Cent’s 2010 song “Problem Child”, the rapper sings about how he has a lot of problems. He’s a “Problem Child”. He raps about all the issues he has, as well as all the criminal activities he’s done to survive in the streets.

As a result, he also raps about his family. While this song isn’t particularly about a bad mother, 50 Cent does explain that his mother died when he was very young. He couldn’t rely on his father.

Regardless, the song has become something of an anthem for those who struggle with their relationships with their mothers and fathers!

5. “Family Portrait” by P!nk

“Family Portrait” by P!nk details how a parent’s divorce can negatively impact a child’s upbringing. In this 2002 song, P!nk sings about her own parents and their terrible relationship. She realizes she never should’ve gone through this and calls out her parents for creating a broken home.

P!nk sings to both her mother and father in this song. When discussing her mother, she sings the lyrics, “Mama, please stop crying, I can’t stand the sound / Your pain is painful and it’s tearin’ me down.”

6. “Cleanin’ Out My Closet” by Eminem

Ready for another Eminem song? In 2002’s “Cleanin’ Out My Closet”, the rapper sings about all of the terrible relationships in his life. As a result, he raps about his father leaving him, the tragic relationship he has with his mother, and his own issues with his ex-wife.

As with many other Eminem songs, the rapper doesn’t hold back here as he details the struggles he’s had with his mother — or how he feels about her, as a result of her past misdeeds.

7. “Little Toy Guns” by Carrie Underwood

“Little Toy Guns” by Carrie Underwood details a child’s upbringing in a difficult home. This country song follows Underwood as she opens the song by discussing how a little child hides away while their parents fight. The child wishes they would stop.

She sings the lyrics, “But it ain’t a pretty picture tonight / Mom and daddy just wouldn’t stop it / Fighting at the drop of a faucet.”

8. “Motherless Children” by Eric Clapton

“Motherless Children” is an old song that has been covered by many artists over the decades. Here, we’re just going to talk about Eric Clapton’s 1974 version! In this rock song, Clapton sings about children who have lost their mothers and how difficult this can be.

He sings, “Motherless children have a hard time when mother is dead, lord / They don’t have anywhere to go / Wandering around from door to door.”

While clearly not about a specifically bad mother, this song has also become a go-to song for those who have difficult relationships with their mothers, simply because of the heartwrenching lyrics and sense of hopelessness.

9. “Mother” by The Police

The Police released their song “Mother” on their 1983 album Synchronicity. The band sings about an overprotective and overbearing mother that ends up harming the children’s development as an adult. Because of the way this mother treated her children, the children end up paranoid!

The band sings, “Oh mother dear, please listen / Don’t devour me / Oh women, please have mercy / Let this poor boy be.”

10. “Papa’z Song” by 2Pac

In “Papa’z Song”, 2Pac mainly attacks his father, who abandoned him. However, he also talks about how this abandonment affected both him and his mother — and his overall development. 2Pac and Wycked, who also appears in this track, rap about their mother and the things she did to keep the family afloat.

Wycked raps, “I’m gettin’ a bit older and I’m startin’ to be a bother / Moms can’t stand me cause I’m lookin’ like my father / Should I stay or run away? Tell me the answer / Moms ignores me and avoids me like cancer.”

11. “Mother’s Little Helper” by The Rolling Stones

1966’s “Mother’s Little Helper” by The Rolling Stones follows mothers who struggle with their daily life — and turn to pills to help them cope as a result. The song opens with the lyrics, “‘Kids are different today’ / I hear every mother say / Mother needs something today / To calm her down.”

12. “Happy Home II” by 2Pac

We’ve got another 2Pac song! 2Pac’s 1998 song “Happy Home II” mainly talks about his relationship with his partner. However, he also talks about his parents, specifically his mother, and how these fraught relationships have impacted him.

When talking to his partner, he raps about how she’s going to be a wonderful partner and mother. He will always treat her right. He then references the past trauma he’s had to deal with when he says, “Finally moved out my mom’s house, and got a happy home.”

13. “Happy Family” by Boy George

1988’s “Happy Family” by Boy George follows the singer as he talks about his supposedly happy family. His mother tells him that happily ever afters really does exist. However, he also sings about how his parents have a bad relationship — and then questions what his mother truly knows or believes in.

He sings the lyrics, “When you hear them fight / In your bedroom late at night / You wonder does she really know, no.”

14. “Drugs & the Internet” by Lauv

Lauv’s “Drugs & the Internet” details the singer’s personal issues with depression, anxiety, and other mental struggles. However, he also talks about his mother.

When singing about all the mistakes he’s made in his life, including ditching friends, he explains his own mother’s addictions. He sings, “Mom’s back home with a drink and a cigarette / I traded all my friends for drugs and the internet.”

15. “Family Line” by Conan Gray

“Family Line” by Conan Gray explores the singer’s struggling family and hurtful upbringing. Gray sings about the abusive relationship his parents had and how this negatively impacted his youth. While his mother ultimately left his father and took her children with him, Gray also sings about how he’s so good at lying because of his mother.

He sings, “Scattered ‘cross my family line / I’m so good at telling lies / That came from my mother’s side / Told a million to survive.”

16. “Ruby” by Lucy Kaplansky

“Ruby” by Lucy Kaplansky can be interpreted in many ways. For the sake of this article, this song can be interpreted as a young woman’s difficult relationship with her mother. At the beginning of this song, Kaplansky sings about how she knows she’s a ruby. She just has to meet someone who sees her as such.

She then sings about her mother — and we’re led to believe her mother didn’t treat her like a gem. This song isn’t just about bad mother-daughter relationships. It’s also about abandonment by a mother!

As a result, Kaplansky sings the lyrics, “Mother, please protect me / Mother, please defend me / Mother, please don’t abandon me.”

17. “Your Best American Girl” by Mitski

“Your Best American Girl” by Mitski mainly discusses the difficulties of trying to fit in when you get into a new romantic relationship. Mitski sings about how much she loves the person she’s with… but she also recognizes that they’re so different. She feels that this person’s mother wouldn’t agree with her, or with her own mother’s upbringing.

While this song isn’t necessarily about a “bad” mother (unless we’re discussing Mitski’s partner’s mother!), it is about a struggling relationship between mother and daughter. Mitski at first sings, “Your mother wouldn’t approve of how my mother raised me / But I do, I think I do.”

Here, she’s explaining that she does struggle with how her mother raised her. But by the end of the song, she says she “finally” agrees with her mother!

18. “A Child Called ‘It’” by Buckcherry

In “A Child Called ‘It’”, which is inspired by the book of the same name, Buckcherry sings from the perspective of a child who is abused by their mother. The child doesn’t understand why their mother only treats them badly. She doesn’t treat her other children in this way.

The band sings, “Mother, I really hate the way / You treat me like no other / And I refuse to be your victim.”

19. “Evil Deeds” by Eminem

Now, let’s discuss the last Eminem song we have on this list: “Evil Deeds”, from 2004. Eminem raps about a lot of different topics here, including his relationship with his mother. At one point, he raps, “But Momma don’t want me, the next thing I know, I’m gettin’ dropped off.”

20. “Mother and Father” by Madonna

Madonna’s 2003 song “Mother and Father”, which appears on her album American Life, details the singer’s past issues with her parents. She sings about the problematic relationship she had with her mother and how her mother hurt her.

Madonna sings the lyrics, “Oh, mother, why aren’t you here with me? / No one else saw the things that you could see.”

Later in the song, we learn that Madonna’s mother died when she was only five. However, this song remains a go-to for many who struggle with their own mother-daughter relationship.

Listen to the full playlist on Youtube here.