Crossing the line from honesty into bizarre callousness, 33-year-old Shelley Price has chosen to tell the Daily Mail that she's never loved her eleven-year-old daughter Catherine.
I hate myself for the way I feel, but whatever it is that makes a mum want to hug and kiss her child, I have not felt it. Catherine has always felt like someone else's daughter.
Price also says Catherine felt "dirty" to her when she was a newborn, and that she wouldn't let Catherine call her "Mum" for several years. Making matters worse, in a way, is the fact that Shelley does love her two-year-old daughter, Poppy, whom she calls "the love of my life." Price doesn't remember when Catherine got her first tooth or said her first word, "even though I can recall all those stages for Poppy without thinking." And she says, "if I give Poppy a cuddle, it feels different to hugging Catherine."
The Daily Mail bills Price's feelings as "one of the great taboos of motherhood," but the truth is plenty of women have ambivalent or even negative feelings about their kids. However, the person to share those feelings with is a friend, a partner, or a therapist — not a Daily Mail reporter. Price says, "I'm speaking out because I'm convinced I'm not alone," but there are plenty of ways to help other parents without telling the world that you don't love your kid (the Daily Mail deserves some blame here too, especially for running Catherine's picture with the caption "Shelley and her 11-year-old daughter Catherine who she 'doesn't love'"). At best, Shelley Price has extremely bad judgment, and at worst, she's a fame-whore. Catherine will probably realize this at some point, but we're not sure it will be much consolation.