The mind of a covert narcissist mother is hell on earth

My 5-year-old daughter asked me the other day if I ever thought about what it would be like to have a Mother help us out once in a while.

It threw me off because she was literally reading my mind.

Well, maybe she just saw my frustration as I scrambled on the phone to get her a dentist appointment that her Mother said she would handle.

I should have known better. It wasn’t that long ago that we were surprised with 4 immunization shots that our daughter was behind on.

I was preparing her for just one shot at the doctor. You can imagine how that went.

She grinned at me and said, “Daddy, you should know her by now” which are the exact words I used to say to her when gaslighting was happening by her covert narcissist Mother.

This made me smile because our daughter has not always seen her Mother’s evil side.

However, if you know anything about the mind of a covert narcissist then you will understand that smear campaigns against me have been going on for years.

smear campaigns and false allegations

Of course, it’s nice to see our daughter finally see the truth but it is also heartbreaking to see that at such a young age she is going to have to be the parent in her own house.

The image of super mom is played to the public, but behind closed doors, it’s a much scarier reality.

Unfortunately, dealing with a covert narcissist mother who knows how to play the system with the victim card is rocky waters, to say the least.

The manipulation is sickening. If I dare bring this up to somebody, my ass is on the line.


Because when you are faced with a narcissistic parent there is always a motive for every action. No matter how small it is.

Sure, I can get the ministry involved and tell them all about the neglect that happens with our daughter.

However, with so many false calls from her enablers, also known as flying monkeys, any calls for child protection will be looked at as malicious.

This would put me on trial fighting for my daughter again. I learned how to inflict narcissistic injury, a wound of shame that almost ended me. Covert narcissistic injury and revenge is a scary thing to experience.

With that being said, there are three golden words a covert narcissist can use to alter reality and ultimately destroy you.

covert emotional abuse
a covert narcissist mother will play victim to avoid becoming exposed of their abuse

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What is a covert narcissist Mother?

Before we dig into the disturbing behavior that you may have endured, there are two main kinds of covert mother and their narcissistic personality.

The effects of a narcissistic mother on her daughter need to be addressed sooner than later and I hope you can identify your own so your healing can finally start.

The first, which is my ex-spouse, is the ignoring Mother. The second is the engulfing Mother.

1. Ignoring Mother

  • Self-involved
  • Avoids parenting
  • Neglects children
  • Guilt-trips
  • Uses children as negotiating tools
  • In public, they are “super mom” but when the doors are closed it is the opposite
  • Sabotages school work
  • Physically there but emotionally she is nowhere to be found
  • Refuses to teach children about physical cleanliness, hygiene, or helping with school work.

It’s hard to describe what it’s like being the daughter of an Ignoring Mother. She was physically there (she was a stay-at-home-mother) but not really there for us. She never really paid us any attention unless it was to get annoyed at us.

Daughters of narcissistic mothers | Ignoring mothers Definition

2. Engulfing Mother

  • Extremely involved in the children’s life
  • Views child as an extension of themselves
  • Expects children to parent them
  • Ignores boundaries by smothering
  • Throw the best pity parties to keep attention on themselves
  • Refuses to let children become independent
  • Known to engulf one child and ignore the other
  • Puts children against each other, creating unhealthy sibling attachments.

Engulfing mothers are very needy and envious of anything that takes their child’s attention away from them: friends, after curricular activities, social life, job or career.

RandiFine | Engulfing Mothers Definition

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We also have information on how to
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How do narcissistic mothers treat their daughters?

Although there are two very different personalities of a narcissistic mother, they are also quite much the same.

I realized that our daughter’s nails were never cut, and very dirty when she would come back after a week with her Mother.

Confronting her Mother about this would only lead to emotional abuse and possibly physical abuse.

I am more than educated on the mind of a covert narcissist, so I know how to approach these situations to avoid narcissistic rage.

I did my part by taking care of our daughter in spite of her sick Mother. Of course, at the same time, I was also hoping that perhaps the teachers would see this neglect during her week of taking her to school.

Clear signs of a covert narcissist Mother are that they never wants to be caught by their actions. They avoid shame at all costs.

So things covert narcissists say can be extremely subtle.

“Just Bite Your Nails”

Narcissistic Mothers

Imagine if I tried to prove this one. Impossible.

I would be pulled into court to have my mental health checked to see if I am a fit parent or not.

I know this from experience, the allegations immediately make people look at you like an unfit parent that is mentally unstable.

They can do it as many times as they see fit enough to harass you, and ultimately make you leave your children.

With that being said, she has managed to hide her neglect once again.

On top of that, increasing the chances of spreading germs, becoming sick, and our daughter’s teeth being harmed.

While this may seem petty to you, these little things add up.

Co-parenting with a covert is a full-time job as you try to make sure your daughter is protected from the abusive actions that the system won’t listen to.

Of course, our daughter does know that at least somebody is understanding her pain. Believe me, she shows me love you could never explain.

Along with sabotaging their own daughter’s mental health, they will ruin a Father’s relationship with them as well.

This includes any immediate family members and teachers that are involved with a Father.

I knew my child was starting kindergarten, so a smear campaign against me was obvious. Arranging an interview with the teacher before our daughter started school was my first battle.

Clearly, the Mother wanted to meet the teacher by herself first. However, I was not going to let that happen.

I put the pieces together with what my daughter was telling me, and God bless her soul for being a Daddy’s girl. (Her Mother absolutely hates this, obviously)

Unfortunately, by the time I went to the interview the damage had been already started. I could tell by the vibe in the room and how my daughter was acting.

I do not blame her for listening to her Mother, because she knows how to keep herself safe from the dangerous narcissistic abuse.

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Things covert narcissist mothers say

covert mother personality
manipulation on children from a covert narcissist mother

I said hello to people in the school and they would walk right by me. The teacher wouldn’t look me in the face.

Questions about how I disciplined my child arose, seemed a little odd but by then I had figured it out.

I knew that the covert narcissist mother had set her claws into the school and put everybody against me.

Remaining calm during everything is something I could not have done a couple of years ago.

So what did I do?

I quickly drove home and printed out all the false allegations against me from child protection, the outrageous court dates, and a polite letter about how her mother is sick, and I only want my daughter protected from it.

Although I have beat a narcissist in court and taught many others the same thing….there was no way I am going back to the devil’s playground.

I clearly stated in the letter that it was all for the sake of facts, and not to bash her Mother. I did not want another repeat of narcissistic triangulation.

I was painted as an abuser by our daughter’s daycare and they joined with her Mother by doing subtle abuse on our daughter.

The work I put in was a success. The Mother was thankfully not notified of me exposing her and this avoids her going into a furious rage, which is what I was afraid of.

I am treated extremely well at our daughter’s school, completely involved with pictures being sent everyday of her new journey with education.

This does not mean I keep my guard down, leaving a covert narcissist is a struggle. However, it taught me a lot about who people can really be deep down inside.

After divorcing a narcissist it was clear that they will never stop the devious manipulations and I fully accept the fact that there aren’t any breaks.

How do you parent when your ex is a covert narcissist?

It may be true that a covert narcissist mother will always avoid being caught on their abuse, it doesn’t mean that they will not physically abuse your children.

Physical abuse happened to our child more than once. There were many times I thought I had finally outplayed a narcissist at their own game.

After taking our daughter to the hospital with clear proof, a child protection worker closed the file without looking at the forensic nurses clear finding of abuse.

She told me that I was abusing my child by bringing her to the hospital too much. Outrageous.

However, I will always do my part to protect our child because she respects the fact that even though everybody is against me…I will do whatever I can to keep her safe.

If you are in the same situation, I highly recommend you continue to take your child. They need somebody to show them that they are cared about.

parenting with a covert narcissist

Here are 7 ways to parent when your ex is a covert narcissist:

1. Stop showing empathy towards them

  • This is the reason a covert narcissist put their claws into you in the first place.
  • It may be in your personality, but you have to learn how to not do it for anybody that has covert narcissistic traits
  • They will always take advantage of you
  • They use your empathy for their own narcissistic supply, which is the fuel that keeps them abusing you
  • No empathy means they might just get bored with you and leave you alone. They will quickly move onto their next victim.
  • They can’t be helped by anybody but themselves. Ironically, they can’t even see this themselves.
  • Keep your feelings to yourself. This opens up more time to focus on your children and teaching them how to protect themselves when you are not with them.

2. Put them in their spot for every bad behavior

  • This works but is extremely time-consuming, and tiring.
  • You can wear them down by outsmarting them at their every move.
  • Covert narcissist mothers do not like work. Once it becomes like work, they will back off from you.
  • If they say your child is not in an extra-curricular activity as to alienate you, find out where it is and involve yourself. Make sure they see you.
  • Record everything they say, and reply to their gas-lighting with only that evidence

3. Avoid a co-parenting counselor with a covert narcissist Mother or Father and get your own therapist

  • It may seem like the Narcissist is changing when they suggest therapy for your family, but they will only manipulate a therapist against you.
  • There is always a sadistic action with a covert narcissist. They can manipulate a therapist who will only write a report against you that will be used in court.
  • Find your own therapy for you and your child. One that is very experienced in dealing with a narcissistic personality disorder.
  • There is always something to learn about the complexity of covert narcissism. A licensed therapist can show you many different ways to cope with a difficult parent.
  • Along with your household, a therapist can provide your children with another place of protection. Minimizing abuse will make sure they grow up to be healthy individuals.

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4. Spoil your children to compensate for the neglect

  • It’s true that spoiling your children can turn on you in the end. However, with a covert narcissist mother, you are only making it even.
  • Your children will learn empathy and the joy of making somebody feel good.
  • Great way to teach them manners like saying “thank you”
  • Our daughter has the best manners in her class, according to her teacher. This was not always the case.

5. Don’t bash the other parent, but don’t be a punching bag either

  • You will hear a lot of negative things about you from your children, false or not. They might even believe it.
  • They look for your reaction. Your reaction will give them the false reality that everything they hear is true.
  • After reading blogs online I ignored all the bad stuff that was said about me, and I noticed my daughter starting to edge away from me. Very quickly.
  • I began choosing what to defend myself on. The best response is, “How nice of her. Do you believe that?”
  • As of now, all the bad things said about me are laughable to both of us. She has made it a regular when I pick her up with, “want to hear something hilarious?” I don’t know if it’s right or not, but I do know we are both much happier.

6. Find out what your children actually want to do

  • Whether you are dealing with an ignoring covert mother or an engulfing one, it is likely that they are in extra-curricular activities for the wrong reasons
  • Sit them down, and ask them what they are actually interested in doing. Whether that be dance, soccer, singing lessons you might have to dig deep so find their independence again.
  • Do not expect the narcissistic parent to share this activity with you. They will only sabotage anything that is going well.
  • Make sure it is not on their parenting time. Trust me, this is not worth the battle.

7. Be the parent you want your children to be

  • Take a moment and think about how you want to see your children parent your child. The time is now.
  • You don’t want to be a Grandma or Grandpa and realizing you did nothing to stop the cycle of covert narcissism. You will only be watching it all over again.
  • As long as the children have at least one good parent, they will be fine.
  • If you see actions in your children that are much like a covert narcissist, sit them down and ask them how they feel and what you can do to help them feel better.
  • Tapping into your child’s emotions and showing your calm energy does miracles for both their mental health and your own.

covert narcissist adult child
a covert parent will do anything to ruin your children

Recognizing the covert narcissist in your life is the first step to overcoming your self-defeating cycles of confusion, guilt, anger, self-blame, and emotional and physical trauma.

NarcissistFamilyFiles | Overcoming Covert Narcissist Abuse


The worst part of parenting with an impossible co-parent is how lonely the battle is that seems to never end.

I can only be blunt and say that it will not end anytime soon, and it is likely to get much worse.

Stay on your guard, and make sure that you always keep your children protected from narcissistic abuse.

I spent a long time listening to people who told me that, “The mother will get better don’t worry”

As I type this post…I would still be waiting on that miracle.

I didn’t educate myself on the damage that a covert narcissist can do on your children. Nobody is educated enough on these demons.

I had no idea that these people even existed. However, now I can smell a Narcissist from a mile away.

Even better, my daughter is able to understand how to protect herself from narcissistic abuse, and understands the importance of treating people the way they should be treated.

She understands her Mother is sick, and there is nothing we can do about it.

It’s still her Mother, so I fully understand that it will take a while for her to develop enough to really understand and grieve the Mother who was never there.

I still have a lot of work to do on myself, and my child. I can only imagine the pain of having a covert narcissist Mother who doesn’t actually love you, and only uses you as a negotiating tool.

With that being said, we are going to stay positive regardless of who or what is in our way.

Resources for dealing with a covert narcissist mother

how to divorce a narcissist and win

covert narcissist book

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