There are always bad mothers but Greek mythology has the most terrible examples.

The story goes that Procne was married to King Tereus. Procne’s sister Philomela was raped by Tereus, who then cut off Philomela’s tongue so that she couldn’t speak of the crime. Instead, Philomela wove the story onto a tapestry and gave it to her sister. When Procne realised what had happened, she killed her son Itys, boiled him, and served him to Tereus. After Tereus finished his meal, Procne and Philomela took him the head of his son, to show what they had done. Tereus tried to kill them, but the sisters ran away. The sisters pleaded to the Gods, and the three of them were turned into birds; Procne into a swallow; Philomela into a nightingale; and Tereus into a hoopoe.

Picture: Tereus confronted with the head of his son Itys. By Rubens (1577-1640)