One of my old favorite romances is a medieval that the hero was a bastard (figuratively and literally). His distrust of women stemmed from his mother’s abandonment when he was a child. That theme ran through many romances back in the seventies and eighties, probably for centuries before that too. Nowadays we see less of that (the bastard resenting the mother who had them out of wedlock), but we still see it in other forms.
The hero whose wife or mother cheated on him or his father or the wife that didn’t want children or did want children when he didn’t. Or the hero with a step-father he hates and the mother he resents because she married the man. You get the idea. The list does go on.
It’s really a shame that moms get such a bum wrap. Being a mom, I can tell you that most of us try not to make mistakes but we all do.
But moms (and dads) are so important to our lives and using them as the deeply rooted reason for the hero’s (or heroine’s) actions could be considered an easy out for some, but really that’s right on track. Our parents have a tremendous impact on how we react to stress and challenges, and how we deal with and love others.
One thing about writing, the author almost has to be a psychologist.