It’s okay to kill your mother.
According to Miriam Toews, one powerful way to set up conflict for your protagonist, is to take something away from them that you yourself hold dear. Describing her process of writing A Complicated Kindness in Herizon magazine, Miriam states:
“The relationship I have with my mother is so strong and loving and fun, that maybe I had to, in order to have a character who was working through something difficult, have her gone – dead, or missing, or whatever, just absent – in order to create that conflict for my character.”
Just remember, if you do give your poor old mama the ax, or your dad, or uncle, or your pet rat (I have heard they are actually quite affectionate) make sure you tell them it’s a compliment.