Mothers abusing their children is, sadly, more common than not and has been going on for centuries. The role of women throughout history certainly has contributed to women who have been abused and know only this for their daughters and sons. Or maybe the sex of the child does not matter. A child may simply, sadly be an object for a parent/parents.
Another category is the narcissistic mother who looks in the mirror and sees her beauty only but not her childrens beauty. This is the shallow variety narcissist who may show reasonable levels of adaptation to family life but lacks the empathy and internal resources to manage the demands of children who are experiencing normal developmental challenges.
Parents who have not learned how to parent will parent by control which is a low form of power; it does not take much time or thought. Parent's who do not understand themselves are not going to understand their children. They may be adaptive and mimic parenting skills, but the authenticity is absent.
The lack of authenticity cannot anticipate spontaneous joys in a child's development and it becomes a drain on their ego or sense of self as less than perfect.
Semeasy, you are correct in stating that some people can't control themselves--we learn self-control at a very early age. If we are forced to learn self-control, we may always be looking for someone or something outside of ourselves to control us or release us from the responsibility. Discipline is important but it needs to be delivered with love--and a fist has no place in any relationship. We can't choose our family but we can choose our friends. Be careful to choose friends who will respect and appreciate you.