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Why do Mothers Leave their Kids?

August 25, 2009

Several recent articles have interviewed women who leave their kids in search of the reasons why.
By Traci Scott,
Portland writer

An intriguing and provocative story in Marie Claire details a new trend: mothers who voluntarily decide to relinquish custody of their children in order to pursue other life goals.  Just reading that title, “What Kind of Mother Leaves her Kids?” hits a nerve with many people.  It pierces your heart and strikes a chord.  After all, don’t good moms place protecting and nurturing their children above all else?

The article portrays three women who, for various reasons, decided to give up custody of their children to their ex-husbands. What they all have in common is that they faced judgment from others who can’t understand why or how a mother could possibly make this choice. The article has created controversy and has generated a multitude of reactions, with many people responding as if motherhood itself was being threatened

Although the definition of motherhood is uniquely personal, there is a cultural norm regarding motherhood that exists and those attitudes are hard to shake when challenged.  According to The Today Show, mothers currently retain custody of the children in approximately 70 percent of divorces in the U.S.  Even though that represents the majority, it still leaves a large and growing number of women who do not retain custody, either voluntarily or involuntarily.

No matter how equal-minded people think they are, the assumption prevails that a woman’s connection to her children is stronger and thus more sacred than a man’s, so when a couple splits, the mother should naturally retain custody.

As a culture, perhaps we need to be open to options that we may not personally understand or agree with and explore our own gender biases in order to expand societal attitudes toward parenthood.  For example:  Why is a mother leaving her kids abandonment while a father leaving them acceptable?  Why can mothers be nurturing, but not fathers?  Why is it okay for men to have goals outside the family, but not okay for women?

“The fact is, some good moms can protect their children best by recognizing someone else is the better parent . . . maybe they’re emotionally overwhelmed; maybe to get financially on their feet; maybe because in a divorce, mom is desperate to leave the house, but she knows the kids need stability,” states clinical psychologist Judith Sills.

Sills goes on to say that while adults are more concerned with social norms, children are more concerned as to whether they have a happy and stable home, regardless of which parent they are living with.

Whether the mother or the father retains custody, most experts agree that children are generally better off with some type of shared visitation arrangement rather than being totally cut off from one of their parents for much of the time.

If we are truly to value parents equally, then we must be accepting of mothers who make the difficult choice to give up custody of their children if they believe it to be in the children’s best interest.  It takes a lot of strength for a woman to make a rational individual decision against a social onslaught of judgment and disapproval.  Mothers should not be denounced or scorned for making the same choices fathers make every day without similar social condemnation.

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Discuss this article

Amy August 25, 2009

The age old story…so much more fun to make them than to have them. Unfortunately that is the kind of selfish thinking that leaves us with parents that should have never been parents. Tragic article.

LaRayne August 25, 2009

Thank goodness there are dads that want their children.

Dorothy August 25, 2009

We have become quite a selfish society and unfortunately often our children take the brunt of it. I think a point to consider is maybe the “rule” that mothers are given custody of the children should have been challenged long ago. While the past can’t be changed, the future can. Wouldn’t it be nice if the future held a restoration of the family unit?

Chris September 4, 2009


melissa September 10, 2009

as a mother who is raising 2 step children due to the selfishness and weakness of the biological mother, i have way too much to say on this.
fact…my step kids are not as well adjusted as my biological children.
fact…my stepdaughter cried every night for her mother when she was young. and when she was with her mother, she cried for me. she NEVER cried for her dad.
i could go on. i won’t.
i will say this. sometimes, the mother is ill-suited to raise her children. drug addiction, abusive behavior, etc. sometimes, they are just flat out selfish. it’s those mothers, the selfish ones, who should never have been a “Mommy”…that are the disgusting ones. because i’m raising their aftermath. i know what the other side looks like.
it’s not that pretty. don’t let anyone fool you.

Outraged single mom September 28, 2009

How dare people that have not walked a day in these women’s shoes place judgement on them! I am a single mother of 3 boys (4, 6, and 9), the last 2 with my ex-husband and i receive no child support, no visits, no help from their families,VERY minimal help from my family, not on welfare, I work everyday, i’m not on section 8, I help my kids with their homework everyday, i do my own homework, i have no significant other to help in anyway. In return I get riduculed at work for the way I dress, I am lucky to get a kid free weekend maybe twice a year, I always have to decide between paying bills or gettin some of the things we need, I can’t have a social life, I am overweight but hardly eat, i have acne for the 1st time in my life, i am a victim of a drug-addict home as a child,I get accused of being everything but a child of God; although I am the person every one calls when they need something. I have made several pleas with the local child support office and the commisioners office to help enforce support for my kids. i have put out fliers with their dad’s pictures reading “Have you seen my daddy?” Nobody cares, society has accepted that fathers do not have to be in their kids lives. I stay because I truly love my kids…but the truth is i’ve run across this site looking for somewhere that could offer some assistance to a person like myself. I love my kids but I am sooo tired, and all i need is help. i don’t want to give my kids up or walk away from them, but nobody appreciates that a mother gives up herself when she is truly a mother. If we don’t take care of ourselves then how can we take care of them? So a woman is not selfish when she decides that she would rather live than be dead, imprisoned, within her home and her mind and against her desire to be the best she can but with the world fighting agasint her. I face the choice of leaving everyday. Somedays leaning more towards so than others. Do you think a mother in her right mind woud just abandon their kids? At least these women have the fathers to fall back on. I am faced with leaving my kids with strangers and hoping they come out alright, so that i can have a 2nd chance at life and hopefully provide for them and their children what we have been robbed of thus far. That is, if they forgive me. walk a day in their shoes and then have the balls enough to write that garbage you wrote. I too, made what at the time i thought were all the right decisions; so does everyone else. we all take that gamble but at any given moment that world that you’ve buit for yourself can come crumbling down and you’d be forced to deal with the real world the same as we have. Just take a moment to think….

No name mom October 25, 2009

I am leaving my 11-year-old son in the custody of his father so I can go to school a few hours from this town, and then be placed in a job somewhere, probably not here. I have no job or money or possibilities of work in this town, and I hate it here, other than my son. I have a mean boyfriend who mentally abuses me and gives me money if I’m “good.” My son does not want to be around me much and is sometimes disrespectful and mean to me. My boy’s father has been given his childhood home, money, a car, and regular housekeeping by his mother who lives just up the road. He has a good job as well and good friends. Since my son is safe and cared for, I feel better about leaving. But saying goodbye is hard. I will now only be a visitor from now on, as I have been for 2 years without admitting it to myself and just hanging out around this town for a glimpse of time with my son. It is no way to live. Mothers who leave their children in capable, loving care and plan to visit and keep in close contact have nothing to lose and everything to gain if the life they are living is unsatisfying and painful. It will make them happier, and then time with their children will be happier on visits or in communication; and it sets an example for the child to see their mother happy, rather than sad.

RosieMommy April 26, 2010

Being a mother is one of the hardest things that I have ever done!! I love my children but they make me completely CRAzY sometimes, and I have to confess I have thought of leaving. No one knows how hard it’s going to be and I have felt completely trapped. I don’t think we should judge women who we don’t know. I feel people judging women for leaving their children is the same as judging a woman for having an abortion, which is totally ridiculous! Walk in your own shoes and just try to keep your opinion to your self, PLEASE!

Doll April 27, 2010

My dear Mother; left my father, my elder brother and I. Before we could even comprehend the severity of her mental illness. Even as an infant, I could recall my mother always being distant. Neglectful even. Leaving the stove on. Which I did eventually obtained a third degree burn from. Opened-pill bottles. Cigarettes placed next to me, in a full ashtray. I smoked & sampled my first beer before the age of five. Nothing was evidently, childproof – perhaps more of a death trap. Left my brother and I, with strangers. Discipline was severe for minor disobedience & mild for larger matter – such as taking off, running away and such. Nothing in that environment was logical. When she Divorced my father, she won partial custody and soon decide to relinquish ( even the two visits ) she was allowed a week. She left. Moved out of the area. She went back to college, to finish courses (apparently). Remarried. Adjusted to another life. As much, as we missed having a female presence growing up. We managed. Just the three of us. It took adulthood to realize parents – even misguided parents; want their children to have as many opportunities, as life can possible offer. Willing to sacrifice even parenthood, memories and the bond that has formed. I can’t imagine a more difficult departure. Even with being on the other side of the situation. I realize we all experienced a sense of loss. All humans deserve empathy.

ShouldntHaveBeenaMom May 7, 2010

It’s true that not all women who have children are meant to be mothers. I’m leaving my 9 yr old daughter. No matter what anyone says I know and, more importantly, she knows that I love her. I know that leaving is the right decision. Despite what people think, some moms who leave (and I suspect it’s more than people know) really do love their children. I pray that one day she will forgive me.

Tammy May 21, 2010

I too raised two step children from when they were 1 & 2 (now 20 & 19)and two biological children (17 & 10) I was married to an extrememly difficult man who put drugs & alcohol before us all. There’s a difference in walking away and for years I was mad at my step childrens mom. She did walk away and was very selfish, but I was the lucky one to have had them all those years. I did the best that I could do and now I’m faced with my 17 year old leaving. He doesn’t want to be here, I on a daily basis can’t seem to get a grip on him. My 10 year old suffers from the abuse that I get (emotionally) from him on a daily basis. He is in the court system because he choose the path that his father did. I have been a single mother for 10 years. Marriage and being a parent is very sacred to me. I have lost my grip with him. I raised these children and never once missed a play, a baseball game, karate, girlscouts, etc etc. I still fight for my son in the school system and now the court system, yet the three oldest have pretty much gone their own way. All their lives they heard what a POS I was from the mouth of the man they so looked up to even though he was a horrible husband and father. So the question is, if my son leaves me today, does that make me a terrible mom or does that make me a good mom? hmmm doesn’t the 10 year old have the right to have a quiet peaceful life? I dedicated my life to these children and I hope some day when they grow up they see how absolutely my life was changed just because they were in it. I could never ask for any more than that. I love my kids and some times you must make decisions good or bad, but that doesn’t make you a bad mother. It takes two to have a child and yet society leaves it to the mother as if it that’s ok and it’s not…absent dad’s should be a shamed of themselves

HEARTBROKEN June 8, 2010

Does anyone know if there is a support group in Australia for the mum’s that have left their children? There is support groups out there for everything else but does not seem to be one for this. So many different opinions on this subject but not much support for us mum’s who have done what we consider the best thing and yet pay for it everyday thereafter. I cry everyday for the choice I made and will forever love my kids, but know I cant turn back time. Im sure there is many mum’s out there who have gone through what I have been through if not the same then similar. I think talking to one another helps and having support of others helps also. Not to be judged, not to be bad mouthed, not to have that so alone feeling….only to be listened to would be a great thing.

TexasMomof3 July 6, 2010

After reading so many sad reports, I am more convinced than ever that most mothers that are apart from their children, due to the control and manipulation of an ex- really want their children but FEAR that due to separation and brainwashing, the children no longer want them. . .I know I have felt this way many times, and the reason I have felt worthless to even be called their mother. But this FEAR originates in evil, and is not of God, I don’t believe that it is God’s plan for mother’s to be apart from their children, alienated and isolated from her offspring. . .no matter what you have done or what “labels” have been placed on you as a mother, you are still a mother, and God used you to bring forth BLESSINGS into this world—you are special and no one can take that away from you.. .I for one am going to pray and ask God how He wants to use me to combat this type of parental abduction that is destroying our children, homes, and lives. . .much love to you all. . .

Student Mom July 13, 2010

I’m a single mom of one. She’s of course my first baby. I have decided for my mom to watch the baby until I graduate with my BA in a year. I know that this is the only way that I can free myself from government aid and give my daughter opportunities that I myself didn’t have when I was young (having had both my parents). I love her very much. I try not to think of it as abandoning her, I feel that we were both abandoned by her 35 year old immature, selfish sorry excuse for a man father. I hope to be able to visit her as much as possible. However, this doesn’t free me from the guilt and depression I feel and have fallen into.

Naimah August 2, 2010

Student Mom,
The reason I put “should i leave my baby with my mom?” into Google is because I was re-accepted to the University I dropped out of as a freshman straight out of high school. I’d done well in high school and deserved the opportunities I was offered years ago. However, I thought my life needed to take a different path. And now, it is not that I absolutely regret my decisions, it is that I see more now. I see that school would have made having children that much easier. Financial woes don’t have to follow my two year old daughter and I around all our lives. My mother offered to watch my little girl while I finished off my last two years at University. I have been working this idea around in my head for a few months now, and the new term starts soon. I have paperwork to turn in to the on-campus child care center at my school, however, the school is six hours away from home. I have a few friends and a brother up there but they are all young and childless. It is really a college town and I have worried about dragging her up there with me, forcing her to behave under they eye of well prepared strangers. I don’t want to make meager wages the rest of my life and I worry that having my daughter with me could slow down my progress. I plan to visit every month and either take her with me for holidays or stay down with her. I think that this will be a good long term choice for the future of my little family and since she is still young, I hope leaving her with her beloved grandmother will not traumatize her.

Heartbroken August 4, 2010

I know that there is more and more of us mum’s out there in this same exact position. So why is it okay for the Father to up and leave the home but when it comes to the Mother doing it, its so frowned upon and such a “taboo” subject. Even leaving our babies with their grandparents to better our career, we feel so guilty and shamed but if its the fathers choice he can get away with it. Even for him to run off with another woman is just accepted but for us women to do something like that is just not on.
I lived for 14 years of abuse both physical and emotional. Then decided one day enough was enough and up and left…just like a man would do!! I made sure the kids were taken care of and I thought I was doing the right thing. I did the right thing by leaving that so called thing of a man but I should of taken my kids with me. Its been nearly 1 year since i walked out the door and I still cop the emotional abuse from him and the only reason why I dont cop the physical abuse is because i moved state and he is too lazy to come find me. I returned to see my kids one time only to be chased out of the house 3 times and scared out of my head of him but I wanted to see my kids and was thinking if only he fell asleep then I could grab them and have them.
Weather we leave the home cause we think we are not good enough and cannot cope or we want to better our career and better our finances so we can then give our children the better life, its so hard and so brutely punishing on the soul.
I just want all of us mums to come forward and give our voice on what we go through on a daily basis instead of being silent and suffering in silence because i know that there is many more of you out there.
I feel worthless and guilty everyday for not being able to see my kids and tuck them in at night, but I will not stop having contact with them, all being very minimal thanks to him and I will not stop loving them and letting them know that I will always have my door open and always be there mum.
I am so scared of my ex and so scared of not knowing what the next best step is to take but fear will not stand in the way forever.

Toying with the Idea August 19, 2010

I, too, have toyed with the idea. I thought that I had made all of the ‘right’ decisions. I married someone who I truly loved and adored after dating for 4.5 years. He was my first sexual partner and we met when I was 19. (He was 26.) I agonized over if he was the one, prayed and got “good reviews” from family and friends. One day he sez he is cheating on me with his previous girlfriend: the very one who said she never wanted to get married or have children. Well, she did get married and divorced. I bore him 2 beautiful children, a son and a daughter After he told me he cheated, then he treated me like sh*t as if I needed to make amends because he felt things in our marriage lead to this and I “should have known.” He never mistreated me before this. It went from prince of a man who I thought cared about me, to discarded overweight breeder. My daughter was 1 at the time, my son, 4. He said he wanted to try but she kept calling and felt I should be grateful for not calling the house. We separated in 2005 and were FINALLY divorced in 2007. He ended our lease without telling me and said that his lawyer was supposed to call me and tell me. I had less than a month to find a new place. I live in HIS hometown with his immediate family and friends.
I have since earned a Master’s degree and have tried to move on, but he constantly fights with me, using the children’s events, cost of events, etc. as the reason to yell, curse, and try to talk down to me. The kids referred to their home as the “pretty house” and everytime something comes up dealing with money “Ma, can’t get it. She doesn’t have the money.” I’ve given these kids everything I can in opportunity, not materialism and am currently on food stamps and receive daycare assistance and worked 2-4 jobs while in graduate school trying to make things better for me and them. i want to give up, move out and move on. He’s now living with his parents in his 40s and I recently discovered he’s still seeing her calling themselves ‘soulmates’ in front of the kids. So what was I? A useful, convenient womb? A stop on the road back to her? A rebound? I was and am totally devastated and the fact that my children are around the very unscrupulous ppl that broke up their family is murder. I knew a part of me died then, but ppl kept saying ur strong enough. Humph, even HE sd “You’re strong. You’ll be fine.” But I AM SOOO TIRED. I keep trying but feel defeated b/c I need assistance and his support check to make ends meet while working 4 jobs, hustling to make ends meet while dragging my kids all over town to sports, dance classes, scouts, etc.
The funny thing is, I feel as though my life could have taken a different direction if I had just refused him and his desire to have kids when HE was ready. I love them and feel that i am their stewards but want to dump the responsibility upon him (and most likely his doting, apologist mother who sees him doing no wrong) to live my life for me. I signed on to co-parent; not to do it by myself. Even as a child, with my mother being a single parent technically while married to my father (she stuck it out for 10 years) and then for 2 before she married a man that was less than welcome, adequate or personable. A single mother was my worst nightmare. I didn’t make them by myself but I have the majority responsibility and a quarter of his paycheck and get the lionshare of his verbal abuse b/c it is easier to blame me and complain than be proactive or accommodating. Let him take it all on, by himself (I know his parents w/means and time will accommodate his every whim) and the anti-kid mistress handle them. I jut don’t want them to come out wrong or be strangers to me when they are older. Or worst yet, turn out selfish and swarmy like their dad. But should I continue in a depressed, bitter, angry state until they are older just to say, “Well, I’M the one that stayed!” I don’t need petty, pathetic claims like that knowing that it could of been better for them and me.

justdone November 13, 2010

Well, after years of infertility treatments that failed and multiple miscarraiges, we adopted two boys from overseas, had successful careers and after the 2nd afoption, i stayed home to take care of the kids. over the past ten years, dealing with kids issues, adhd, bipolar, anxiety disorders, attachemnt issues, and finally my husbands infidility with my best friend, I am just done. I have tried my best with these kids, have really tried, and dare anyone to walk in my shoes with their antics. After a decade in a losing situation, all I dream of is getting out. I stay because i cannot face the guilt of how they will cope on their own, and what they could unleash on the world if someone is not around to keep their anger and insanity in check. I live in a prison made of despair, fear and sadness. i am waiting for my husband to divorce me, and my kids to reach 18. After that, I cannot hold myself responsible for their actions. The overarching sadness and hopelessness is so soul destroying that many days, even with antidepressants, therapy etc – i don’t want to go on. i often wish i could trade my life with someone with stage 4 cancer – here, let me make a gracious heroic exit – you take my life…cause i’m done.

KB December 4, 2010

Reading these responses is halarious, you all can take it from me, A single father of three wonderful children, my childrens mother was like you, spent her time thinking only of herself and would say things like “i think they would be better off without me” because making this excuse and walking when she got frustrated is easier than stepping up and being a mom. (any girl can make a baby, takes a real woman to be a mom)And for all the talk of” I dare you to walk in my shoes “(more than one of you said it) I dare you to walk in mine, to walk in yours all I have to do is make excuses for why I’m not really a loser for wanting to bail on the children that I should be helping care for to go seek personal happiness cuz right now I’m sooo unhappy and sick of trying and it’s soooo hard, and on and on with trying justify your iminent departure without actually just coming right out with the truth, your weak and unwilling to take responsibility for the fact that having a family and being a parent is a fucking hard job and requires a person to work at it everyday if they want to be successfull at it just like anything that’s worth doing. And all the blaming the fathers for various reasons is totaly a punk move, anybody that doesn’t take resposibility for their children or bails on them is a total waste of life, man or woman. I get sweet-fuck-all from my childrens mom, absolutetly nada, but I don’t digress into foulmouthed hater. Statistics show that there are more deadbeat moms in the United States then there are fathers that don’t pay. I do what a single parent is supposed to do and I find ways to provide and care for my kidos and don’t waste energy being mad and bitter and actIng as if I’ve been screwed over because she contributes nothing. I don’t know what post partum depressions like, but I have suffered from anxiety and depression since I was in middle school and have taken persciption drugs to help me with them (paxil, xanex,Valium and others) so I absolutely know what not being able to feel any sense wellbeing or happiness naturally and normaly is like. I guess all I’m trying to say is, i know my kids are going to fine and I don’t care about any of yours or if you bail on them or not, but if you do leave, please do the father and kid(s) a favor and stay gone! Don’t call, don’t write, Do send
money, (i say that because unlike my super-badass-self, Most husbands will need anything you can get them as far as money goes)

Lina December 7, 2010

I agree with you,KB.
It’s easy to have a baby and difficult to raise them up.
I am a step mom to a 4 year old boy whose mother abandoned him stating that she needs time to rediscover herself.This happened last year in February.
I don’t think that mothers who can’t take care of their kids should have them.The moment you decided to have a child till the day they are able to take care of themselves you as a mother have the full responsibility for them.

Lina December 7, 2010

Fathers don’t get enough credit from our society for taking care of their kids.They are kept from seeing their kids by their exes in bitter custody battles.And then pointed at as deadbeat fathers.
For all the mothers who decide to have kids,but not able to sacrifice their happiness for their children’s I have just one advice: refrain yourself from having kids unless you assume the total responsibility for them.Don’t bring them into the world and then make them feel miserable just because you have discovered all of the sudden that you are not willing anymore to sacrifice yourselves to raise them.
And I’m not talking about mothers who leave their kids with the grandparents while they go back to school to improve their life and their children’s.
Just because you gave birth to a child doesn’t give you the right to be the victims all the time.
So think before having a child.

DJC January 22, 2011

I am amazed at all of these stories, some selfish, some apparently dealing with “mental issues” I would guess. Here is a synopsis of my perspective of being that child who was left behind… My mother left me and 2 siblings, but took 2 prior children with her, I was 4 and the youngest was 2, with an sexually abusive alcoholic father (discovered later in life), I had a devastating childhood, and of course grew up and married an abusive alcoholic and had 3 children. That was the first half of my life. I realized my life would only change if I was strong and patient. I lived in a abused womens shelter for the first 3 months and moved on from there. I went to school, worked sometimes more than 1 job at a time, and had to survive a non-supporting, physically and mentally abusive ex spouse for many more years who took me to court at whim. I never once thought of giving up my kids, I was only stronger. I raised my kids without welfare, my ex’s family and of course none of my own. They are pretty normal and happy adults now. I have contacted my mother only to be spurned with ignorance and denial. To this day, I do not understand it and am anguised with feelings of abandonment and loss. So to all you “mothers” and to the gloating and sickening response of KB, it is not about you at all, and I pray your children don’t suffer from your twisted and selfish behaviors. Noone here has a right to judge, your judgement will come soon enough. And to my “mother” and ex- thanks for making me a stronger person.

suez February 2, 2011

My mother left me at her parents when I was 3. I saw her sporadicly over the years, but not as mother and daughter. And her parents were abusers, they abused me and I later found out that they abused my mother when she was small. I was raised in chaos and insecurity and when i got the hell out of there- i looked back several times but eventually I let that part go. I know my mom a little now- though we arent close. Noone will ever convince me that the severe mental issues i face werent caused by that childhood I lived through. Please Mother’s: keep your children! Dont toss them away like trash!

Jen February 6, 2011

I made the decision last year to walk away from the craziness that was ensuing during my divorce. I was married 12 years to a sociopathic addict. He is a very charming, handsome, manipulative man. All three lawyers in my divorce case were women. My own lawyer believed his story – he was such a nice guy, he was SOOOO in love with me. He called the police after we split and told the Department of Human Services I was a devil worshipper. His final great performance was staging a nervous breakdown and claiming that I was suicidal. This man had intimidated me, yelled at me, raped me and psychologically abused me for over a decade. When I saw that no matter what I said – everyone believed him and his lies- my heart sank. How could I have done none of that but be the one in question and he did all those crazy things and none of it phased them in the least?

I had the police officer not believe him, my psychiatrist or the women’s abuse network, but my lawyer wouldn’t listen to me. He had the game and he was winning. I was scared and felt defeated. As I told a friend – I looked down into the valley and saw the army of 500,000 well-trained soldiers with a ruthless commander. I looked behind me at my traitor (lawyer)general and a handful of volunteers….I wasn’t going to win. I had no money to get a new lawyer and he had locked out 9 lawyers in 2 counties who deal specifically with domestic abuse. I gave him the house, property and our daughter. I was not going to be imprisoned in that state, in that town for the next 10 years, caught like a fly in his web and allow my daughter to watch me struggle with the mind games. I was not going to allow my daughter to see me as the weak, feeble, scared woman I was while bound to her father divorce or not. His solution was to live right next door to me! The state would not let me take her with me. He wanted control of me – he owned me in his mind.

People need to understand that leaving your child is not a rash decision. What also must be understood is that if there is nothing psychologically, emotionally or physically left of you because of abuse, and you have no support network……you are not going to be able to provide for your child. I needed to leave the crazymaking. I needed to heal and I coudln’t do it there in the middle of it. Would you ask a wife who has been beaten to sit down and work things out with the abuser? The rapist? We’re mothers, not super heros. I knew my daughter would be raised primarily by her father, his mother and his sister. With school friends and the community supporting her – all those people will dilute his problems. He doesn’t like women. My daughter knows I love her. She also knows her father lies and the abuse I endured. Before I left she intentionally put on a little show to get him out of the room so she could speak to me in private. She knows his game. He was and still is enraged that I have left and he doesn’t know where I am and no longer has control over me.

I mail her a letter each week and keep a copy, making a book for the day I see her again. I know I will be with my daughter again. I know how much my daughter loves me and I know the sheer pain I feel every day I am not with her. It would have been more destructive to her if I stayed. I am waiting patiently for now. The law needs to be changed. The legal system is not what everyone thinks it is. A good read is Lundy Bankcroft’s “When Dad Hurts Mom”. I did not walk away because I DON’T love my daughter. I walked away (for now) BECAUSE I love her. I get stronger every day and each day my army grows. I will be with my daughter again. It’s just a matter of time.

Michael Milburn February 8, 2011

I am a single father with two wonderful little girls, they are 3 and 4 years old. I’ve always been a major part of thier life and for the last two years I’ve raised my girls on my own. When my ex left I new she wouldn’t make things easy and I’m not talking easy for me and my schedule but for the girls. People don’t understand the impact they have on a childs life. Let me explain, for the first nine months on our own my ex only came to see the girls once a month then went to every two weeks and now it’s been once a week except the last two weeks. Everytime the girls come home it took about two days for them to get back into swing of using manners, sharing and not crying asking why mommy doesn’t live here anymore. Now the girls ask where she is but it’s not a big deal to them. this might seem heartbreaking but just wait. When I was 4 my mother took me and my two brothers three dors down from our house and ask the lady if she wanted us. The lady choice me, one brother went with this new ladies friend and our other brother went with our grandparents. That’s not the sad part either. The saddest thing is watching my girls go through the same thing I did while I sit back and try to make things work by moving my schedule and adjusting nap times and everything else possible for her to see the girls when she just drops by. My adoptive parents never lied to me about anything and always left the choice up to me if I wanted to know her. I did choose to call my biological mother once and then relized why it took me 20 years to do it, I have never spoke with her since. Will my girls make the same choice I did or not. I’m not sure and it will always be thier choice. But before they make that call I should tell them the truth. The truth is we have never not once got any help from her, she only buys thems toys and clthes on birthdays and christmas. She claimed my daughter on her taxes and doesn’t live with us. She let our power get shut off twice cause it was in her name. Either her or someone in her family tells my girls they don’t have to listen, and to be mean with anyone. When they spented the night (which has only been three times) she would call me to come get them that they where bad and she couldn’t handle it. But she has a job and can go to concerts and the bars, pay for not one but two abortions one of which was in her tubes. And she has the energy to call and text me about how she’s going to take the girls. Yeah well I’m done. No one takes away from my children. I’m going for her parental rights. Yes I want her out of the picture. And yes there is a “but” invovled. But if the judge would take her parental rights I would still want the girls to know her if she’s willing to quit being selfish, act like a human and talk with some since. And I would be civil about it cause I know how it feels to say goodby to someone forever. And yeah I can guess what she’d tell the judge it will be something like, “Oh, I left cause it’s best for the girls for them to stay with dad so I can get a home for the girls.” Anything like that is another way of saying, “It’s all about me.” And if anyones to dumb to relize it then I’m sorry for ya. It’s just that her whole attitude about this sucks, to her nothing is about what’s best for the girls but what she wants and can get. So to anyone wanting to leave a child behind should ask themselves, “What if my mother would have done that to me?” We don’t know the kind of impacted of the ripples from the choices we make but when you put someone else ahead of yourself nine times out of ten you make a better choice. So that crapp about what’s best for the kids don’t get any play in my home. Those people are selfish and regret every starting a life and that’s why they back peddle in the court room about starting over. They just don’t want someone else to look at them like a monster.

Schmoopie February 28, 2011

Has anyone started a real support group yet? My heart is breaking piece by piece. I have raised my children mostly as a single mom, however, my four boys have been diagnosed with mental illnesses and/or learning disorders and I have fought tooth and nail for them. When my husband left us in 1999 he wasn’t satisfied with just leaving, he wanted custody of 3 of our four children. He spent thousands on lawyers instead of his kids. He only paid child support when the state could take it out of a paycheck (when he worked on the books). He has told the boys, especially my twins who were about 5 when he left, that I (their mother) doesn’t care about them, only about myself. The kids grew up not knowing who to trust and to this day say they do not want to live at either house. I put rules in place when they are with me, and their father lets them do whatever they want to the point that they get into trouble. The twins are now 16 and he is STILL trying to get full custody in order to NOT have to pay child support. He has destroyed any trust my boys had, and my relationship with my kids has been very tricky.
Whether a mom is hands on or absent, I do believe we hold our children in our hearts no matter what. At least most of us do. We have unconditional love for our kids and there isn’t anything we wouldn’t do for them if we could. I don’t believe there is any way to repair our relationship except hoping Time will heal it. That doesn’t make it any easier and I do feel like I’ve lost my purpose here on earth. My heart is broken ~~ shattered~~ I don’t know if there are big enough pieces of it laying around that could even be glued back together. I need to connect with other women who have gone through this. If nobody had a support blog out there, I am willing to start it. I hope someone responds. I’m at the end of my very short rope. Thanks for listening.

jonsey March 3, 2011

Many of the comments are sensitive,perceptive and uncommomly informative,clearly there is no ” one problem fits all circumstances” scenario in this serious matter.Please, no judging.Tomorrow will render justice and assign blame.
There is, however, one errant recurring comparison with regard to mothers leaving/fathers leaving.Please know that fathers leaving or abandoning their children are viewed derisively,however,considerably less than mothers, Still there is no free pass for fathers. Please note: There is no ” Dead beat ” mom Law.

Pickuppieces March 6, 2011

I am the father and grandfather left behind to pick up all the pieces after mom and nana has decided she wanted to leave. My children are grown, 19,26,and 28. But that doesn’t make it any easier on them. And my ex was planning her departure for two years and constantly had our grandchildren here to spend the weekends. Now that she has departed through e-mails she sent outhers we found out why, so she could spend as much time with them as she could. She built that bond out of selfishness and then just walked out on it. She told her children two weeks before she was going to leave and told them if they told me she would never speak to them again. The day she left she left me a note on the table after 26 years of marriage wiped out our bank accounts and was gone 1200 miles away. Leaving behind a devastated family. Four days after her departure our oldest grandaughter told my son she was being molested by her step father. The woman I had known as a loving caring person didn’t care how devastated her daughter and the rest of her family was. Had no concern for her grandaughter but was only interested in her new found freedom. Bottom line she has some type of mental issue there is no doubt in my mind. But she walked away from those who would have been able to help her and departed. She now will spend the rest of her life with her freedom but without her children and granchildren being a part of that life. They have all told her they wish nothing to do with her and not to contact them ever again. Some will wonder why and how children can treat their mother this way. The answer is because of the way they were raised by her and knowing the difference between right and wrong. We have now over the course of the past two years put our lives back together. My daughter and my 3 granchilren live with me as her soon to be ex husband is serving his 19 1/2 year prison sentence. And we will continue to move forward without the person once known as mother and grandmother as part of our lives ever again. But this is the result of her choice, words, and actions of the past two years.

grinch4 March 10, 2011

Losts of intresting posts here. My wife recently left our family for reasons I still can’t understand. We have two teenage children and have been married nearly 20 years. Granted we have had problems in our marriage but it has never been abusive. My job in the military has required us to move numerous times, none of which were particularly easy on my wife. She just hated to move. Leaving our last duty station was very hard for her. Soon after relocating, within two months, she decided she just couldn’t be happy here and returned. Reasons she stated was she wanted her job back, missed her friends, missed the weather and things to do. She wouldn’t even consider waiting a couple years for us all to move back together. I even encouraged her to use the time to return to nursing school prior to leaving, she still refused. Although I encourage our kids to maintain contact with her they are rarely self inclined. I just don’t understand how you can sacrifice the relationship you have with your children and your marriage like that in order to return to a “place” 2600 miles away. “Long Distance” parenting? We are parents from the moment our children are concieved until the day we die. Chlidren are a responsibility/commitment you never walk away from.

StepmomsFeel2 March 30, 2011

I am a stepmother to two wonderful children (13 and 7). I also have two younger children with my husband. It’s tough. Mothers who leave are sometimes better than mothers who don’t leave. The birth mom is an idiot. When she and my husband first split up she let the house get disgusting, with dog feces and pee all over the place. My husband told her that he wouldn’t let his kids stay in a place like that. Now they are with us most of the time. The irritating thing is that she doesn’t provide a stable household. They don’t have to use manners; they don’t have bedtimes; they disrespect her; she feeds the crap on a daily basis. It is awful. Now she’s married to an idiot that doesn’t care about the kids, and she’s pregnant with another baby, making the situation even worse, because she’s so drama-filled and self-absorbed that she can’t bother to take care of the kids she already has. I get so tired of wanting to explain to her that chocolate milk, chocolate granola bars, and sweet applesauce is not appropriate for breakfast, yes the kids do need to wear jackets in 45 degree weather, eating vegetables and not only fast food is important, and letting your 7 year old stay up until 10 pm on school nights is not a good idea.

My mother left me with my dad’s parents and it was tough. But at least she cared enough to know I should be with someone else. She was, after all, a heroin addict. I don’t have any contact with her now, which is better, because I’m afraid that my step kids will end up being anything like their mom – a lazy, selfish person who only thinks about herself. I am left holding the bag, because I am a stay at home mom who does mostly everything for the kids. Sometimes I feel like leaving, because having to be the mean one is sometimes too much to handle. But here’s the difference, I love my kids enough to make it work – for them, not just for me.

Terrie April 10, 2011

My mom left before I was a year old, disappeared for more than a year, comes back married to my stepdad wanting to see us. Too little too late. She’s always been number one in her life and will be that way until the day she dies. No maternal instinct. I have 3 kids…there is NO way in this world I would leave them…never.

Rachelann April 10, 2011

I am grappling with the descision to leave my 10 year old son with his father to find myself. Although I initially say that it will only be for the summer I think I know better. It’s hard for me to come to terms that ultimately that I am leaving to be with a man who i love. yes I can take my son with me but I know it would be hard for him, it will also be hard for him to stay full time with his dad. We have been together for 15 years and I know he is a good father. What I don’t know is if i’m a good mother. I know he would be well cared for by his dad. I do have a mental illness and wonder do I need medication? if so wouldn’t it be better for him to be with his dad? I don’t want to drag him all over the country in my pursuit of happiness, and while I am leaving to be with a man, I don’t think I will be with him forever. Will my son hate me? Will he hate me if I take him with me? Am I being selfish for wanting to leave him with his dad full time? Should I put my happiness on the back burner like I’ve done for the past 10 years? i feel like I’m dammed if I do or don’t. I feel as though I’m being judged for any choice I make. I’m not super mom. I don’t really clean or cook and yes I have made mistakes but is he really better of with me? Does it matter? I feel like I’m abandoning my son, but why can’t his father raise him on his own?

Da April 26, 2011

I get it…I struggle with the same thoughts. 3 kids have kicked my ass emotinally, physically & finnacially…wouldn’t do it again.

kevin single dad May 9, 2011

I am a single dad of there kids,My wife of 23 years left us for a old boy friend she met off facebook.She said she knew this was going to happen if she ever met him again.It was just selfish that she left.Anyone who leaves there kids is wrong.I didnt see this coming.Maybe cause IAM A MAN.But in turn iam the one here dealing with the kids pain day in and day out Now Iam the one being blamed by her for all the problems that have arouse from the sad but true life.My kids have not spoken to her in over 7 months and she is sad but ok with that.She ays she is starting a new life and that the next 23 years she will be happy.She is in a bad mental state right now and will continue for a long time.I wish her all the happiness a mother desreves,It it be a long hard road for her and her boyfriend but it the road she chose and only her, may god have mercy on her soul for what she has done to her own kids

Stella June 7, 2011

My mum left me when I was only 4. She actually only looked after me for a few months before going back to work and left me in the care of her mum and sometimes childcare. I have no problem with that, as long as she’s there to be with me at the end of the day. When she left me at 4, it wasn’t because of necessity (we were comfortable), but she thought a life in Australia would be great cause that’s the golden dream of most Chinese people at the time. I was moved to another city to goto school and be looked after by my other grandmother. My Dad was a merchant sailor and was away for a year at a time. When I was 9, my dad and I moved to Australia to live with my mum.

Well some hot life she ended up with, let’s just say it wasn’t worth dropping a comfortable life back in China for. By that time I was already an emotional mess, had severe social anxiety and attachment issues, as well as depression. Everything escalated and I am now a dysfunctional adult. I may have trouble remembering events (such as the day she left me), but the emotional scars have plagued my whole life. Thanks mum…and thanks for the icing on the cake when you don’t even care that I tell you i’ve been hurt by your actions. Instead you blame my genes! Well even if I was born defective, why add fuel to fire and leave me to fend for myself? Some people are not meant to be parents. I wish I was never born.

I have my own baby and even with attachment, bonding and psychological issues, I still won’t abandon my parental responsibilities and create another mess. Once you become a parent, the child’s physical and emotional wellbeing is the most important thing. How can you be sure those are met when you are not even there?

Mums who abandon their children and families may have ‘justifications’ in their minds and think their kids are fine. They will grow up to resent you when they become parents and realise what selfish, calculating and unnatural actions you have taken.

I don’t think you can put too much feminism into this debate. Nature made women able to carry and nurture babies with their bodies. Surely then nature is not sexist? I believe there is an innate and inbuilt connection between mother and child (mother should be the primary carer), well there should be as nature made it, in the absence of abnormalities such as mothers having psychological problems themselves. Look at all primates and you will see how important mothers are to the wellbeing of their offspring. I just hope that victims (yes these children are victims) realise it’s not their fault and stand up in adulthood and parenthood and break the pattern for a better life for their offspring.

NotbloodButMine June 26, 2011

I have three little boys 2, 4 and 5. Their bio mother and I were very good friends. I’ve known her since the oldest was 14months old. Fathers don’t want anything to do with them. Their mother was raised in foster care, her mother managed to keep the boy siblings and even adopted another little boy. So I can only imagine her mental issues. She left the boys with me when the youngest was 2 weeks old. Since then she has had two abortions and a baby girl three months ago. She is taking care of the baby girl. If the baby had been a boy she said she would have lift it in the hospital. When she first left I couldn’t understand it now I don’t care to. I have to do whats in these boys best interest. I believe she loves them but not capable of raising them to be a good part of society. The parents are always free to visit they just rarely do. Just because you have a uterus doesn’t make you a good mother.

truefacts July 23, 2011

I know for fact that the majority of women that complain from mental abuse and other lies about their ex-husband’s in fact are having or had an affair. These women are between 28-40 and they will pay for their mistakes the same way, if not in this life in another. The difference between men and women is that we don’t lie when we cheat. We do for sex the same way some women do it.

truefacts July 23, 2011

Rachelann and others I alike you cannot help because you are bitches and should never be permit to be mothers and yes your son will hate you also you will die alone with your sins and your guild.

truefacts July 23, 2011

by the way “mothers” that leave their families because they want to F* a new boyfriends are not “moms”. It’s like female cat’s in heat they F* many cats in their lifes because “they fall in love for it” they are no better than animals.

Mel July 27, 2011

i also googled this in search of finding other Moms and how do they cope with this i have 4 kids and different 3 Babyfathers . 1 i live with, with my youngest and oldset child the other 2 children live with thir Father and Grandmother not quite sure how we came to a decison or if WE came to the conclusion of the kids staying with him because it was always his way or no way at the time we was not togather and i had to work work and extra hard cause he was out of a job and while i worked i needed a sitter at the time and my family did help out a lot but not enough and his Mom was retired and at home and agreed to watch the children while i was at work during the time i Hated their father so much and still hate him now but anyway they was always there i had some money trouble and trouble with a place to stay his Mom at the time had a house with enough room for the kids and she was stable but she stated i (the mother) could not stay there to be with the kids unless me and the father was married which we both knew that was not going to happen anyway i got myself togather have a home which is still not big enough but also i have new boyfreind and a new child (#4) , but i keep getting the greif over “why dont i have all my children from my family” who was not willing to help me out when i needed it so now i talk to my children everyday and every other weekend, long weeks during summer and holidays i see my children the only down part is the other children being sad when its time for thre other children to go back to their grandma house, and another thing its not always peaches and cream when it comes to them coming over sometimes i feel they Grandma dosent want them to visit because she so used to them being there with her or she feels im going to keep them from her but they are MY KIDS and sometimes their father makes it as though i dont do anything for them far as money but when i do contribute or ask whats needed he gets a attitude and say he got it he dont need anything from me but when it gets real bad thats when he asks for money. i believe he uses the kids against me because he’s bitter and Mad because i moved on and dont care about him i wanted the courts to take care of the custody but i see the kids happeir there and I dont want to mess them up with all that. My kids dont mistreat me and show me lots of love and i think i will keep it as it is until they want to make a decsion for theirself on who they want to live with

Alice August 19, 2011

Here is a dilemma I am facing. I moved to a foreign country (“Hellhole”) with my 3 children, 2 I had had with first husband and 1 with second husband. The two older kids stayed with their biodad half the year in home country and with biomom+stepdad half the year in HH. Second husband said we’d have a better life in his country, first husband had ok’d the move. The move did not work out. Second husband completely “went native”, had lied about the economy and what passed for a culture in his country, would not bring in income for us, got into drugs (doing and making), turned into a total native jerk in his dreadful country. We were powerless. Biomom (me) sent two older kids back to biodad because of it all, they were better off home with biodad. Marriage floundered. Because kid#3 with 2nd husband had been in foreign country longer than in his country of birth, jerk’s court had jurisdiction. There followed years of custody crap – it took ages just to get a hearing in HH while I staggered under the misrepresented cost of living, alone. Let alone the legal fees. One of the two older kids came back to live with me after a couple years because stepdad was out of the pic, but she doesn’t want to live in Hellhole either. Oldest kid won’t have anything to do with HH and I have barely seen him over the last several years since he went back to biodad because of the cost of travel. Meanwhile, jerk husband #2, who is working a job I myself found him (out of fears he would try to claim alimony too!), spruces up and taking advantage of the bureaucracy and time it took to get to court, eventually looks great before the judge, with the help of a lot of lawyer coaching and public speaking lessons. Wouldn’t have recognized him in court compared to when I had to live with him! Kid #3 wants to go home with me. Jerk husband doesn’t want him to, and will not let him – now he has some floozy living with him and giving him “support” which makes him look even more cleaned-up than before (calling themselves a “family” now despite son not even liking floozy), and I have become more and more ragged trying to survive in a place that is not my home. How long should I stay and keep fighting to take K3 home? It is making me physically ill. When will K3 be of an age that the court will listen and let us go? I can’t survive here until he is 16 – and the rest of us are missing out on seeing one another. It is like the fathers just call the shots if it’s their own culture (and sometimes if it is not!). Better off going home and trying to fight it from a position of strength? K3 says “mom please don’t leave me here” (wth father). No alienation going on here – father does not listen to him in activities unless activity will make him look good in court. Fathers with good lawyers, snatching jurisdiction and exploiting circumstances, spinning their image expertly in the few moments you’re allowed to present your case, can totally screw mothers over. Don’t judge these women – I imagine some of them just fight and fight, then simply give up rather than jump off a cliff and hope they will be able to repair the relationship when the kids are older. Mothers are losing custody more and more – some anticipate losing it and decide to spend the money on their kids instead of their lawyers.

Dani August 25, 2011

I don’t know what to do or how to approach the situation, but I am shaking as I’m writing this. When I graduated high school, I was on the path to medical school, but some mistakes along that set me back. I met my daughter’s father when I was 17, and at that point in my life, I was a scared, naive, and helpless girl. I had no backbone. I never left the house because he would get mad at me, yet he went out with his friends and didn’t want me to come, He was secretly doing drugs behind my back, which he knew exactly how I felt about it. I despise drug users and didn’t find out he was using our entire 4 year relationship until our daughter was a year old. Any way, I have always been a free-spirited person; going where ever life will take me, and wanting to take advantage of every opportunity available. I was supposed to attend college in Florida (I live in PA), but didn’t because I was too much in puppy love with my daughter’s father. I had my daughter when I was 20. I decided to her leave her father when I found out he had spent my college money on drugs, and argued with me about why I needed to become a doctor. I swore to myself that I would never let anyone get in the way of my dreams. I moved back home and attend a local university in which I am finally graduating in December after 8 years with my bachelor’s degree. The next step is graduate school. Although I live in an area that has a few grad schools in my major, I don’t want to be confined to this vicinity. I am considering attending graduate school in New Zealand. I know that taking my daughter with my while I am in school is not a good, I already struggle greatly in undergraduate trying to balance everything. But to be honest, I always feel like a bad mother. I don’t know if it’s because I was too young, or because I didn’t get the opportunity to explore because I was too stupidly in love with a guy at the age of 18. All I know, is that I am beginning to resent my daughter for taking away the opportunities that I have, and I can feel myself becoming less and less interested in being a parent. I feel terrible, but I know that me as her mom RIGHT NOW, is not good. Am I horrible for furthering my education and career in another country, with plans of relocating her when I am finished with a financially sound job? I don’t know how to tell my family about this either. This would all take place next year. I just want to know if the decision I am making sounds horrible and selfish. I just want to explore the world and see what else is out there for my career. I want to be a mother, and I want a family, but doing it solo, and missing out on opportunities makes me a bad mother at this point in time. Does any one else feel this way?

Becc September 1, 2011

Didn’t have any interest in reading other’s comments. The truth is, they haven’t lived it, they wouldn’t know, so they have no right to judge. I have a 2 year old son who is MY EVERYTHING. But my current situation leaves me a shell of the mother that I could potentially be. I stumbled upon this article while searching for some sort of inspiration. I am hurt, but only because people have such bullshit opinions about the topic. Yes, parents leave their children all the time, yes some do it for reasons that are unethical, yes it’s a hard thing to accept. But for some reason it’s much easier to accept when it is the father who leaves. Anybody who is a parent knows that no feeling can ever compare to the love they hold for their child. But what right does anybody have to pass judgement on a complete stranger. Get your lazy ass off of your computer and worry about your own life.

Manderella September 26, 2011

I would just like to say, no matter what there is a way to take care of your kids a mother will find a way, yea the dad may be a piece of work but instinct will guide you. for all the single dads you are wonderful men, needs to be more men like you! I am a single mom of 1 little boy and yes its hard but I will get through this and we will be OK as long as we have eachother we don’t need anything or anyone else.

i would never leave my son, because of what I want or need because my son needs me and his needs come way ahead of mine.

dizzy October 1, 2011

I found this website interesting and very sad… as i am very ashamed to say but I am one of those people who left their kids…I have 3 kids who are now 26, 21, and 20 and I love them with all my heart…I left them at the ages 10, 5 and 4 and I really hate myself and just cant forgive myself for what Ive done, even after all these years….the story goes, and Im not after sympathy here, I dont deserve any,the eldestand I lived with my mom, when I met the youngest twos dad, mom hated him straight away,for some reason, anyway I soon fell pregnant with them both within 11 months,and I just remember feeling numb, I cant explain it, I just never felt this overwhelming love as I did with the eldest,but I just carried on, their father had a good job and a nice house, but I knew he never loved me,the affairs started and he even bought one lady back to the house, he said i could like it or lump it!! i stayed as i never had the energy to fight….my dad died during this after a short ilness and i went to the g/p who priscibed me sleeping pills and then antidepressants…after this i knew i couldnt stay as my then partner kept on having affairs and said i was nuts i wasnt right in the head…i was a drug addict as i couldnt sleep without pills..i just wasnt coping….i then moved out and went into a haostel.. it wasnt nice…but eventually i got a council flat in a rough area of the city…i tried to make it as nice a i could ..but it wasnt a good place for them to grow up in…and i had no interest in anything.. i suffered with anxiety and panic attacks..i went away for a weekend and it was the first time in years id slept without pills and somehow i felt real again….i decided then that i was going to ask my mom to take my eldest and the youngest two to go and live with their dad whilst i got sorted …i knew then i was quite poorley… but as good as my mom was.. their dad wasnt so sympathtic… he took them but then told the children i didnt want them..friends who i thought were friends and who knew i wasnt well stopped speaking to me the school told me not to come to the gates as the other moms where heated… the list was endless..the kids dad sister came round and thumped me….he wouldnt let me see the kids as he said id abandoned them and i was a headcase.. he eventually met someone else who hated me straight away and eventually bought them up..i was very unahappy and i knew id made a big mistake…i coped by drinking and clubbing and meeting diffrent men.. which he told the kids about….even through this…i fought for a acess which i got and never once missed a visit christmas or birthdays…eventually iwas diognosed with clinical depression… all caused by postnatal depression which i never realised id got.. but people are cruel and people do not understand… but everday i think about what ive missed with them….and wished i could have been stronger…i left the area eventually as mud sticks and i was tired of the stigma attaches to mom who leave their kids.. my eldest daughter moved up to be with me and is lovley and really understanding.. the middle one came too and is a night mare….ive distoyed her… she had a horrible life with her stepmother and shes always doing something for attention…she always says she hates me and how could i have done that!!! she is now seeing a councillor, to help her understand why left her.. my boy still lives with his dad although he does come to see me ..hes lovley..and to be a dad himself soon..but last time he came to visit… he told me something that broke my heart… he said hed been in several fights over me…people saying i just left him and that i was a slag…i honestley never realised what he was going through… he really suffered because of what i did, he told me he dosnt want to be reminded of the past…it was then that i realised what id done….no matter how much i wasnt coping i should have stood by my kids…. i love them more than anything now and feel their pain…i just wished i could of felt this when they were small.. but i felt nothing…a sign now i know is postnatal depression….but although it is the past and they are grown up..i cannot live with what ive done…i thought at the time i was doing right…i wanted a better life for them and for me to get better…without realising the concequences or the feelings of my kids…i just wished that i could turn back the clock and do everything diffrently…someone told me once as they spat at me in the street.. that id commited the worst crime …leaving my kids….and they were right im doing life for that now..i think about them constantley and the what ifs…i love them with all my heart…so i advise anyone thinking about leaving their kids DONT… no matter how hard it is for yourself…your kids are your own flesh and blood and please think about those kids feelings, even though you may see them often.. they will miss you and wonder why you arnt there at night to kiss them goodnight..things i regret so much….

JW October 19, 2011

I strongly feel that my mother SHOULD have left us. All of her children have issues and would have been better off raised by their dads, before she had a chance to inflict her b.s. on us. Even to this day, she isn’t mother material…… And all of her children despise her. Sad….

Lily October 26, 2011

To: Shouldnthavebeenamother – chances are your daughter will never forgive you. Your leaving her will hurt her and change in a profound way you will never understand. My mother left me and my 2 brothers. I will never forget it and I will never get over it and my mother and I have an awkward and strained relationship. Shame on you for leaving her. You don’t get it.

margaret November 22, 2011

My daughter left her husband and two kids, they are heartbroken. they were 7 and 12 when she left, will they ever get over the pain, and hurt that they feel? they don’t understand, and I’m sure they think “why did she leave,what did i do wrong”? I am ashamed to be her mother.

margaret November 22, 2011

Thank God they have a dad who loves them and grandmothers who love them. In my eyes their Dad is a hero.

Heart n Mind s Broken February 11, 2012

When i was 5, my bro and i were sent in the philippines from spain. We live with my poor grandparents. I really don’t know what happen but my mother abandoned us for her sake “i guess”. My father and her husband (stepdad) don’t even know that she has a son before me. About 5 years ago, i called her and she said, ” I don’t have time to talk on the phone”! She thinks, she gonna get away from this.

It is sad because not only she abandoned her 3 older kids but also her own parents. 1 of them is deceased; she has not seen for 36 and some years.

jessica October 26, 2012

I am a mother that’s wants to walk away so bad …I love my babies but things are steadily spirally out of control the things that go through my mind are not right .I don’t have the guts to do what my parents did my father shot his self and my mother hung herself .I want to be there for my children but my mind is not right should I stay and continue to fight the urges and thoughts going through my head or walk away before it is to late .

ILeft2012 October 27, 2012

I left my kids with their dad. I know they are better off without me. I am not the same mom as before my ex left me. I don’t have that mother’s instinct anymore. I don’t regret leaving, i regret putting my kids through my emotional bull. Mothers who leave aren’t all bad, evil or crazy. We just can’t deal with everything all the time. Im not the mom i once was they deserve a better mom.

La November 17, 2012

I think it all boils down to the motive. As much as some people hate it, the reality is that the mother and father roles DO have different dynamics to them. Dads teach them action, and moms teach them function.

There are plenty acceptable reasons for Moms to leave (work, school, abuse), but what matters is whether they return. It’s like in the Army – you don’t leave fellow soldiers behind. The reasons to leave (work, school, destructive lifestyle aside) should be temporary.

It’s horrible watching a woman leave her husband without taking the kids, having just previously accused him of leaving her to parent on her own. It’s sad watching said man trying to own up and be a good dad to his kids. And it’s heart-wrenching watching little kids screaming as they’re piled into a car, because it’s Mommy’s turn to have them.

It’s not that dads can’t do their part. Believe me, having grown up with a neglectful dad, men should definitely get in trouble. It’s that those mothers refuse to do their part. To jump ship is to jump life, and it’s the children who end up floundering.

susan May 2, 2013

i left my kids when they are young age
now they are 23 20 and 17
i left becouse my ex work nightshift and work
all week. he neglect my emotional needs
he is not a good lover. he doent care about his
personal hygine. he f like a rabbit and thats it
finish in 1 second. i love my kids dearly
before i left, i’ve sign all my right to him the house and
money and left it with none. only my car. i did it for my kids
to send them to school and for thier education.
this is a mutual agreement. i come every nite to mind
them coz he work nightshift.. he finally telling the kids now
that i had an affair and i abandon them. my kids dont
talk to me.. i’ve done so much for them.. my oldest i have never
heard her saying i love you or miss you mum..” my second completely
not talking to me. it hurt me so much. my third confronted
me that i had an affair and its only right that i dint get
nothing from my settlement becouse i left i dint work for it

None July 13, 2013

I left because things were getting bad and it was escalating….I knew my ex would not hurt my son….I knew I was going to die if I didn’t leave.

MJB August 6, 2013

Litterally the last business trip away from home for a career that was nearing its end, and my wife finds someone else to confide in. Things were so very different when I came back. It took me a month to figure it out. After finding out, it took another month before we split. All very painful stuff. It’s weird, because on one side she felt massive guilt for what was going on, but on the other, she saw some light at the end of the tunnel, and it wasn’t me, our family, or our future together. She walked, I preempted her paperwork with some of my own, and kept the kids stabilized in our home. I don’t regret it, but will always wonder if this catastrophe could have been overted. I want to believe it could have been. But sometimes I chalk the whole mess up to overall incompatibility of our personalities, and personal upbringing. She endured alot for our family, dealing with my high stress career and raising our children alone some of the time. I really can’t remember the last time I saw her truly happy. Hopefully she’ll find her happy place.

LARRY August 28, 2013

FIRST OF ALL IM A SINGLE PARENT A FATHER.My wife left me and the kids For a bunch of reasons .She thought i was unfaithfull not good enoughf to her did not spend enoughf alone time.I worked hard gave her plenty of money nice house car clothes .We have 2 kids that are ruined because she left and went directly to her boyfriend .she as seen her kids 6 days in 2 years.but when she gets her daughter on the phone the first thing she says to her child is do you love me which blows my mind .I GUESS THAST IS MORE THEN ENOUGHF TO FILL THE HAVOIC SHE PUT ON OUR KIDS .My son will not even speak to her at all he gets it .The sad part of all this is that a beautifull family is ruined no matter how much you both cant seem to get your stuff together you owe your kids a real chance of being haappy .I text my xxx everyday to come see the kids that even thow she is with someone else we must try our best to be friends for our kids .I want nothing more then my x to be happy but she has to be correct and be a mother .so to all of you out there going threw this try to do whats best for the kids its hard but if you love them you can do it

desparate September 19, 2013

I know that everyone thinks that a mom that leaves is selfish. But what if, like me, you are worried that your mental illness is hurting your family. I am the high functioning type, who can hold down a job and help provide financially and still keep the household running. But I am also profoundly suicidal and can become emotionally distant. I would rather not subject my family to me than see my kids grow up with a an insidious type of emotional abuse – emotional neglect. I don’t want to leave them and their dad behind because I need to find myself – I think my husband would rather that be the reason. I want to leave because most days I want to die, and I really do think they would all be better off without me. I’ve been suicidal most of my life and not much has helped. I know I made a mistake in having kids during a point in my life where I had some mild optimism and thought I could make it.

I truly in my heart feel as though they would be better off without me. I know people call this selfish but I grew up with emotional abuse and a distant mother and would rather my kids have no mother at all than a crazy one. If I were to kill myself my husband and kids would receive a substantial life insurance payout (my suicide clause is up). It seems like a win-win situation – get rid of bad, crazy unstable mommy and get money to help raise the kids in the process. And if I can’t muster up the courage to off myself I will continue to send my husband as much money as possible (I can live in a shack if necessary as long as they are comfortable).

I’m sure if anyone reads this I would get all sorts of negative feedback, but I guess I just wanted to pull the curtains back on one type of mommy is leaving scenario.

Linda Adamson September 19, 2013

All I can say is that my mother walked out on me and my brothers when I was 7yrs old. I had three young Brothers. the youngest 11months…I can still remember very clearly that the little one was sitting in his high chair and the other three of us followed her up the road as she went with her bag to the train station. She told us to go home and look after our little brother. Dad came home a while later and went to the station to try to get her back but she was on the train, ready to go and he was told to leave her and get off by the Guard. She ran off with another man with whom she had another 4 children and we ended up in an orphanage for 6 yrs
She never tried to help to get us out of the place or contact us . She was a very selfish Mum, I thought as when I was 13 I managed to contact her and went to live with her and she was carrying on behind this man’s back as well. Just can’t change some people, can you!

kyla george December 9, 2013

I was 17 when i had my first baby, the father refused to give support so i gave up. Everyone shat thier pants and i was labelled abandoner but my ex partner never got it bad at all. We have a secondbaby now and i am 23, i thought things would be.different this time.becaude we learned from our mistakes. But hes.still gone.chasing young girls and im stuck struggling again. People think single fathers are heros and single.mothets are bitches. Im thinking about giving this second one away part time. I am also adopted and my bio mpther is an alcoholic and mt adoptive mother is a conservitive tyrant. If i could go back i wouldnt have had kids. But it is extremely unfair for women to put.up with so much while these.boy children foracate and inpregnate girls anf women for thier own selfish pleasure, it is the women who suffer in the end. And these ‘men’ have no popular society, in fact its cool to have.more tyen one baby momma that tells a girl that that guy prefers her over another woman. If a woman has more then one bavy daddy its an automatic strike out for her, damaged goods or whatever. Makes me sick the way our society treats men with such patients to reward thier ugliness and women with harsh distain when she does the same. Id like to actually meet a real single father one day because i really have never met one

difficult decision May 20, 2014

I didn’t just separate from my husband but from my two boys. They didn’t deserve to be uprooted because of bad blood between their father and I. He had an affair and I tried for five years to move on but decided I could not and would never be able to forgive him I chose to leave. It was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. Justbbecause I dont live with them anymore doesn’t mean I love them any less. They’re better off with two happy parents who live apart than two miserable parents who live together.

Zina September 29, 2015

All I can say is that sometimes you don’t know it will be hard. At first it isn’t the love and time is easy. You don’t know that after 5 or 7 or even 10 years how tired you will be. Exhausted mentally and emotionally it gets to a point where you are afraid of what you might do out of frustration or exhaustion loniness. At that point it probably is best to leave. It doesn’t mean you didn’t try or do your best everyday up to that breaking point. It just means you left before you lost your mind and caused harm.

Rhett January 12, 2016

I loved being a single dad . I hated the time when my wife left but there was now peace in the home . I was awarded sole custody but my ex was never denied the opportunity to see him . There was some bitterness but I never showed this outwardly and always encouraged him to love and respect his mother . She seldom saw him as he was growing up but she was made aware of his activities by him and she would sometimes attend but never talking to or acknowledging me. My son hs grown up to be a fine young man , husband , and father . I could not be more proud or satisfied . I give much credit to his maternal grandparents who helped guide , love and counsel him as he was growing up . He has a strong bond with this side of his family . His mom is part of his life and she loves and dotes upon her grandson . Maybe she is now realizing what is important in life .I loved being a Dad and would gladly re-live his childhood and all the fun and satisfaction . If I am to be remembered for anything I hope it is because I was / am a loving , caring Dad .

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