On June 7, 2016 the media ignited with the heading “mothers who leave”. It was instigated by an SBS Insight episode (that aired the same night, titled the same). It was a candid discussion from women who chose to leave their children with their father and also from children who were left by their mothers to be raised by their father.
Parents (mothers and fathers alike) leave the family unit for many reasons. It could be from mental health concerns, stability, unhappiness, general wellbeing or different opportunities. It could simply be that they weren’t as intrinsically maternal/paternal. Regardless of the reasons for leaving, men and women who leave their children in the primary care of the more emotionally and generally stable parent should be commended.
Neither staying or going is an easy choice. It is always fraught with grief (for yourself, children and your ex-spouse) and come with a new set of challenges with the changes that ensue.
As an onlooker, often people are quick to judge. Instead of attempting empathy and understanding, often these onlookers condemn the decisions made making it even harder on the parent that has chosen to leave.
We should be celebrating the fact that the parents made the best possible decisions in the best interest and safety of their children (regardless of what we believe is right, wrong or what we would do). The children are the priority and should be considered accordingly.