Dear Ms. HeartBeat:
Why would a mom abandon her kids? I know of only one friend who separated from her husband without wanting to take her kids with her. For moms who leave their children behind, why do you think they did it? Do you think they ever regret the decision?
At a Loss to Understand
Dear At a Loss:
There are dozens of reasons women leave their children behind, and all of them are understandable. Yet, for some reason the fantasy of the nurturing female who puts aside her needs to give to others until her death persists in our society as the standard of “good mothering.”
It’s a total scam.
Some women are forced to leave their children behind, as the fathers threaten their and the children’s lives if they “try to take my kids from me!” These are usually very controlling, angry men with a history of verbal, emotional or physical abuse (sometimes all three). Lacking the resources to fight him, the mother steps aside and leaves the children behind to save both them and herself from trauma, injury or even death.
But I think in the majority of cases, as in the instance of famed writer Alice Walker, women leave their children behind of their own accord. Why?
Because as women we are brainwashed from birth with baby dolls and play stoves to parrot what adults tell us that we should want — children, a boyfriend, a husband, intimacy, all that — when in reality many women don’t want any of that stuff. Little girls are discouraged from wanting to travel the world, explore their sexuality, create, invent, fight, scale mountains, swim with the dolphins, and just BE. There are many girls and women who, just like males, want to do what they want to do, when they want to do it, without the responsibility and obligation of being a mammy to a bunch of snot nosed kids and some needy whining man who expects and demands that his needs come first.
Because truly, being a wife and mother IS NOT ALL THAT!
Unfortunately, by the time many very young women go through the motions of “adulthood” while meeting everyone else’s expectations of who and what they should be, they wake up and realize they’ve been hoodwinked! These young women realize with shocking dismay that their life now belongs to other people. All their time, all their energy, all their creativity, and even their sleep time, bathroom time and food is infringed upon by someone else.
The sick part is our male dominated society which encourages such infringement and sacrifice sets women up. She is slowly dying while being falsely labeled “a good mother.”
And when those young women wake up and make their escape to save themselves, they will sometimes leave their children with the grandparents, with their father, with friends, at a firehouse or even with strangers. Either way she feels she has to escape for her own sanity, to save herself from a life of depression, alcoholism or drug abuse, anxiety, obesity, and stress-related diseases.
Leaving behind the children along with society’s false dreams and the lies she was told about motherhood is the only way she has to save her life. There may be some feelings of guilt, but I think for the most part women who leave their children behind feel a great sense of freedom and relief. The guilt they feel is because they were too naive to understand the game that was being run on them BEFORE they got innocent children involved.
Children believe they suffer because their mother isn’t there, but that too is nothing but socialization. You are TOLD that you are suffering and missing something, so you adopt that victim mentality.
In reality if your mother was going to be dying inside by assuming a role she was brainwashed into believing was perfect, but for which she was not prepared long-term, it is better for you both that she not be around.
Category: Women's Issues