We walked out on my dad when I was just nine years old. I clearly remember getting up one morning and finding my mum and my grandmother frantically packing blankets and clothes into black garbage bags. I asked what was going on and was told; “We’re leaving your father.”
I remember that scene so vividly because, after that moment, my life was never the same again. By the time my father had arrived home from work, we had left.
This may sound harsh but it was the best decision ever. Seeing my mum happy was far more important and healthy for my sister and myself than to see my family staying in a toxic situation.
My father was a womanising, abusive alcoholic, but even that wasn’t enough for my mum to leave him. The final straw came for her when she got sick and was in and out of hospital. My sister and I were left in the “care” of my father. Each time we visited her in hospital we’d tell her about how we’d have to make ourselves jam sandwiches for dinner because Dad was passed out drunk on the couch most afternoons.
Lessons from our mums. Article continues after this video.
As an adult, I look back on this time and think of how brave Mum was leaving our house with only our clothes and bringing my sister and I up as a single, working mum.
How many times have you heard, “we’re staying together for the kids?” Well what if that isn’t what’s best for the kids?
I know not all fathers are alcoholics or abusive or cheaters, but if you’re truly miserable in your marriage, what is your unhappiness saying to your kids? That it’s okay to be in an unhealthy or unhappy relationship? That this is how all relationships work?
I believe that having no male role model was far better for me than having a bad one.
As for my female role model, I’ve learnt that women are strong, don’t need to put up with men’s shit and that if you’re abusive to your wife and neglect your kids, they have every right to leave you. Kids deserve to see both their parents happy.