Lifestyle

“I’m a mom and I gave up on my kids, people judge me for that, but men do it all the time”

Three mothers who gave up full custody of their children have explained why they made the big decision and how they were harshly judged by others because of it

A woman looking sad
Mothers share why they gave up custody of their children (stock image)

For many mothers, the thought of being separated from her children for any length of time, or not living with them at all, would be horrifying.

But for others, giving up custody of their children was the best decision.

Three mothers have shared how they made that decision and how harshly they were judged for it – although many men often don’t have custody.

Appears on a Documentary theme called The Last Taboo, the woman told her stories. The program originally aired in 2019 but has recently resurfaced online.

One of the women, known only as Rebecca, explained how before becoming pregnant, She had never really wanted to be a wife or a mother.

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Rebecca, from London, says her life changed after meeting an Estonian. The pair instantly bonded and were living together in a squat when Rebecca became pregnant at the age of 23.

Without a real “nest” to raise their child in, the couple decided to return to the husband’s hometown in Estonia.

However, Rebecca soon realized that this was a big mistake, and although she found it pregnancy ‘Incredible’ after giving birth to baby she felt like ‘a caged bird’

She said: “Even after a day I was like ‘no, that’s not okay, I made the wrong decision.’

“It was just strange, I was about to go through the scariest thing of my life to this point and I had put it all behind me.

“By the time my son was weeks old I wanted to get out massively, I just wanted to come home. I felt like a bird in a cage.”

She continued, “I knew, even though it was really hard for me, that I couldn’t walk. It was like a bad nightmare gone horribly wrong.

“It is strange that a mother and her little baby should be so miserable and unhappy.”

When her son was almost two years old, Rebecca received an invitation to her brother’s wedding and knew this was the time to leave Estonia forever.

She returned to England without her son, not believing that she would have the strength to raise him alone.

However, she was nervous about leaving him as she had never seen a mother abandon her child before.

“If I were a man, I wouldn’t be sitting here doing this interview. It’s the most normal thing in the world for dads to do that, but I’ve never met another woman in the world who has done that,” she explained.

Rebecca now sees her son several times a year and while it’s different than many mother-son relationships, she says there’s still “so much love”.

“It’s a very tactile, very warm, very loving relationship,” she adds.

“I’m sure it’s a very different relationship than most mother-son relationships, but it’s beautiful, there’s so much love.”

In addition to Rebecca’s story, the documentary also follows a mother named Maria who reached breaking point after her daughter Hannah died of cancer at the age of almost four.

After that, her marriage ended and she decided to be the one to move out of the family home.

“I definitely felt judged as a mother — I was told I should have been spayed and not had children,” she recalls. “But sometimes it’s best for the children and the family if the mother moves out as a parent.”

The Last Taboo also features a mother named Nataly, who says she never intended to have children and wanted to be a career woman, but felt pressure from her family to get married and have children.

“Even though I wasn’t emotionally ready to have kids, I pushed myself and I had one baby and then another baby 12 months later,” she said. “I felt like my brain was getting greasy.”

Eventually it all got to be too much for her and she gave her husband custody of their son and daughter before leaving them and their relationship.

She admits it’s hard not to see her kids all the time, but when she sees them, it’s special as it’s “like a reunion.”

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