Many times I have heard mothers of young children say, “I wish I could just run away.” I’m a mother of two children and this is my story. Like many other families, I became a single parent and worked full-time in order to keep us in a lifestyle that we enjoyed. My son was thirteen years old and my daughter was almost seven years old. My son was the perfect child; he was always loving, funny, and never spoke back. My daughter, on the other hand, pushed all my buttons and when she knew she had gotten to me she would push a little more; our relationship was a contest argument. I love them both more than life itself, but I found myself tired all the time. My ex was about to be remarried, so he was missing weekends with the kids. I was feeling very stressed and when I brought this to his attention and told him I that needed more help, his answer was to write a check. The money was nice but I really just needed a break. I was the mom, the money maker, the law, the teacher, the enforcer, the helper with homework, and the person that walked in the door after working nine hours and started bitching do this, do that. I didn’t feel like I ever got to be the friend, the fun parent. I guess I started feeling sorry for me, then I started using drugs. I had a boyfriend that also used and between the two of us I was losing ground, fast.
My mother watched my kids while I worked. I would come home to a complete wreck in my house every day, then she would start complaining about my daughter needing so much attention. I knew she was a pill; I didn’t need to hear it from my mom. So one morning before my kids woke up, I called my ex and told him he had to come for the kids and that I was leaving. I kissed my kids while they slept, put a note on their pillow, and I left. I sat down the road where I wouldn’t be seen to make sure my ex showed up, which he did, and then I left town.
I seriously thought to myself I just needed a break and that the time away from each other would be good for all of us; I couldn’t have been more mistaken. Now it’s been eight years—eight of the longest, most miserable years I have ever known. I can never make up the time I’ve lost, my kids will never forgive me and I will never forgive myself. I don’t have much of a relationship with my children, I really can’t blame them. I cry most every day; I can’t even talk about them without crying. When I hear mothers say how stressed they are and that sometimes they wish they could just run away, I want to scream as loud as I can, “DON’T ... It will be the biggest mistake of your life.” I know how being a full-time mom and working a full-time job can take its toll on a person, but nothing is worth what you will loose. I miss the same things about my kids, the way they smelled after a bath, rubbing their back until they fell asleep, those little kisses I would have to beg for, even my daughter having to have the last word.
I don’t feel good at all about my decisions and I have to live it. What’s worse is they have to live with it too. Our lives will never be the same and the damage I have done to them can’t be reversed. I was selfish and I hope by reading this I stop another mother from making the same mistake. Find away to relieve your stress, and if you know a stressed-out mother, offer to help—even an hour to relax in a hot tub with nobody banging on the door is a godsend.