Once you're a parent, can it ever be OK to leave?

Filed under: Just For Moms, Playground Bureau, That's Entertainment

I'd heard of the blog Petite Anglaise before, likely from scanning through the blog rolls of parenting blogs I do read everyday. But I hadn't really devoted any time to getting to know it, until a friend told me: Petite diarizes her life as a single Mom in Paris. And she left the father of her child for another man. And now she has a book deal.

Those three sentences were intriguing enough for me to go to her site late one night, where I promptly devoured all of her archives and then, still hungry, searched for more of her writing. It turns out she has a book, based on her true story, popularized in her blog.

It's a bit of a new phenomenon, the blogger turned author, and I find it intriguing. In this case, it's also especially voyeuristic: Petite (who never revealed her true name in her blog, but does in her book) talks specifically about the fact that she left her child's father for another man, a man she met through the comments section of her blog. It's true: real life is stranger than fiction.

I read the book and enjoyed it very much: Petite Anglaise (aka Catherine Sanderson) is a talented writer with a gift for capturing tangible detail in her text. But what is lingering with me, bothering me, are the reviews of her book on Amazon.com and around the web.

Ms. Sanderson is, in my opinion, not being fairly judged on her merits as a writer -- her book is not being judged as a book. Instead, she is being judged as a person, and raked through the coals by readers who do not approve of her choice to leave her baby's father, who call her selfish and horrible.

The author was clear in her description of why she left her toddler's father: they had not been intimate in more than a year, they were placid strangers inhabiting the same space. She craved more.

The whole notion is interesting. Is it OK for a Dad to leave the Mother of his child if he does not love her any more? Is it OK for a Mother to leave her baby's Father if he does not desire her physically anymore? If she does not desire him?

To read the reviews of Petite Anglaise, it would seem that the world has decided that splitting a family for the hope of something emotionally greater is an emotionally stunted decision. What do you think -- is it ever all right to leave your child's parent? I know it can never be an easy decision, but I do think there are just some situations where a divided family is better than a whole.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.