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Yetunde Olasiyan: An Open Letter To Parents Who Walk Out Of Their Children’s Lives



Yetunde Olasiyan: An Open Letter To Parents Who Walk Out Of Their Kid's LifeI really do not know your reason. I really do not understand why you would choose to be an absentee parent.

You had a child, then, walked away to start a new life elsewhere, thinking nobody can hold you down.

It happened many years ago and till today, you have never looked back. You eat three square meals, wear designer shirts, get big promotions, travel round the world, but you have a seed somewhere, being cared for by someone else.

You have never cared whether that child eats, goes to school or is well clothed. You think you have won this one so you cover it. No one can hold you to the past. Your conscience has been smeared with a very hot iron.

How do you even sleep at night? Do you think the universe has forgotten? Even if you don’t believe in karma, do you know there’s a law of seed and harvest time that rules the world?

It’s not that you don’t have the means but the truth is, you don’t just want to be tied to anything relating to your youthful excesses out of which a child came forth.

To you, it’s a setback, a disgrace. So you choose the safe path, of bailing. Of pretending it never happened. Of shutting the memory out. You tell yourself that your co-parent is no good.

You bask in the shitty hope that after all, a child would always ask for the absent parent when he/she attains some milestone like grad or marriage. Culture and tradition sold us a lie, making us believe it is some sort of African taboo for an irresponsible biological parent to be replaced by a responsible adopted parent on the day the child attains a milestone in life. But it is no longer so. We have all woken up from that lie. The kids of these days now know better.

How on earth would you ever explain to your child the reason why you abandoned him/her for years?

What action on earth is justifiable for abandoning one’s blood? Is it lack of money? New family? Hatred for the mother? Hatred for the other parent?

This culture has been enabled for years by society; the parent then comes back to beg – some, after karma has dealt with them or life has treated them harshly.

I remember Bukky in primary school who came to school in torn clothes throughout the time I knew her. She never had a pair of decent shoes, only because her parent walked away and left her behind. She lived with stepmother whose son also attended the same school, but was always looking good. Bukky was the glorified house help.

Even Aishat too, who was always looking sad. Raised by her grandmother who always took out her anger on the poor girl. She came to school to drag her out sometimes. These kids never had books. They were the ones to be sent home for school fees.

I have been raised by both parents,  so I cannot really know what abandoned children go through in life. I know it won’t be easy. Some have been given their mother’s family name to make life easier.

I didn’t have to go through life lying that my father was dead(when he was alive) or travelled abroad just to excuse his irresponsibility among friends.

So I know it must be deeply painful. With the kind of love my father gave me, if I had later been told that he wasn’t my biological father, God knows I would never have gone anywhere looking for the errant one.

There is always a day of reckoning. A day when all you’ve built your life on, people you’ve depended so much on will fail you. You’d want to retrace your steps. But it would be too late. No one can regain wasted years. No one can rewind the hands of time.

As time is passing swiftly by, today we are here, tomorrow we may not be around, what footprints are you leaving on the sands of time?

Eventually, when you open your eyes on another side of the divide, who would welcome an errant child who abandoned his own while living? Would you wake up to a rousing welcome or to regret and foreboding darkness?

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

M.Sc International Affairs&Diplomacy, ABU, Zaria|| B.Tech Environmental Biology, LAUTECH, Ogbomoso|| 1st Prize Winner, SouthWest Nigeria-CLO Essay Competition on Child Labour in Nigeria|| 5th Prize Winner, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation Essay Competition|| Certificate of Participation, World Bank Essay Competition|| Author of A Gift of Dreams|| [email protected]|| Former Content Editor,|| Ghostwriter, Editor, Profile Writer|| Nike|| Olasiyan|| For writing enquires email [email protected]


  1. Adeleke

    August 7, 2018 at 4:55 pm


    • didi

      August 8, 2018 at 9:08 am

      Its not everyone who left did so because they are running frm the responsibilities. I have heard women confess to seducing their men to imofegnant them or marry them and when the man’s eyes is clear the did is done but still he is not in love with the woman, decides to take responsibility for the children she absconds. Spend years searching for them but no luck, he continues his life believing one day they will reunite but to the children dad has failed. There are soo many like that.

    • didi

      August 8, 2018 at 9:20 am

      Always remember WOMEN you are carrying destinies, the life you live, the choices you make, relating to who you marry or weither you keep your legs closed as you date will eventually affect the children coming from you one way or the other. You know he doesn’t love you that mu h you force it, he keeps talking about his ex, you force it,he beats you still you force it, he likes anything in skirts yet you force it, theres sth off about him yet you force it, then children come and your an emotional wreck then someone has to raise your children or you are present but not PRESENT,you then transfer the pain i to their i nocent souls and they growup becoming bitter with life or for the strong children thrperes still a missing link. LETS TAKE RESPONSIBILTY FOR OUR CHOICES SO OUR CHILDREN WILL NOT SUFFER, OWN IT.

  2. Deborah

    August 7, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    Thank you.

  3. Akow

    August 7, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    My father was one of those people. I had the chance to talk to him before he died and asked him why. What I gathered from his answers was he essentially lied to himself (and others) to assuage his conscience and as time went on (about 15 years) he believed his made up stories. I know they were made up because I was a living witness to why and how the events transpired.

    But as they say, cow wey no get tail, na God dey swipe the flies away. God has sustained me, my mom and siblings even though it was very rough and tough.

    So yeah, parents who walk away, they lie to themselves to justify their actions. I’ve had conversations with friends who grew up with absentee parents and it was the same theme.

  4. Dee

    August 8, 2018 at 9:00 am

    Deep Words! We only hope they read, learn and repent of their wicked ways.

  5. Anonymous

    August 9, 2018 at 5:39 am

    This is my reality

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