the debate over moms who choose to leave their children behind, many of them arguing it makes them a better mom. Here's my "20/20" anchor, elizabeth vargas. Reporter: In 2008, talyaa liera moved to... See More
the debate over moms who choose to leave their children behind, many of them arguing it makes them a better mom. Here's my "20/20" anchor, elizabeth vargas. Reporter: In 2008, talyaa liera moved to seattle after a divorce, leaving her three children, nathaniel, eric and serena, to live with their dad david, 2,800 miles away in pennsylvania. Talyaa spends her days painting, writing, making music, and practicing martial arts. "Mothering," well, that's done from afar. I'll walk you through the steps of scrambled eggs. Reporter: Oh sure, she emails recipes for them to cook themselves and she stays in touch on the phone and via skype. You sound a little like you have a cold. Yeah, I have a cold. Reporter: But they only see each other in person around once a year. Okay, well, missweet cake. We talk all the time. We're very connected. Reporter: And that's as good as being there? I can't, ah, answer that. It's just different. Reporter: I know a lot of people listening to this will want to know, do you love your children? Absolutely. More than anything. Reporter: More than yourself? Should a mother love her children more than herself? Reporter: Taylaa says, confween her and david was causing enormous stress for her and the kids. And that leaving them was the only way to ease that tension. Why so far away? Why did you have to move 3,000 away? Well, at that point, was it ten miles or 3,000 miles or three million miles. It really wouldn't make any difference. Reporter: Well, because at ten miles you could still see the kids and be a presence in their lives. Right, but in order for the conflict to go away, there had to be a certain distance. Reporter: David says there was no conflict and he says talyaa's sudden transformation from stay-at-home mom to west coast bohemian was astonishing. And his friends? They were shocked. It's like, how could a mom leave her children like this? This is something my partner from "20/20," elizabeth vargas is with us now. You were telling me that divorced dads who do this don't face nearly the same backlash. Absolutely. She says there's a double standard that exists. She said, even though she doesn'the mold of a perfect mom, she does fit the role of a terrific divorced dad. So interesting to what they have to say, you can make your own judgement.
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