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Tracey From ‘Married At First Sight’ Is Leaving Her Daughter Behind For Love

OPINION: "It’s difficult to understand how any parent could move that far away from their child, for any reason"

Tracey Jewel managed to exit this season’s MAFS mess with something like a halo atop her glossy brunette head. The author of three books about harnessing your ‘inner Goddess’ (‘Don’t Mess With The Goddess’, ‘The Goddess Within Workshop Journal’ and ‘Goddess Within – 50 Inspirations to Open Up Your Goddess Energy’) laid down the law with sneaky Dean Wells at the last hurdle, telling the 39-year-old creative director that he “didn’t deserve” her – to almost universal applause.

But now the 35-year-old Perth mum is making a move that might shake that halo off its axis. She told New Idea this week that she’s leaving her eight-year-old daughter with the little girl’s father in Perth to move to Melbourne with her new love, fellow MAFS contestant Sean Thomsen. 

“We are moving to Melbourne!” she gushed to the magazine. “When we move there,
 I want to focus on my writing and Sean’s almost qualified as a personal trainer. I’ll travel to Perth regularly to see my daughter and she’ll come here on school holidays.” 

It’s difficult to understand how any parent could move that far away from their child, for any reason. Parental separations are an inevitable fact of life, as are parents finding new partners. Neither of these things are problematic in themselves, if handled with sensitivity. But unless there are exceptional circumstances, a child not only needs regular contact with both parents, but they also need to feel that their parent is prioritising that contact above anything else. Without it, the child at a risk of suffering from the effects of abandonment: low self-esteem, control issues and difficulty in forming relationships into adulthood.

Even if Tracey has a custody arrangement with her daughter’s father that means she lives more with him than her, even if that arrangement is something that the child has chosen or agreed to herself, she still needs the adults around her to be adults. That little girl still needs to have a sense that her mother is nearby and there whenever she needs her. 

Even more confusingly, Tracey and Sean both live in Perth now. There doesn’t seem to be any compelling reason why Sean can’t be a personal trainer and Tracey can’t keep dispensing her goddess bot mots from the west coast. Why Melbourne? Why now?

As I write this, I’m aware that I’m committing an inexcusable sin of digital writing when it comes to women – particularly mothers. “Don’t judge!” is the inevitable cry. The problem with the ‘don’t judge’ mantra that we’re supposed to blindly accept anything a parent does without question, even when a child is at risk. Judging breastfeeding or sleep schedules is not the same as feeling genuine concern for a kid’s emotional health.

As Tracey would be the first to attest, a goddess should always speak her truth. And right now my truth is speaking up for a little girl who needs someone to be the adult in the room.

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