'Shame' of home alone holiday mum
A mother who left her young daughters home alone while she jetted off to Spain has spoken of the moment her "head blew" and she walked out.
The woman, 38, flew to Malaga after a row with her children, 11 and 14, and left them £30.
She was given a suspended jail sentence at Merthyr Crown Court after admitting exposing the children to unnecessary suffering or injury to health.
The mother, of Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf, said: "I'm really ashamed."
As she was sentenced to 26 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months, Judge Eleri Rees told the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, she could not "opt in and out of being a parent".
Speaking after the court case, the mother said she had a "mental breakdown".
The woman said she had been working two jobs for 16 hours a day, caring for her two youngest children and looking after her sister, who had mental health issues and who was staying with them.
She had also started taking drugs with her sister.
"She [her sister] just lay in bed all day. I'd come home, my house would be a tip. She wouldn't do nothing and it was bickering and bickering all the time," she told BBC Radio Wales.
"She would be texting me [saying] they're doing this and they would be texting me [saying] she's doing that and my head just blew in the end, I just couldn't take any more."
Describing the moment she left her children, she said: "I had done a 16-hour shift, my children were there waiting for me and they were just sort of screaming at me, they didn't let me have my say. So I just went upstairs, just chucked a few things in a bag, didn't know where I was going.
"I wandered around for hours and hours and then I just ended up in Cardiff Airport. I didn't know where I was going, I just asked what was the next available flight."
After being given a choice of the Irish Republic, Scotland or Spain, she ended up in Malaga.
"I just walked the beaches day on end. And I woke up the next morning not on a beach, on a motorway - didn't know where I was," she said.
"I didn't have any money, I just sold every part of jewellery I had to book a hostel for two days."
She eventually contacted her daughter, who said her grandmother would help her to return home, which she did five days after leaving.
Police were waiting for her at the airport.
While she had been away, her family had stepped in to care for the girls.
The children are still being cared for by relatives.
The mother said her daughters had forgiven her.
"They know I have suffered a mental breakdown," she said.
"They come and visit me now, I speak on the phone every night to them. They have been great to me so far, fair play." THE BBC