Ah Mau, whose family returned to New Zealand earlier this season, was forced to make a choice to leave the hub or remain in Australia indefinitely after the New Zealand government agreed to suspend the travel bubble between the two countries following Covid outbreaks on Australia's east coast.
"I couldn't keep lying to the kids," Ah Mau told NRL.com
"I'd be telling them I was coming home, but I didn't know when and my four-year-old is pretty sharp, she'd be into to me, saying I wasn't keeping my promise.
"She was pretty over me at that point.
Honoured to be a part of the farewell Haka for Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Leeson Ah Mau this morning.
Our Kiwi Stars joined in as they said goodbye from the Gold Coast. pic.twitter.com/gz4YRcdm5O
— Ken Behren Raiders (@RaidersCanberra) July 29, 2021
"We had the meeting in the morning and with no guarantee of when we were going to be home, and talk it could've been November or December, it all unfolded so quickly.
"I spoke to Browny [coach Nathan Brown] and Cam [CEO Cameron George] at dinner time that night and everyone was really understanding about my situation.
"The Warriors were so good about everything and I was lucky enough to have my family come over when we were based in Terrigal.
"They went home in the bye weekend and then we moved up to Brisbane with the rest of the competition. We were all sweet with that, but if I'd stayed, the way we were talking about December, family just has to come first and it's always going to be my number one priority.
"There's a lot of people who are in much worse positions than us, I don't want to be ungrateful at all, it was just the choice we faced and I'd make the same call again."
The 31-year-old played every game for the Warriors in 2021 before returning home prior to Round 20. In total, he has made 223 career appearances. Ah Mau is uncontracted beyond this season, but hasn't considered retirement, instead training in New Zealand hoping to return across the ditch next season.
I'm definitely not retiring," Ah Mau said.
"I was coming home for the family reasons. I want to keep playing and I know that means moving overseas to Australia.
"I'd like to think my experience is a selling point.
"I've been lucky enough to play a very long time in the NRL and I've still got a lot to offer, I'd like to pass on some things I've learned along the way."