If you saw Rahna Reiko Rizzuto on the Today show this morning, you may have thought, “Hmm, that lady is just like me; a wife, mother, career woman” until you heard the rest of the story.
You see, 10 years ago, Rahna was deeply entrenched in home and work life when she got an opportunity to travel overseas without her family. And while there she decided, motherhood was not for her – so she stayed, leaving behind her two young children.
Moment of truth here. When I first heard this story I thought “How SELFISH! How on earth could she do that?” My other concern was about how it affected her children. Would they feel rejected after learning their mother felt she was not up to the task? But as I continued watching, I began to identify with Rahna. As I’ve said before, when I first got the job on the morning show in New York, I left my family in Texas. I wish you could have seen the looks on people’s faces when I told them that. Many looked at me like I had suddenly sprouted a third eye! Unlike Rahna’s situation, I was home every weekend and I knew we would be together sooner rather than later. I had no intention of leaving them for good.
Rahna and her ex-husband now have a very workable situation that involves her having visitation with her now teenager kids while her ex-husband maintains primary custody. The therapist with Rahna on the Today show said some interesting things, but the one that stayed with me was the notion that there is no one way / correct way to mother and you know that’s how we think around here. She also spoke of the need for us all to figure out what works best – not just for the children but also the mother because if the mother is not fulfilled, the children are impacted. Wow, we really are all drinking from the same well.
Meredith mentioned that Rahna’s story had drawn a lot of comments, many of them critical, accusing her of being selfish. But I have to ask, would we think the same of a man who reached a similar conclusion? I don’t think so.
Okay so let’s debate. How do you feel about a woman who leaves her children after deciding motherhood is not for her? What’s the longest you would leave your kids for your career? A week? A month? A year?
Let’s hear it!