Opinion Brief

The 'self-serving' mom who gave dad the kids in the divorce

A woman ignites a new motherhood battle by conceding primary custody of her sons to her ex-husband... and saying it made her a better mom

Rahna Reiko Rizzuto stirred up a spirited debate on parenting blogs this week with a personal account of her divorce, and her decision to give her ex-husband primary custody of their two young sons. Rizzuto, an author, says she "never wanted to be a mother" in the traditional sense of the role, so her latest choice benefited everyone. She lives down the block, sees her kids every day, and has gone from being an "overwhelmed" live-in mom to a "damn good" part-time mom. Did she do the right thing?

No, she did the selfish thing: Rizzuto is spouting a bunch of "self-serving excuses," says Lindsay Cross at Stilettos and Motherhood. She says her "part-time motherhood" is awesome — "I bet." Hanging out with your sons after school and being their buddy is bound to be way "more fun than actual parenting." But responsibility comes with the territory, and so does the hard work that Rizzuto apparently thinks is beneath her.
"Daily rant: Screw you, random Salon contributor"

Hey, if it works, great: Good for Rizzuto, says John Cave Osborne at Strollerderby. She recognized that "traditional motherhood" was a bad fit for her, so she found a better alternative. She didn't "duck tail and leave," and "if caring parents are plugged in and the situation is working for the kids, there is no wrong way."
"Woman leaves the kids, gives ex primary custody. Is she a bad mom?"

Rizzuto's attitude is shocking, but she's getting results: "Shared custody is one thing," says Anna North at Jezebel. But Rizzuto breaks a "pretty big taboo" when she admits she "never wanted kids." That might explain some of the angry reaction. But the important thing is "whether a family is happy and healthy," and "Rizzuto's family appears to have gotten there."
"The stigma of the mom who leaves"

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