So after struggling with whether she should pursue this opportunity, the author left her two young sons and husband in New York to follow her passion.
The resulting memoir is a gripping read: part interviews depicting life after the a-bomb (and the quest to extract those interviews from a culture set on forgetting the horrific events of 1945), and part the story of a woman's acceptance that she is not the kind of wife and mother society thinks she should be.
As I read the book, I managed to reserve judgment of this woman who so beautifully expressed her journey from sleepwalking through life to her awakening. It's not easy subject matter and many have already disagreed with her (some even sending death threats), because as the story unravels so does her marriage and her family unit. No longer seeing herself as part of the picture, Rahna Reiko Rizzuto ultimately chose to have her children move in with their father, whom she later divorced, so that she could pursue her writing and — in her own words — save herself.
I know that to most of you, this sounds insane. You might be thinking, how could she leave her children? But I have to say that for many of us women who are paving a new path, right through traditional mothering and labour division, there are parts that are highly relatable. There are days when being a mother (working out of the home or in the home) is
There are days when, as I discussed on Monday, my husband is a better mom than me, and I don't quite see where I fit in. I am driven in my career and also my personal life; I want to be great at my job and pursue certain aspirations, but I also want to be an excellent mother. And there are many days when those two desires are at odds with one another. Life might be easier if I could just dedicate myself completely to one, but that's just not who I am. What happens when the scales tip one way or the other is a post for another day my friends.
In subsequent articles, Rizzuto raises the question: But wouldn't this be OK if a man had done it? It's tough to answer and, I think, leans towards "yes." Like every great debate, any time someone questions the status quo (particularly around gender), well I applaud those who are brave enough to go first.
Rizzuto's story has a happy ending. She shares custody with her ex-husband and has a good relationship with her sons, who come over after school and on weekends. She finds she's a better mother to them now, because when they're with her she has the energy to give them her full attention. And anyone who has spent a day turning on the TV to Dora so she can check her emails can surely appreciate what that means.
But what do you think? Could you walk away from your family to pursue your heart's dream?