It should be noted that she now has them for six hours a week and it's quality time. Instead of just being together, they use the time to cook together and do homework and she's a better mother for that six hours than she could have been full-time. (Insert gagging sound here.)
Oh, and just so you know, her children, who are now teenagers aren't suffering. They're happy and well-adjusted and now they get a better mother than they otherwise would have. (This would be a good place to roll your eyes.)
Oh, and if they have any issues later in life because of their mother's abandonment, there's therapy that can help them get through that and they'll be fine. (Watch the interview, you'll see I'm not misrepresenting her or her therapist co-guest.)
Oh, and she wrote a book. Big deal. That doesn't make you all that interesting or important. I'm not sure she deserved to make all of her decisions based on herself. She wasn't that impressive.
I've had a really hard time getting this interview off my mind. As I watched it, I noticed that Ms. Rizzuto hardly ever smiled. She didn't seem happy to me. She justified, rationalized, talked about her own worth and how she didn't want to lose herself, but the self she'd found didn't seem happy at all. Maybe she was a really crappy mother and maybe her kids are better off without her. That isn't the point. To me, the point is that where there's a high degree of selfishness, there doesn't seem to be a high degree of contentment, satisfaction, and joy.
There's such a difference between making ourselves A priority and making ourselves THE priority. I make myself a priority by making time for a nice, long bath, by sometimes ignoring a messy house and reading a book, by spending quality time (usually a lot more than six hours a week) with my husband and children. I make myself a priority by occasionally buying myself some See's chocolates, talking with friends on the phone or making a Costco lazagna instead of a big dinner from scratch. I make myself a priority by taking a nap when I feel really, really tired, watching a movie or TV show I want to watch or wasting some time playing a video game.
All of these things take care of me. When I'm not around my kids I miss them. A lot. I can't imagine that not having them around would make me happier or more fulfilled. The value of my life is increased because I'm their mom. That's not all I am, but it's the most important thing that I am.
I could leave them and go out into the world and try to affect lives and make a difference. Or I can make a difference here in my little piece of the world and hopefully send out four well-adjusted, unselfish and loved people into the world to make a difference.
It isn't just about me anymore. And if it were, how pathetic would that be? I'm just not interesting enough to make it all about me.
And in my opinion, neither was she.