It’s all over the news, but I couldn’t let the opportunity for another slippery-slope discussion pass.
The mother (Rahna Reiko Rizzuto) who left her family and children “to find herself” has elicited quite a stir. If you aren’t familiar with her story, you can see an interview with her on MSNBC.
At first, her story seems shocking. In a nutshell, Mara was a “normal” mother and wife who got the opportunity to go to Japan to research for a book. While there, she says she “grew and discovered things about herself”, namely, that she never did want to be a mother anyway. She says she had “lost herself” in motherhood and so decided to come home, divorce her husband and give him primary custody of their two sons, then ages 3 and 5. (She lives nearby now and has joint custody with her boys–a few hours a week.)
But in another way, it’s not shocking at all; I think she simply has been more honest and that honesty is what shocks us. Haven’t we been “disconnecting” with our children for a long time? Becoming more and more comfortable with it? Birth control made it easy to avoid motherhood if one chooses. That swung wide the door for killing our babies to avoid motherhood. Many more are “finding themselves” while others raise their children, since we elevated “equal opportunities” to the status of “You do what makes you happy, regardless the cost” and simultaneously stripped the guilt away. The difference is that Reiko simply told the truth without apology: “I like me more”.
And in the name of choice and rights, we are all expected to be OK with it. Because it’s HER choice, right? But remember my favorite tattoo slogan? “Your choices affect me.”
In the above interview, when asked “Do you think you would have left your family if you hadn’t gone to Japan”, she answered…
“I don’t think so…I probably would have never looked up and said, ‘Whoa…I did that thing that I didn’t want to do which was give up my life for someone else’.”
To be fair, this statement appalls me, but that’s only coming from a Christian perspective where the very essence of our faith is to “lose your life to save it”. I don’t know if Ms. Rizzuto claims to be a Christian, so her statement really isn’t appalling if she is not. It has become the mantra of our culture, like it or not.
The interview also asks the advice of a “relationship therapist” who throws in the guilt punch to those who may look poorly on Reiko’s choice,
“I think we can be very judgmental about what motherhood looks like…we think there’s only one way to mother…”
Huh? As in, another “way” to mother is to not be a mother at all?
And the point of my post, I guess, is to reiterate what I hope is obvious–one small step leads to another. One “harmless” shift leads to the next. And soon the “unthinkable” is reality and we are supposed to tolerate it (because otherwise we are mean, narrow-minded and judgemental) which then leads to normalcy.
The most benign thing that will likely come of this mother’s decision is that in her old age, when she finds herself in need of comfort, or maybe simple companionship, or maybe she needs to be fed, or helped with her daily needs, her sons will most likely be “finding themselves” with no time to waste on “giving up their lives” for her.
And the spiral downward continues…we reap what we sow.