My son sent me two links of Moms who left their children and are trying to convince you it was the right thing. My first response, like most people's was Holy Cow. Their stories are different. They excited enormous controversy.
But you know me, I like to look for other sides and unusual aspects of an issue.
1. My third, fourth, and fifth sons had worse mothers than this. Lots of kids in America have worse mothers than this. What is setting us off is the self-justification and rationalisation of it all. What we expect, when women leave their children in some less-direct...or heck, when either parent leaves their children in some less-direct way, that there will be some acknowledgment that it's a bad thing. They blame someone else for the bad thing, or have elaborate reasons why it couldn't have gone any differently, but not a denial of the wrongness. Openly rejecting common values just irks us.
2. The first woman, Rahna Reiko Rizzuto, had an extended absence from parenting and decided she couldn't gear up to go back to it. Perhaps many of us might find the same trouble were we in her shoes, and it doesn't pay to throw stones. We had always gone on family camping vacations that still involved a lot of work, and could never afford to stay in hotels and eat out. We went on a vacation in 1992 that involved staying in hotels and eating out, and I have never quite recovered from that. I have mildly resented cooking, cleaning, and shopping ever since. I want that magical land where I have enough money and people just take care of my daily needs while I go play. I am quite serious when I say that my character deteriorated a little after that and has never quite rebounded. Yes, if I went away on book research for months, I am a person obsessed enough with duty that I would have thrown myself back into parenting upon return. But I bet I would have quietly resented it and pined for my lost life.
3. The second one, Talyaa Liera, claims she had tried to be a "supermom," but the examples she gives of that - late breastfeeding, lots of effort for organic food, losing sleep to write stories for them, driving great distances for Waldorf school - are not central to what most people have considered "parenting" for a thousand generations. She put enormous effort into being a good hippie parent, doing things that pleased other women in her set, and her own ideas of what was important. It may be that she never really had nor caught the idea of what being a parent is all about. I don't know if someone had convinced her to Just Be The Mommy it would have worked out any differently. Maybe she was never interested in that part and was only interested in the hippie parts of it to begin with. (Her website would suggest that.)
4. The comments at Shine - well, the first forty or so - are an interesting example of people immediately concluding that all this just goes to show what they had already believed about parenting was true. They know exactly what the problem is, and these women just prove it. Except they all have a different idea of what, precisely, has been proven. The data can be made to fit many theories, apparently.