When one man’s tweet kept radio personality Susan Keogh up at night, she knew she needed to respond. The mom to Faith, 4, blocked the offending tweeter, but she remembers the tweet. “It basically said, ‘If you miss your kid while you’re at work so much, you probably should give up your job,’” Keogh told ABC News on Thursday.
The Irish mom’s open letter back to the troll, which she tweeted on Jan. 29, has been liked more than 1,500 times.
The working mom’s full letter is below:
The Dublin newscaster said she was moved to write the response because moms face so much criticism, and it takes a toll. "It’s difficult because you always second-guess yourself as a mom and you’re hoping the decisions you make now won’t have ill effect down the line but nobody has a crystal ball and all you can do is do your best,” she said. "If I was a stay-at-home mom, I’d have the same fears.“
Keogh stresses the importance of her daughter seeing her make positive choices for herself. "I want her to see me as a fully functioning person,” she said. “She’s the heart and soul of me, but I have other things to do. I don’t work so she has some brilliant career. I just want her to do whatever makes her happy down the line.”
The letter wasn’t wholly meant for the twitter troll, but also so that Keogh could air some feelings. “I just hope women who are mothers, whether they found it’s best for them to stay at home or go out and work, do whatever they feel it’s best to do,” she said. “What annoyed me is that guy judged me and I really don’t want to judge anyone.”
The feedback Keogh has received hasn’t all been positive. “I was told I was overreacting and that I shouldn’t choose a future ski trip over spending time with my child now,” she told Today FM, but she’s also gotten big support from around the world with messages coming in from the U.K., the U.S., Brazil, and Italy, to name a few. “I was called ‘an awesome mama’, ‘a hero’ and ‘a role model,’” she said, “none of which I am. But I am doing my best to be a good Mum and have a career.”
Many of the responses to Keogh have one common thread: Moms are feeling judged. “I’ve heard from women who feel judged for having a career, those who feel judged for staying at home, stories of conflict, turmoil and lot and lots of guilt,” she said. “I read some of those messages with tears in my eyes — just to know that other people feel the same.”
Keogh added that she’s “completely floored by the reaction – moved and overwhelmed.” And while she doesn’t know what the answer is or how women can stop the judgment and guilt, she said she’s glad people are talking about it. “Surely that’s a start.”
(Top photo: facebook.com/susan1molloy)