Rhiannon Ally is a busy woman. The The KSHB-TV news anchor co-anchors the 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts at 41 Action News with her husband, Mike Marusarz. She has two small children, and a third little one due in October. She and Marusarz also have a four-legged baby they affectionately call their firstborn: their dog McCoy.
With a growing family and a demanding career, she still had room on her plate for one more achievement. Something she says she’s in love with: her new children’s book!
This August, Ally released her first children’s book, Mommy, Please Don’t Go to Work! The title is something that nearly all parents and caregivers can relate to. “Almost all working moms have those moments with their kids and their kids just want to be with them,” said Ally. “And it’s hard. And they don’t understand why mommy has to go to work.”
She drew on her own experience. Not only is she a working mother, she was raised by one in her hometown of Raytown. “I saw how hard she worked. She would have to take me to a babysitter’s house at 4 in the morning so she could go to work at a book-binding factory.”
Ally found herself on the other side of that experience when her son Roman was first learning how to talk. She has often worked non-traditional hours in her 10-plus years as a journalist. That meant time away from family. “I would go home to put Roman to bed and we would start talking. He would ask ‘will you be here if I wake up?’ And I would have to tell him, ‘Mommy has to go back to work’ and he would beg me every single night ‘Mommy please don’t go to work.’”
Ally will discuss and sell Mommy, Please Don’t Go to Work at the Plaza Branch of the Kansas City Public Library next Wednesday, August 29th. The event begins at 6:30 and is free but RSVP is strongly encouraged.
Not only will she talk about the book, but in a twist Ally’s husband, Mike Marusarz will be doing the interview. While they are going to come up with some questions beforehand, Ally makes it very clear the event will not be scripted. “We want to have a real conversation.”
In their more-than-10 year marriage the couple has lived and worked in major television markets nationwide, including New York City and Miami. Their shared goal was always to work in the top 10 news market. But life changed their goal.
“The goal wasn’t always to come back to KC. The goal changed when we had kids,” she matter-of-factly says. “We wanted to be close to family.”
With a third child due this fall, Ally says she’s grateful to be living near family once again. She understands the stress and guilt that nearly all working parents feel, and challenges faced when other family members aren’t nearby.
Ally hopes everyone who attends the event will be able to connect with a roomful of other working parents. “They’re not alone. Dads feel it too, and I promise we are not alone.”