Remember that time when Marissa Mayer made headlines for 1) getting hired by Yahoo to be their new CEO, 2) announcing that oh-by-the-way, she's pregnant, and 3) adding that she'd be taking just the teensiest working maternity leave -- remember that craziness? Well, Marissa has come out the other side. She's had her baby, she's still CEO of Yahoo, and yeah, that maternity leave was super short. Also? Just so you know, slacker moms? She says her baby is totes easy.
Okay, deep breath everyone. I know a lot of us want to storm Yahoo headquarters with flaming torches and pitchforks over her high-powered working mom nonchalance. Why, parenting a baby! It's so easy! I could do it in my sleep! You know, the three or so hours I get every night? Oh don't worry, there's plenty of fury being directed at Marissa Mayer right now. But you know what? Maybe she's on to something.
I think Marissa's big secret to success has been to pretend she's a dad. That's right, instead of thinking like a mom (GUILT GUILT GUILT, RESPONSIBILITY, RESPONSIBILITY, RESPONSIBILITY, HEARTSTRINGS, HEARTSTRINGS, HEARTSTRINGS), she's said, "Screw all that!" And she's treating parenthood like billions of fathers before her have.
I mean, think about it: When has a man ever been hired to a prominent position just as he's about to become a father and anyone has ever even mentioned it? Exactly never! No one asks if he's returning too soon. No one questions if he's doing other fathers a disservice. He just shows up! And all anyone wants to talk about is whether he's an awesome CEO or not.
As for Marissa, she's probably hired herself a wife. Hell, she's probably hired two or three wives -- in the form of nannies and personal assistants. And you know what? Good for her because she can. More power to her. It's not even remotely the way I want to parent, but I'm not Marissa Mayer. I'm me. I'm doing my thing. Can't we just let her do her thing?
As a feminist and a mother, I feel it's important for me to accept Marissa's life choices without judgment. We like making our own choices, right? Well, those are the choices she's made. And I would hope she would be respectful of women and men at her company who make different choices. Oh yeah -- some men are starting to act more like moms and they're taking parental leave!
Everyone seems worried that Marissa is going to set a bad precedence for the rest of us. OMG, if Marissa goes back to work after two weeks and makes working motherhood look EZ, we'll be expected to do the same thing! Goodbye, hard-won work/family balance laws. Goodbye understanding employers.
But your employers aren't idiots. (Well, probably not most of them, anyway.) Everyone knows she's the exception that proves the rule -- that's why she's CEO in the first place, instead of, say, a blogger at The Stir. We know her choices are possible only because she has mountains of moolah. And yeah, mentioning these points over and over again is a smart thing to do lest any of the more opportunistic dinosaurs amongst us draw the wrong conclusions. But I refuse to throw rocks at Marissa for "ruining" it for the rest of us employed moms. She's just redefining motherhood the way she wants to.
Just keep one more thing in mind: Someday Marissa will be the mother of a teenager. And no amount of money can make THAT easier.
Do you think it hurts employed moms when Marissa Mayer says her baby is easy?
Image via Fortune