You may have heard about Yahoo’s new CEO, Marissa Mayer, and how they hired her knowing she is pregnant… and that she’s planning to work through her maternity leave. If you haven’t heard about it, I’m going to assume that your internet has been down until this very moment because everyone seems to be talking about it. And I wish they would stop for two very specific reasons:
- People have been giving kudos to Yahoo for hiring a woman they knew was pregnant. Why am I not high-fiving them? Because it is the law, people! Not that they have to hire her, but that they can’t use her pregnancy as a reason not to. Yes, I realize there are jerks out there who will say “Oh, she wasn’t the right person… her pregnancy… I mean her resume…” But Yahoo wanted her so they hired her. I follow a lot of rules in a day and no one gives me kudos, so I’m not going to give into this “Yahoo is a hero” thing unless they are going to give into the “Michelle is a hero for not jaywalking” thing.
- I know that Marissa Mayer is planning to work through her maternity leave. Yes, I saw it… about eleventy-bazillion times. I’m a working mom and I took three months off after Sweet D was born, and I’m glad I did. It was the best thing for me. Does that mean Marissa Mayer should do the same thing? I am so freaking tired of the media creating situations that pit parents against one another. While there are aspects of my life that I wish everyone would adopt (namely my political views), I am not going to judge one mom for choosing to work through maternity leave just because that wasn’t ideal for me. In exchange I ask that moms not judge me for going back to work after three months.
Marissa Mayer is a role model for moms for one reason: She’s doing what she wants to do and what’s best for her family. She is working because she loves her work. She is having a baby because she wants a family. She’s not a good or bad role model because of how long her maternity leave is or isn’t; and Yahoo isn’t a good or bad company because they chose to hire her. I respect her for living her life as she wants to live it. Is her decision helping or hurting women everywhere? Maybe, but only by saying that there are a lot of ways to be a mom.
(Get ready… I’m going to go there…)
For those who are concerned about the example Marissa is setting for her child, perhaps consider what type of example you are setting as you show your kids that it is ok to judge other people.