Marissa Mayer gave birth to identical twin girls yesterday. This makes three children for the Yahoo! CEO and husband, Zachary Bogue, as their daughters join big brother Macallister, age three. Her announcement was met with derision from the internet, snidely labeling her a callous and uncaring mother for returning to work so soon. The reactions prove there’s no one more despised than a mother successful in her career.
Mayer is known for the controversial two-week maternity leave she took after the birth of her first child and has hinted it will be the same deal this time around telling People, “Since my pregnancy has been healthy and uncomplicated and since this is a unique time in Yahoo’s transformation, I plan to approach the pregnancy and delivery as I did with my son three years ago.”
Which is totally her prerogative as a mother, woman and professional with a high-profile job at a company currently in a period of transition. And even if it weren’t — it’s still her business how long she wants to take off after having a baby. The fact is, no one has any idea what kind of support system Mayer has at home. Not that she needs to explain it or qualify her family’s choices to anyone else.
And let’s keep in mind who she is. She’s not going back to a mid-level job working in a cubicle. She’s in the top spot at one of the longest-running companies on the internet and by all accounts, it isn’t doing well right now. It makes sense that she would want to be back to business as soon as possible to fulfill her duties. It’s not as though there are tons of employees who can step in to cover for a CEO. Her presence is critical to the company and she’s doing what she feels should be done.
Never mind the fact that Mayer very publicly shared that she had a nursery and nanny next door to her office after Macallister was born. Or that none of the nitty gritty details of how she handles her childcare situation are anyone’s business. The internet still felt the need to shame this woman for having the gall to be dedicated to her career while daring to have children too. If our society truly feels women “can’t have it all,” it’s only because assholes like these exist:
Well, we know what her priorities are, and it’s not staying home and being a mommy. When her children are suddenly teenagers, I wonder if she’ll regret not spending more time with them. She can’t get back those precious years.
Don’t worry, she’ll see the kids plenty after work. 7pm until 8pm bedtime? That’s a lot you guys! I hope she doesn’t plan on working from home tonight, all those emails can wait until tomorrow morning when she’s back at the office to answer. Hey kids BYE! Didn’t you know Mommy’s a big shot?
Dear Mom, We were wondering if you could wait until our umbilical cords were cut before running back to work? What’s that, you’re the CEO? Ok. Maybe you’ll be home in time to put us to bed tonight? No? Ok that’s fine. We were hoping you might rock us to sleep before our naps. Pardon? You can’t, you’re at the office? Ok no problem. See you on the weekend? Oh you can’t, you have work to do? Ok. Sounds good. Love, the twins.
To me, the POINT of working is to make money so my family has a good life. At least that’s what it became once I had kids. She has enough money now that she can afford to stop. Isn’t that the point? If not, tell me what is. To work yourself to death and see your babies an hour or two a day, for WHAT exactly?? Use your passion and drive for your family. Be involved (once they’re bigger) in school council, coach their sports team, teach them the ways of the world. Babies don’t give a crap if you’re working because it’s your “passion”. They just know you aren’t there. To me, to have enough money to not have to work and to leave them and do it anyway, is bloody ridiculous. And that goes for men and women, not just Marissa. How could anyone dispute that? Once you have kids, your life is devoted to THEM. Not yourself anymore.
These remarks come from the People article announcing the birth and are thoroughly disgusting. Would a male CEO ever be questioned and insulted in this manner? Of course not. No one is wondering how Mark Zuckerberg will handle work and family. Granted, he’s taking a long paternity leave, but he owns his company and it’s doing well right now. Mayer is probably doing the best she can balancing work and family, just like the rest of us. But because she’s a mom, she’s being openly criticized for it.
None of the comments tearing her apart are fair for a number of reasons but the main one is that none of us even know what Mayer’s schedule is like. Whether she can have the babies at work with her, if she can work remotely or if she keeps a part-time schedule at first. Not that it should matter anyway as it’s no one’s place to question her devotion to her children, but she’s being ripped to shreds on the basis of very little information.
The fact is, Mayer is probably screwed either way. If she took a longer maternity leave, people would lash out about how women shouldn’t have high-level positions if they need to take several months off for the birth of their children. She decides to get back to work quickly, so now she’s an awful mother. Of course. She’s trying to keep pace in an industry largely dominated by men where she’s worked her ass off to attain her current status as CEO. Instead of shaming her, we should be applauding Mayer for doing what works for her and her family. But sadly, it seems moms can’t win no matter what they do. There are so many who hate seeing a woman succeed at both career and motherhood. And are only too happy to say so.