Everybody’s Mad Because Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer Will Take a Shortened Maternity Leave

Marissa Mayer Yahoo CEO Portrait

And This Is Everybody’s Business, Because…?

Oh, the internet has been abuzz all week about newly appointed Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer deciding to take a shortened maternity leave. 

Mayer stepped down from her position as a Google executive, and at 28-weeks pregnant, was named CEO of Yahoo. Yep. A major corporation hired a 37-year old pregnant woman to run their company. Yahoo, if you’re listening, I’d like to give you a virtual high five right now for being so awesomely progressive. 

Mayer, who is due to deliver her baby boy in October, says she plans on taking a shortened maternity leave. “I like to stay in the rhythm of things,” she explains. “My maternity leave will be a few weeks long and I’ll work throughout it.”

And of course, it seems everyone and their mom has an opinion about this. This is perhaps Mayer’s first lesson in motherhood: You will be criticized for every parenting decision you make. From breastfeeding, to co-sleeping, to working, to not working, to organic vs. non-organic, to which side you part your child’s hair on, everyone has an opinion. And when you maintain a public profile and the People of the Internet get involved? Well, that’s when the crazies and their claws come out. 

I’ve seen comments saying she’s going to give her child Reactive Attachement Disorder, or that she should just give her baby up for adoption. 

And to this I say, “Mind your own freaking business.” 

Listen, this woman is in a high-powered postition and works for a Silicon Valley giant. I can only imagine the kind of childcare and working enviroment options she has. Also, to all the haters, way to support women’s rights because you know that whole “having a family and a career” thing the women’s lib movement worked so hard for? Well, this is what it looks like. 

Is taking a shortened maternity leave really that terrible? First, all women are legally entitled to a 6-week maternity leave. But guess what? It’s unpaid. I sure wish I could have afforded to take 6 weeks off after I had my children and I’m guessing many of the other regular working mamas out there didn’t have that luxury, either. 

Even if Mayer can afford to take more time off, and I’m guessing she can, maybe she doesn’t want to. Both motherhood and her new career are incredible opportunities and perhaps she’s just trying to juggle both the best she can.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but my “maternity leave” with my second baby lasted 3 days. You know why? That’s how long I had until the hospital had to practically kick me out and send me back home to my 2.5-year old. So, any mother who has more than one child really doesn’t get any kind of maternity leave at all. And is Mayer’s shortened leave worse than that? If anything, is seems better. Trust me – I would not have minded having a couple of weeks alone with my second child, but dems da breaks. 

Finally, Mayer is having a baby. She’s not dying. If she’s a career-oriented go-getter by nature, then working is her thing. It’s what makes her tick and it’s her passion in life. Does that mean she doesn’t deserve to fufill her wish for having a family, too? Because I can tell you right now, that if she were a man, NO ONE would be questioning the length of paternity leave. 

I suppose, to sum it all up, all I really want to say is: Being a mom is hard. It’s harder when people gang up on you and judge you for your decisions. Every mother is trying to do what’s right for her family and it’s no one’s business.

I admire Mayer for her dedication to both her job and her family and I wish her well on both of the journeys she’s about to embark on. 

How about you?