CEO of the house

July 20, 2012

I think my husband likes a woman in power. Of course I am the woman in power of our house, but he has been talking a lot about Marissa Mayer. Marissa was recently named the CEO of Yahoo. Two interesting points about her is that she is only 37 and she is pregnant with her first child due in October.

I read the article here.

I think we all, moms, make excuses in our heads for why our decision (to work or not) is the absolute right decision. I think we have to do that to make ourselves feel confident that we are doing right by our kids. And much like many things in life, I’m ambivalent.

For one, I worked very hard (while employed) to make sure that my pregnancy, maternity leave, and return did not get in the way of my employment. I worked very hard to prove to my boss that I was just as good an employee as the others that were not going through this life change. And in some ways, I had to overcompensate to get that message across.

On the flip side, why should anyone have to go through that? Yes, my career was important to me and I have a good work ethic. But the bottom line is that I just brought a human being into the world. Of course being pregnant is going to slow me down and make me less of an employee than those that aren’t. I’m hauling around extra weight, suffering from a variety of discomforts and at times physically ill. Of course being on maternity leave slowed me down. Things happened at work while I was gone that I was not abreast of. Of course coming back to work was challenging. I had a new baby being cared for by strangers, developing a variety of illnesses from being exposed to a slew of germs and trying to pump to keep my supply up.

At the risk of sounding judgmental and not being fair to women’s liberation, it’s hard for me to understand why a company like Yahoo would want to have a CEO (the largest role at the company) that has all this on their plate while in the first six months of what I would imagine is a very grueling job. I find it hard to believe that there was no one else in the world out there that couldn’t possibly do the job that doesn’t have as much personally on their plate.

It’s less hard for me to understand why she would want to put herself under that kind of pressure. At this point she doesn’t have any children and doesn’t fully understand the emotional and physical demands. Although this has to be a very tough decision for her to take on a role that could potentially keep her away from her family, it’s a once in a lifetime offer. She’s clearly been an ambitious woman who I would imagine has dreamt of an opportunity like this.

I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I miss my professional self. I miss that ambitious feeling I had in working to grow my career, I miss that exhilaration I got from work in knowing that I was doing a great job, and I miss having an adult side to myself separate from my kids. But there isn’t a day that goes by that I miss my kids. And on the scale of life, that matters more to me. I just hope for Yahoo’s sake that Marissa doesn’t realize that she discounted that part when accepting the job.

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