My thoughts on Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and maternity leave

(A few people have asked me if they can just send me coffee money for the writing process. You can Paypal me at I will happily accept your coffee money, but please don't feel obliged!)

Marissa Mayer is the new CEO of Yahoo, and she's pregnant with her first child, and she's announced that she plans to take only a few weeks at home after the birth and continue working the entire time.

There are a bunch of angles to this story. Annie at PhD in Parenting covers a lot of them, so I'm just going to tell you the first few things I thought when I heard the story:

1. It's her first baby. She doesn't know what the experience is like yet. Combine this with...

2. She might really love her job. If I had another baby, of COURSE I'd be writing again right away. I love writing. It's how I am. I'd also be generating ideas like I always do. It would blend together with taking care of the baby, because not being allowed to think or write or talk to people about the projects we're doing would be ludicrous. If Mayer loves her job, OF COURSE she's going to be answering emails and talking to her staff and all of that stuff.

Compartmentalizing--telling women they have to do nothing but take care of their babies, or nothing but go to work all day for 9 hours and not think of their children--is weird and harmful. A mother is still a person. People have things they love to do, that they can't help doing. If you imagined your ideal day, you wouldn't restrict your thoughts to only one topic.

3. I'm happy she has the luxury to find out what mix is right for her. If, on Day 3, she slows down her work because she needs to focus more on the baby (or physical recovery or any of the other zillion things that can happen postpartum), she can do that. If her baby is a breeze and she has an easy recovery and her brain migrates more toward work and she's ready to go back to the office sooner than she thought, she can do that. She can adjust, once she finds out how it's going for her. Most of us can't do that. But if we had the chance, I would hope we'd take that opportunity.

4. No matter what she does, someone's going to be mad at her.

Not me. I'm glad she has the chance to do what she wants to do. I wish all of us did.