Just when I thought I was letting my blog die a slow death, Sarah Lacy’s recent article on Marissa Mayer’s life as a working mom pulls me back in.
Lacy suggests that women who are critical of Marissa Mayer’s statements that she wasn’t planning to take much of a maternity leave and that her baby is “easy” are “pathetic.” I agree with much of what Lacy says, including that we don't need Marissa Mayer's "permission to decide how to balance career and family," but unlike Lacy, I do think what high-profile working mothers say carries weight with other working mothers whether we like it or not.
Marissa Mayer and I live in the same neighborhood and I drive by her house every day. My kids trick-or-treat at her house on Halloween because not only does she have the best decorations (think Pottery Barn meets the Griswolds and she does it up for every holiday), but she hands out the best (full-size) candy. This year I admit I got a secret thrill from seeing her handing out candy while holding her baby.
She is someone I admire because raising a family and holding a job—high-profile or not—is not easy. It takes a village, and I’m interested in women I admire honestly sharing about what that village looks like.
No, Mayer didn’t thrust herself into the role of being the most highly visible woman in tech,” she IS the most highly visible woman in tech. What she says—whether about babies or Blackberries—matters.