Working Through Maternity Leave


I read with interest that Yahoo has hired Marissa Mayer who is expecting her first child soon. I congratulate Yahoo for seeing that pregnancy is not an issue.  However there has been much talk of Ms Mayer’s comment that she is only going to have a couple of week’s maternity leave and that she will work all throughout the leave as well.

Many women take less leave after a baby and this is not news. I for one did not, but I am not in the league of Marissa Mayer in earnings or at the CEO level (I wish I was, maybe one day) Why not continue in your field? Have the good job with a great salary. Men don’t get criticised about working hard when they have a new baby, although they are not the person that has the child or will breastfeed.

I for one don’t have a problem that Ms Mayer is going to work throughout her maternity leave, it is a personal choice. Many women don’t have an option but to work when their kids are babies, the family needs to pay the bills somehow.   Someone that has been successful in work has the ability to hire help, nannies, and carers.

Jill Cordes from Fearless Feisty Mama is questioning if women can truly have it all? I do understand and feel that sometimes we cannot, that we can have the career and then the family and then go back to the career.  It never seems to all happen at the same time, however if I had more money and help maybe I could have both?

Currently I am enjoying looking after my girls, and I would not do it differently, but there are moments where I long for work and wonder what I would be doing and what my position/role would be if I continued in the corporate world.  Would I be a manager? Would my earnings be greater? Who knows, it is a guessing game now as I’m a stay at home mummy to my twins.  As you would have read from previous posts, for me to work would do us a financial disservice, so it is better for me to be home with the kids. Also my work is in the city and we are two hours away, just not a good fit right now. So as stated, home educator/carer is better for now, hoping the work will come later.

While writing this my nearly four year old twins want me to play with them, cuddle them and be with them. It is a hard balance, trying to get some things done for you, and spending time with your little ones. I do enjoy playing with the girls, although it does not get a lot done with the house. This is where a cleaner/nanny would come in handy. I could spend time with the kids while hired staff helps me keep the house. Oh how that would be nice… Universe I am putting it out there, when we get rich I want a housekeeper to help with the house.

Jill Cordes does make a good point that you have ideas on how it will be with the baby and reality never equals your ideas of how it was supposed to be. My girls were good and slept well after 3 months, however during their first three months; I was up every 2-3 hours feeding them. They did sleep well in the first three months, but it was just a blur with no sleep and hard. After the first three months they slept about 12-14 hours a night… thank god for that. What would happen if the baby/babies did not sleep had reflux or some other issue?

A quote from Jill Cordes article: “I worry though, that Mayer could also send a message to the rest of the world that women can push through their maternity leave if they want; that all it takes is “a few weeks.” She could ultimately be hurting the case for the majority of us who actually want to enjoy our babies–and take care of them–before returning to the workforce.”   I hope that others don’t see this as the norm in maternity leave and that some people just would rather to work and have less leave, it should be seen on a case by case basis.  Let’s hope that women don’t get pressured to have shorter leave.

I am sure that when Ms Mayer’s first baby comes she will adapt to the new person in her life and make changes accordingly, as the CEO she will have the ability to make changes to her schedule within reason.

With the idea getting work after kids are at school, not sure how this will work – I hope to be able to do something part time or from home. Maybe setting up a business from home might be the way to go? Well you never know.

I see the point of sticking with your great job, why move if it works for you, and they are flexible with family. If I was Marissa Mayer I would not listen to others about her choice, it is up to her and other women in the same situation. Why feel even guiltier about your choice. It is not for me to judge. Do you believe that other women will get pressured to work and have less maternity leave due to this example? Did you take less maternity leave? Did you work through your maternity leave? What are your thoughts? Send in your comments.

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1 Response
  • trish van baast
    July 22, 2012

    It’s all about your individual circumstances. Some can and some can’t – end of story. With two, as you say, the economics are just not there to go to work and your worth is so much greater with the quality time you spend with your two girls. No one can mother the girls as well as you can. Yes, they need the interaction of others but they need their Mum just as much if not more.
    You do have regrets that you’re not in the work force being paid for your efforts but just get back on the round-about of travel work home and you quickly realise how over rated that is and that being at home was pretty good after all! And don’t forget while you’re at work there is always part of your mind wondering ‘whats happening with the kids?’.
    Whichever way you go – the grass is greener syndrome will kick in.

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