Wheeeee! I am very pleased to have an article published at The Wheeler Centre – “The Most Powerful Pregnant Woman on the Planet”, where I am discussing the controversy around Yahoo CEO, Marissa Mayer’s pregnancy announcement: “I like to stay in the rhythm of things. My maternity leave will be a few weeks long and I’ll work throughout it” .
Mayer is taking maternity leave (or not taking it) in one of only four countries remaining without a universal paid parental leave scheme. Australia has not long left that dismal list. When Mayer talks about maternity leave as something brief and something that she can work throughout, and her quote receives international attention, you can forgive mothers in the US for being a little jumpy.
Her statement, as well as communicating a sense of work pressure, also suggests a couple of things about mothering. The first is that mothering is not all that captivating; it will not compete with the rewards of a CEO job. The second is that mothering is, if not easy, then at least not particularly skilled work, because it is something that can be combined (even in the first weeks) with another, more demanding, job. In fact, mothering may be ideally complemented by – how shall we say it? – a more cerebral job.