Yahoo CEO Skipping Mat Leave: Superwoman Or Role Model For Burnout?

//Yahoo CEO Skipping Mat Leave: Superwoman Or Role Model For Burnout?
marissa mayer sitting pretty

Confident Mom: Marissa Mayer

Yahoo CEO, Marissa Mayer doesn’t need maternity leave, all she needs is passion for her job and a can-do attitude.  Mayer, one of 18 women heading Fortune 500 companies has announced that she will not be taking leave from work after giving birth to her son in October because she wants to keep in the “rhythm of things”.  Of course, being of of few high profile female business leaders has its pressures and it is understandable that she wants to stay in synergy with her workplace, but it raises the question about just how far our ambitions push us.

So, why am I writing about this on a holistic beauty blog?  Well, I wonder how this can affect our perceptions of what a woman’s role is in the modern corporate world, and how this will affect our well being.

While Mayer is obviously a very driven, competent woman, it worries me that her decision reveals a shift towards forgoing time for health recuperation in the name of being career focused.  A very Pitta move, it concerns me that a high profile business professional like Mayer sets a precedence for working women.  Will we begin to the need to skip personal time off in order to appear competitive?  And how will women who don’t share her confidence feel with this as a possible new norm?

Because, believe you me, pregnancy, then giving birth, then child rearing is no side hobby.  I’ve seen many professional working mothers come into Pure + Simple tired, depleted and badly in need of some R and R.  In my opinion, we need to emphasize more work/life balance and that maternity/ paternity leave is a nice break in order to adjust to parenting and set up a family structure to support this.

Saying this, Marissa Mayer is also the same person who said she only needs four to six hours a night of sleep.  Mayer says that the feeling  her work is important and sacred keeps her “running”.  Sounds like she’s prepped for the schedule of a new mom already.

2012-07-20T15:38:25-04:00 By |Stress|9 Comments

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9 Comments

  1. Heidi McD July 21, 2012 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    I feel really sad for her unborn baby. What kind of attention is this little one going to get if his mom takes no time off? Will she even bother to try to breastfeed or just hand him off to someone else to look after? Hopefully the hormones of motherhood will kick in nicely when she delivers and she’ll call in and tell them that she’ll work 5 hours a week and will otherwise be in bed.

  2. Isabella Ng July 21, 2012 at 7:18 pm - Reply

    Kristen, I totally agree with you that work and life must be balance, otherwise she will get burned physically and mentally.
    But I remember clearly when I was pregnant, I also overestimated myself that I can go back to work after one month and so I promismy boss to take up two big project.

  3. Isabella Ng July 21, 2012 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    After labouring, the first thing I got was emotion frustration and your body also got a change which we need to take good care of ourselves.
    if we decide to bring a child to this world, we also need to take up our motherhood responsibility. If she just want to

    • kristen July 22, 2012 at 2:46 pm - Reply

      I love all your comments – and as I can see, motherhood is a job in itself!

  4. Jean July 23, 2012 at 9:59 am - Reply

    I know it is not popular to say that it is a good thing that women like men can choose to focus on career or children. But it is impossible to do both without exhausting yourself and not all women are created to be mothers or to choose motherhood over a career. She is fortunate she can pay for great help at home while many women with less financial resources are really sacrificing their families, their careers or their health. Or all 3.

  5. Darlene August 9, 2012 at 8:46 pm - Reply

    She’s not just a role model for burnout, she’s foregoing the ability to provide the best for her baby, at a time when that baby needs her the most. As a new mom myself, I have to wonder what that says about her ability to lead a corporation at a time when prioritization is critical. Good luck to her, but personally I think she’s nuts.

    • kristen August 9, 2012 at 11:14 pm - Reply

      Darlene – congrats on being a new mom! How exciting and wonderful. Yea, I think she’s over-extending herself too. But I guess we’re all on our own journey and hopefully in future she can get some time to get some zen.

  6. Jen July 12, 2013 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    Personally, I’m glad to see women like her doing what they love, in spite of society’s unrealistic expectations that mothers spend every waking hour with their baby. She is doing a the human race a great service by providing a viable human with good genes- health, brains, motivation and good looks. I’m willing to bet this child will be just fine as Mom continues to do what she loves.

    • kristen July 15, 2013 at 7:23 pm - Reply

      I want women to do what they love too. I simply worry that if society does not support women in the workplace this can have health implications for working women – a sacrifice that their male counterparts may not have to face.

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