Advice to Marissa Mayer From a Mom CEO
Dear Ms. Mayer,
First of all, congratulations on the two recent major achievements; your appointment as CEO of Yahoo! and the impending new arrival.
As the mother of a three month old child and the Chief Executive Officer of Metro Moms Network, LLC, I can relate to your plan to take a short maternity leave. And to work throughout it. The Metro Moms Network cannot even remotely compare to the complexity and vastness of Yahoo! but as CEO my responsibility to our followers and investors does not stop even if I am out of commission.
When I gave birth three months ago, there was widespread speculation among my Twitter followers that I would live tweet the birth. I did not go quite that far, but I did respond to work emails in the early stages of delivery. And right after I gave birth.
I told my management team that I would be taking a six-week maternity leave. And you know what? Even though this is my third child and I worked for myself during the first two pregnancies, I still needed to extend my leave for another four weeks. Fortunately, my incredibly capable and reliable team was able to absorb the extra work and keep the organization running without a hiccup.
The problem was not inadequate help. Quite the opposite.
What derailed my maternity leave? Life. My first au pair quit without notice after two weeks and I had to scramble to line up a great replacement. Once bitten, twice shy.
My newborn daughter refuses to take a bottle; we are working on that but in the meantime, being separated from her for more than three hours is out of the question. Breastfeeding imparts so many lifelong advantagesthat I am willing to endure a fair amount of inconvenience on its behalf.
During my two years as Metro Moms CEO, I have spoken to thousands of parents. And the one thing they all have in common? They are in shock that parenting is so much more difficult than they anticipated. These are hedge fund managers, graphic designers, even former nannies; we have members from all walks of life and they are struggling to make parenting work for their families.
As you enter the last trimester of your pregnancy, I offer you the following advice; be kind to yourself. Drink plenty of fluids, eat frequent small mealsand prop up your upper body while you sleep. I personally find the sofa is the only place where I can achieve restful sleep toward the end of pregnancy.
And once you near delivery? Keep a flexible mindset. We all have ideas about our dream delivery but things rarely progress the way we expect. A birth plan is a great way to become educated about all the available options in case you have to make some fast choices.
Making a birth plan is excellent practice for your life after the baby is born. I once wrote, “Being a parent means evaluating your options and making the best decision you can at the time, with the tools at hand.”
And if you need a helping hand when the baby is born and you are trying to get fast answers to a million questions? Please feel free to reach out to the Metro Moms Network. With 1,000+ members, we have experts in all parenting areas and can get you speedy, relevant answers without judgement.
Good luck with the company and baby. The Metro Moms will be watching and cheering every step of the way.
Chief Executive Officer and Founder
Metro Moms Network, LLC
Kathy Zucker, serial entrepreneur and mother of three, writes about juggling career and family in an urban setting. See what Kathy is up to at her blog and on Twitter @kathyzucker.
Tags: career, CHOICES, metrocareers, pregnancy