Women “having it all” has been trending on Twitter ever since the July cover story of The Atlantic Monthly came out and Marissa Mayer was named the new CEO for Yahoo.
Only they seem to be sending mixed messages. Marissa is pregnant (expecting her first child in October) and left the Google giant (net worth pushing $200 billion) to take on the hefty job of turning Yahoo around (net worth $20 billion). She’s also the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company. The world is watching for nothing short of an Apple miracle, and I for one am excited for women that pregnancy is no longer a barrier to positions of power. At least not in the United States.
But there’s a chorus of women who are asking, “At what cost?” and . . . “What about the baby?”
Anne-Marie Slaughter essentially asked herself that question 18 months into her job as the first woman director of policy planning at the State Department. Slaughter wrote the cover story in the Atlantic Monthly, “Why Women Still Can’t Have it All.” The photo of the baby in a leather briefcase flanked by a skirt and heels caught my attention. Because yes, I can relate.
I came out of full-time motherhood to begin a new career when my third child was barely two. The joke in our home is that when I was working in another state for a month my husband stuck gum in our toddler’s mouth every time he asked for Mama. He still loves gum today. It’s funny, but it reminds me of the sacrifices we made. Fortunately, my husband was between jobs and could care for the children while we sorted out our new lives.
In the end, I didn’t have to choose between work and family. At least not exactly.
I worked hard that first year to earn a flexible schedule so I could be home in time for the school bus, prepare dinner, and help with homework. I kept my two jobs and got less sleep, but that was no reason to complain.
You can read the full article on CNN’s iReport here.