Marissa Mayer Says You Made Motherhood Out To Be Way Harder Than It Actually Is

Marissa MayerLast we heard from Marissa Mayer, she was kindly informing us that all those crowdsourced baby names weren’t really to her liking after all. But a couple of months into motherhood with baby Macallister Bogue, Marissa has come up for air to say all of you were blowing this newborn thing way out of proportion.

Appearing at Fortune ”Most Powerful Women” event in Palo Alto, CA, Marissa says she was gifted a fairly easygoing newborn:

“The baby’s been way easier than everyone made it out to be. I think I’ve been really lucky that way but I had a very easy, healthy pregnancy. He’s been easy. So those have been the two really terrific surprises: the kid has been easier and the job has been fun!” Mayer said…

As for getting back to work after a noticeably miniscule maternity leave — for which there was lots of huffy responses — Marissa maintains that she’s having a grand old time:

“I think that there’s two surprising things,” Mayer told the audience, comprised mostly of women, “I knew that the job would be hard and I knew that the baby would be fun. And the thing that surprised me, and really puzzlingly so, is that the job is really fun! Yahoo is a really fun place to work.”

Despite all the rampant concern trolling over Marissa’s choices, it seems that the new mother and CEO is doing just ducky. The newbie even seems self aware enough to cite luck as a prominent factor in her baby’s easy temperament. Talk about a mother who can count her blessings.


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  • chickadee

    Love her! What a polite way to tell people to mind their own business. I also admire her intent and ability to keep the details of her personal life out of the public eye.

  • Iana

    Graceful would have been to thank for all the support she gets (as she must), be that she was blessed with an easy baby or not. I don’t take this as face value statement or the reality, but as a carefully crafted message for shareholders, Yahoo employees etc. And this is her job ultimately to create excitement about Yahoo again.

    • Lastango

      You are stone cold right about this calculated exercise in issue management.

  • CW

    Sure, it’s easy being a mother if you are willing to outsource the actual parenting part to a team of nannies (insert eyeroll).

    • VanCan

      Yes, because mothers who employ nannies, babysitters, grandma, the baby’s father, or daycare aren’t really parenting. That leaves what? Maybe 5% of mothers, max, who do all the childcare themselves, 24/7/365? No Mother’s Day brunch for the remaining 95% of us slackers!

    • CW

      99% of employed moms are more “hands-on” parents than Marissa Mayer, guaranteed. No sleep deprivation or having to do any of the grunt work of parenting when there is a team of nannies at your beck and call 24/7.

    • VanCan

      And you know that’s her situation how?

      Does it have to be a competition based on amount of spit up absorbed or minutes of sleep missed? Let’s end the Martyr Mommy wars. Can’t we all just be considered actual parents by the simple acts of being a parent and loving our children, whether we do all the grunt work or not?

    • ipsedixit010

      Exactly. How on Earth do you know her situation? I assume she uses nannies…but who cares? As a CEO, she’s reassuring investors. For all CW spouts about Christian values, she seems to have no problem judging others for their decisions.

      Either way, people make this “motherhood” thing out to be worse than it is. It’s only as bad as you want it to be. If you want to be a martyr, then yes, you’ll make every aspect of parenting rely solely on your sacrifices. If you decide not to leave the house and be makeup and real pants free for years, that’s your decision, not a reflection on how hard something is in general.

    • CW

      Because I knew her personally when we were in college and a close friend worked with her at Google until she left for Yahoo. Let’s just say that she’s not the “hands-on” mom type.

    • ipsedixit010

      Oh! In college! Well, then…

      No one changes in 15 years. Ever. Especially not when they become a mother.

      This is her first child. There’s no precedence as to what type of mom she would be and I find it a bit silly to base what type of mom someone is on who they were in college (or earlier).

      But really….who cares what type of mom she is? Is it affecting your children or your life? Are her statements causing you harm?

    • lea

      How can anyone possibly know what kind of mother someone will make, until they are actually a mother?

    • lea

      Yeh, yeh, you’re are the best mum in the world, CW. You work so much harder and are soooo much more devoted to your kid. No “outsourcing” for you (insert equally incredulous eye roll here). I suppose you also think it ain’t child birth unless you go full cootchie too?

  • Yves

    Maybe she said that because…maybe it really isn’t that hard for her. Not everyone bemoans taking care of a newborn.

  • Justme

    Perhaps she didn’t buy into all the exaggerated horror stories mothers tend to put out there about newborns.

    “You’ll never have sex with your husband again.”

    “Say goodbye to a good night’s sleep.”

    “I wore the same sweatpants for two years.”

    And I just don’t think it’s all necessarily true and maybe she doesn’t either. Yeah, my baby pooped…but it wasn’t anything traumatic. And maybe I get less sleep but it’s not the end of the world. I still have sex with my husband and wear make-up on a daily basis.

    Motherhood doesn’t have to be the end of your former life as you know it.

    And plus…she works with high powered executives…I’m sure she’s managed her fair share of temper tantrums and fits.

  • hmm

    My baby wasn’t that hard for the first few months either. That’s when she slept a lot and stayed right where I put her.

  • meeeeeeee

    LOL@ every word of this. Of course a female CEO who was preggers when she got the job (heavily criticized, might i add) is going to say its a breeze. She obviously isn’t doing any of the hard work because she clearly values her job and her money more than motherhood. Which is not to say that she doesn’t value her child, just not the interaction part. Just because she is a business powerhouse and done admirably well in a traditionally male role, does not mean she is a good or attentive mother.

    • once upon a time

      I’m honestly impressed by your ability to say so much without making a single valid point. Bravo.

    • lea

      …..doesn’t mean she is a bad or inattentive mother either. You don’t have to be your child’s sole carer to be a brilliant mother.
      Spending all day with a child does not automatically equal good parenting.

  • Good Gracious

    Once again, a comments section full of (presumably) women bitching out other women for trying to manage their work/life balance in the way that suits them best. Nobody berating the father for ‘outsourcing’ his role, nobody commenting that he is obviously a ‘hands off parent’ (which really we all know is just one step away from neglectful monster), just another bitter response to someone saying that they are enjoying their life. Clearly I’m also guilty of something seeing as I find parenthood easy as well, but I am approaching my ninth month of maternity leave during which I’ve spent almost every second with my son – I’m clearly going to drop him on his head as soon as I go back to work and become a distant, disinterested parenting failure because I’ll be earning money as well as having a child.

  • Mary Wysong

    I absolutely believe that pregnancy and motherhood are easier than they are made out to be. (Cheaper too.) Before I had my first child, I heard so much whining from other women and wondered what the big deal was. I had my son at an older than average age, which could have meant that I’d have a less comfortable pregnancy, but while I did have discomfort, I certainly never experienced all the horrors that younger pregnant women were complaining about. Same thing with after my child was born. Yeah, I was tired, but I had prepared myself by reading tons of parenting books and keeping the ideas that made sense and I followed the plans that had supporting evidence. Maybe I did get a little lucky, but I also believe that good, responsive parenting gave me an “easy” baby. I don’t have one of those kids that cries, whines and fusses in public, etc…. Instead, I get comments from total strangers about how happy and well-behaved my child is. That’s because he knows he’s loved and well taken care of and always has been! I also found that expenses were much less than people whine about. Yeah, diapers are expensive, no doubt, but I saved money by breast feeding and investing in a pump for at work. I already owned my home, I shopped thrift shops and planned ahead, etc…. Having a child isn’t that much more expensive than taking care of myself.

  • K.

    What’s with all the snark in the article? A CEO–at a business luncheon, nonetheless–said that she was enjoying her baby and her job. Big deal. Why can’t we be happy that a female CEO is happy?

    And on another note to all the comments about Marissa Mayer being “that mom”: Maybe Marissa Mayer really isn’t a great mommy. Maybe she’s not cut out for full-time motherhood. Maybe she has indeed chosen to spend more time at work than at home.

    …What’s so wrong with that?

    It’s misguided to believe that when women choose a career over childcare that it has something to do with love, ie–the mother doesn’t love her children enough. If you believe, as I do, that childcare is a complex, difficult, demanding, and important job that requires special skills and a unique temperament, then it stands that not every woman is cut out to do it–or to do it well. Loving one’s children, which is pretty universal for parents, does not mean that one is well-suited for the job of being a full-time mother (or father). I think that a mother who understands that she might not be a great fit for full-time motherhood does her children a greater service outsourcing the bulk of their care to someone who IS passionate about childcare. It does a greater service to her children for such a woman to keep herself fulfilled so that she can come home and be happy with her kids, rather than stay home resenting them. It appears that whether she has help (probably does) or not, Mayer is one such happy mother. And I’d rather that, for the sake of her children, than a stressed-out harried and resentful mom.

    • once upon a time

      I love this comment! It also reminds me that I have just as many lovely childhood memories of days at my grandparents, cool baby-sitters and making friends at school holiday day care as I do of hanging out with my parents.