The new Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer recently had a baby and got some widespread criticism over her comment: "The thing that surprised me is that the job is really fun…and the baby's been easy. The baby's been way easier than everyone made it out to be. I've been really lucky that way."
This comment pissed people off. Why? Because you are not allowed to say that your baby is easy. There's a little vein in my temple that starts pulsing whenever a woman says that.
I was in a conversation with two other women a little while ago about our kids. One of the other women was exchanging stories with me about mischievous things our kids had done. When we turned to the other woman and asked her about her son, she just shook her head and said, "Oh, no, David is just an angel."
And I was like, really? You can't think of one act of mischief that your three year old child has ever gotten into? Seriously, you've got to have one story in your pocket.
The thing is, I think my kids are pretty good. But there are always going to be times they drive me totally nuts because that's what kids do. That's what they specialize in.
I've noticed that the definition of "an easy baby" varies widely from person to person. My cousin informed me that his eight month old son was a "really easy baby." I later discovered that this really easy baby was still waking up like four times a night. I guess if you have a stay at home wife who does all the work, that counts for you as a really easy baby.
I wonder what Marissa Mayer considers "an easy baby." This is a woman who went back to Yahoo with the umbilical cord still hanging out of her. Her definition of "easy" is probably way, way different from mine. Also, depending on whether you have someone watching your baby all day and helping at night, it seems like most babies would be pretty easy under those circumstances.
In any case, I don't think we should vilify Mayer for saying what she said. After all, she's a brand new mother. She's not privy yet to all the ways we jump on each other.