I love Lisa Belkin. She is always so funny and insightful. I think she spoke for millions of women in her blog this week titled, "Dear Marissa Mayer: Please Stop Saying Your Baby Is 'Easy'." Earlier this week, Yahoo's brilliant leader and new mother, Marissa Mayer, was honored at Fortune's Most Powerful Women event, where she said that having a baby is way easy than people led her to believe. Yahoo for her!!!!
As a working mom of two teenagers running a female sexual health company, all I can say is, "I'll have what she's having!" Is this just another arrow in the hearts of women who are struggling on a daily basis with much fewer resources? At some point, don't we have to find some realistic models that are aspirational, but not so far out of reach that they are downright depressing? How many women, really and truly, can have a perfect post-baby bod, while "bringing home the bacon and frying up in a pan while never letting him forget he's a man." Note: That is a reference to the Charlie commercials from the early 70's for those under 40 reading this article.
It seems we are faced with two extremes, neither of which apply to the majority of women who are working to support their families and raise them. On one end, we have the extraordinary Marissa Mayer. On the other end, we have Paula Broadwell, a talented, capable professional who chose to make some really unprofessional decisions and undermine the trust of her family and her colleagues.
Over the years on a professional and personal level, I have had the opportunity to speak to hundreds of women. Sure, each of them at some point have moments where they think they can leap tall buildings with a single bound. But you know what? They might not have had time to work out, cook a delicious dinner or iron their work clothes. How many women can honestly raise their hands and say they never discovered some spit up or unidentifiable material on their sleeve at work?
There is nothing wrong with reaching for high standards. But just as I wouldn't tell a new tennis player that she would soon be playing in Wimbledon, I would never be so insensitive to tell a working mom that she can have it all -- all the time. What can we hope for is more days than not where we feel like we are keeping more balls in the air then those that come crashing to the ground.