This morning on “The Today Show,” Savannah Guthrie discussed “whether women [like Marissa Mayer, who was just hired as the CEO of Yahoo] can really have it all” with Ivanka Trump and Rachel Campos-Duffy. Oh by the way, just in case you missed it, Marissa Mayer is pregnant, so that some how makes this story even more “noteworthy.”
I’m a little confused because when people discuss “whether women can really have it all” it seems there is an assumption that men are having it all. When I look at men, I’m not sure that’s what I think at least. I think men as well as women struggle with a desire to have a fulfilling career and a great relationship with their spouses and children. Whether married or not, if you’re living as a couple and have children, there are going to be opportunity costs on both sides.
As noted by both Rachel Campos-Duffy and Ivanka Trump, Marissa Mayer may benefit from the ability to hire a nanny or other people to help balance a demanding job and raising a child. What surprises me is how little women demand of their baby-daddies. Um, why can’t they help you with the baby or children?
Pssst ladies…yeah you over there…men do not suffer some infirmity that makes them incapable of helping with the children they were so willing and helpful in making. If children are sick at the daycare or babysitters, have their father pick them up. If they are in trouble at school and they want a parent to talk to the principal, their father should know where the school is. Um, he should know, right? If children wake up in the middle of the night throwing up, good old dad knows how to hold a bucket during the day, right?
So the question isn’t whether or not women can have it all. The question is whether or not both parents will suffer the opportunity costs of having a child. A father’s job is not more important than a mother’s job or career, so he too can lose sick leave or vacation time to take care of his children! My dad always stayed home when I was sick and made Campbell’s soup or got me medicine, so I know first hand this can be done.
But, mom’s have to demand that father’s step up so that both parents can be fulfilled by jobs they find rewarding.
Here are two wonderful related articles:
What now: The Future of Computer Geeks a commentary by Marissa Mayer for Marketplace about the wonders of being a geek.
The Pregnant CEO: Should You Hate Marissa Mayer? an article by Amy Keyishian for Forbes Woman.