Congrats on the new gig at Yahoo and your pregnancy! I have to tell you, a lot people are saying you’re going to crack under the pressure of being the CEO of an ailing Fortune 500 company and a new mom. Haters. Follow my advice and you’ll be good to go. Pinky swear.
1. Stay gorgeous.
Sure, some people might think the whole smart, beautiful, blond, Ph.D.-from-Stanford-thing is kind of cliché, not to mention setting a ridiculously high standard for other women. Well screw them. You’ve got it, so flaunt it. To keep it up during your tenure at Yahoo!, here’s what I suggest: Carry a small mirror at all times to check your eyes and teeth before meetings. Boogers and leftover greens will do you no favors. Affix air fresheners to your calves for those last few months of pregnancy when you’re in meetings and just can’t hold it in. And please, Marissa, this is extremely important: lose the weight baby immediately. I’m talking within days. The troops don’t want to see their commander-in-chief crying in the potty and squeezing her muffin tops.
2. Set impossible standards.
Never take any vacation. Ever. And don’t even think about maternity leave. You thought you needed three weeks? Phooey. To stay on top of things during labor, don't bother creating a birthing plan with your midwife beforehand. You’re Marissa Mayer, no one needs to tell you how to have a baby! Instead, enroll the midwife in a class on shorthand, technology and social media. That way, you can dictate emails in between contractions and she can update your Twitter feed during those final pushes. She can even moderate comments in the Yahoo group, “Mom’s Can Have It All,” that you should start as soon as you can. Like right now.
3. Keep it in the (Yahoo) family.
We all know that Yahoo’s culture is – how do I put this nicely – as stinky as a newborn’s diaper. To turn this around, play your birth video every week to kick off staff meetings. Make sure to tell all of your direct reports that if you can have a baby and run a huge company, they can stuff their complaints. Hold daily pump-and-dump parties in the executive suite as well as weekly webinars to discuss your episiotomy stitches or C-section wounds. Make this mandatory for every guy on your senior management team. They love this sort of thing. And don’t forget to post updates in your Yahoo “Mom’s Can Have It All” group to let all the other women out there know that, duh, we can do everything.
4. Loosen up the Board.
It’s no secret that you’ve got some grouchies on the Yahoo Board. You’ve gotta loosen them up and get them in touch with their nurturing side. To do this, make it mandatory that whomever is speaking at a board meeting must hold the baby. Don’t let anyone leave the room until they publicly give you one compliment about your prowess as a mother and CEO. When Junior’s hungry, whip out a breast and start nursing right there in front of everyone. And, if the company doesn’t meet its financial goals during your first quarter as leader, blame the baby. Or your husband. Or the nanny. Blame anyone other than yourself because you, Marissa, must be perfect.
There you have it. You're now ready to take on one of the most challenging roles of your life. You'll be overwhelmed, exhausted, intimidated, intellectually challenged, frustrated, elated, humbled, and inspired. And that Yahoo job will be pretty interesting too.
Just don't f*ck it up, my friend. Because your success is vital to all of us mamas, especially those among us who don't have the perfect resumes and degrees, who can't shed the extra baby weight, and who even have unwieldy hair. You’ve set the bar impossibly high but we're rooting for you anyway. Good luck, and don't forget the Lansinoh!
Your buddy (even though you have no idea who I am),