I understand that Marissa Mayer, the new Yahoo chief who made a media splash by taking the job pregnant is a Member of the Tribe. Asked how she expects to toggle between her new babe and her new position, Mayer answered that her maternity leave would be “a few weeks long, and I’ll work throughout it.”
As a mother of many, my reaction is ugh. Poor Marissa. I don’t fault her. She’s not some fairy tale bad witch intent on neglecting her soon to be born son. Like many other women, she’s trapped within a corporate culture that scarcely leaves room for maternal instincts.
Even with her morbidly obese pay check, I wonder how Mayer will be able to steer Yahoo with a newborn in tow. The average woman requires at least a month to recover from birth. Double that if the delivery is by Ceasarean section.
Even with the squads of nannies, cooks and cleaning ladies that Mayer will no doubt employ, I can’t see how she can bond with her baby. Moms and babies needs time, lots of it to snuggle, to gaze into each other eyes and of course, to sleep. Poor Marissa and her baby. They won’t have this.
But I have a solution. Aliya. Marissa and her son can reestablish themselves here in Israel. Here Marissa and all other Moms are mandated fourteen weeks paid maternity leave plus a host of other benefits .
And in Israel maternity leave is law. It’s non negotiable, part of our culture. And because of it, most Israeli babies get off to the best possible start, at Mommy’s breast where doctors and psychologists say they belong
I’m not suggesting that we’ve perfected the life work balance but compared to our patron the US, we are way ahead. The traumas we’ve collectively endured, including last week’s attack in Bulgaria would have brought most nations to their knees. Yet we are still standing . Along with a deep abiding faith that is part of the air here, I attribute this to the Yiddishe Mama factor, the fact that here in Israel mothering lives.
In the US where Mayer makes her home, family life is nearly moribund. Over 50 per cent of US households consist of only one person. Consider that fact alongside a 2004 WHO study which revealed that the US has the highest rate of mental illness on the globe.
Marissa, you are a smart lady Come join us here. We’ve got corporations. Hey, we’re the Start Up Nation. Shoot an email to Nefesh Be Nefesh. They’ll even fly you here for free!. Looking forward to seeing you and that little yingaleh!