As everyone and their dog weighs in publicly on the personal and professional choices of Marissa Mayer — the new Yahoo CEO who’s planning to go right back to work after having a baby — I’m reminded of one of the lovely bonuses of being childfree: getting to sit out the Mommy Wars.
Many parents, specifically mothers, seem to be so worked up by this topic because they’re so deeply invested in a particular style of parenting. If you’ve organized your whole life around a parenting choice, it seems, then you really want other people to validate that choice. And if a high-profile mom doesn’t, then lots of other moms pounce.
Many of us childfree people, in contrast, are deeply invested in the notion that there is no one right way to live a life and build a family or tribe. You don’t have to do it the way other people do it. Want to have no kids? Great. One kid? Great. Two kids? Great. More kids? If that’s your thing, go for it. Wanna do it with a partner, or on your own, or something in between? Totally your call. Wanna quit work for a while? Work part-time? Work full-time? Work round-the-clock CEO hours? Whatever floats your boat.
Certainly some parents share this live-and-let-live view, secure enough in their own choices that they don’t have to judge other people’s choices, and some of them are speaking out in Mayer’s defense.
But for the scolds and armchair critics out there, take a lesson from the childfree community and just chill out.