Thank you, Marissa Mayer

Written by Anya Sostek on .


Thank you, Marissa Mayer, because I can’t name my children on time either. In the past, I attributed that to general character flaws, namely procrastination and disorganization. But if one of the most powerful businesswomen in the country can’t have a name ready either, well then, I feel much better about myself.

A brief chronology, if you will: Ms. Mayer is the CEO of Yahoo! and formerly one of the highest-ranking executives at Google, not to mention their first female engineer. The day she was announced as Yahoo’s new CEO, she also announced she was pregnant. On Sunday night, she had a baby, identified by her husband via twitter as “baby boy Bogue.” On Monday, she reportedly sent out a mass e-mail asking for help picking a name. As of Thursday evening, still no name.

I’ve had three children. And not once have I not been discussing a name with my husband while on the operating table.

With my twins, at least, I had an excuse. We kept their genders a surprise, so we had not two names to think of but four, and eight counting middle names. And they came early. And the genders that we got (two girls) were somehow the two that we were least expecting.

While on the operating table, we hammered out the first names and one middle name. But the other one simply eluded us, despite my near-constant hospital companion of a baby name book I found in a Magee waiting room. Lying in bed at home, I had to make THAT phone call - you know, the one to the Pennsylvania Department of Health asking if it was five days since the baby was born before the blank birth certificate or five days since discharge. I then had to make THAT OTHER phone call, to my husband at work -- yes, the babies had been born long enough ago that he was already back at work -- to force a decision before 5 pm.

With my third child, we had no excuse whatsoever. We still kept the gender a surprise, but she born a week late with a scheduled C-section. We didn’t quite “crowd-source” the name, Marissa Mayer-style, but we did lay out the choices for our wonderful delivery nurse, who was happy to weigh in.

Right now, I can sympathize with Ms. Mayer. It’s rather awkward not having an answer to everyone’s first question. Not to mention, once you actually have the baby, a cramped hospital room -- complete with a needy new human being -- isn’t the best place for contemplative and quiet baby name discussion.

Thus far, Marissa Mayer has been quite successful at getting online mommy cluckers in a tizzy over her one-week maternity leave and her apparently audacious belief that a baby can fit quite nicely into high-powered career. They have their right to their opinions... and I have mine. So on behalf of the late, disorganized and indecisive parents everywhere, I salute her.

Anya Sostek is a Post-Gazette reporter and moderator of the PlayGround.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.