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Yahoo CEO’s parenting choices under fire (again)

Marissa Mayer photographed in 2011.

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

It's not easy being a mom. Especially if you're Marissa Mayer.

Mayer gave birth to her son on Sunday (a week ahead of schedule) and, in a short few days, criticisms of Yahoo chief executive officer's parenting style erupted on the Internet.

Word leaked that Mayer and her husband, Zachary Bogue, had not yet chosen a name for Baby Boy Bogue (let's call him BBB for short). Apparently, the new mom told her friends in an e-mail that BBB's name was TBD and suggestions were welcomed.

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According to reports by the Associated Press, it was journalism professor and blogger Jeff Jarvis who informed the Twitterverse: "She's crowdsourcing suggestions for Baby Boy Bogue's name!" he tweeted. "How digital can you get?"

Many of you may now be saying: So what? Lots of couples don't settle on a name until after the baby arrives. Congratulations, you'd be a part of the more reasonable sliver of the gawking Internet. You're also not Time's reporter, Bonnie Rochman.

She starts off by congratulating Mayer but then gets down to brass tacks.

"It's not every businesswoman's baby who makes headline news. You're in for more than a little unsolicited advice," she wrote on Wednesday. "Here's some for starters, in reference to your e-mail dispatched to friends and family crowdsourcing your baby boy's name. From one mom to another: bad idea."

Rochman, who has a few kids of her own, thus making her a mothering expert, continues by suggesting that Mayer ought to have given BBB's name as much "consideration as went into hammering out your save-Yahoo plan." (Wow. Just wow.)

(It should be noted that this isn't the first time Mayer has come under mommy pressure. She was already lambasted for saying she didn't plan on taking much of a maternity break.)

And it wasn't just Rochman trumpeting her point of view on the baby naming "news." Today Moms writer Jacoba Urist calmly points out the Mayer isn't alone in feeling lost when it comes to baby naming. But she does jump on Mayer's back for extending the crowdsourcing branch.

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"Maybe 'crowdsourcing' her child's name is a clever way to get people talking about Yahoo and its innovative new mom-CEO," she said. "Maybe, in the Internet-age of snap polls and live tweeting your labour, it's the future of baby naming, and we'll all be soliciting social media help to name our babies."

Or maybe Marissa Mayer is just a normal person with normal-people problems. And she's asked her friends for a little help.

And I have a little advice for all those advice-giving moms out there: Quit worrying about Mayer's parenting ability. It's time for moms to stop telling other moms how to be moms.

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About the Author

Madeleine White is the Assistant National Editor for The Globe and Mail. She has been with the Globe since 2011 and previously worked in the Globe's Video and Features departments, covering topics ranging from fitness and health to real estate to indigenous education. More


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