Look who’s talking!

IN BETWEEN taking pot shots at Mitt Romney and the GOP and fire fighting to get his flagging election campaign back on the track, President Barack Obama is doing what he does best: giving advice.


Published: Sat 27 Oct 2012, 9:23 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 1:59 AM

Last week he decided he would do his bit for celebrity couple, Jay Z and crooner Beyonce and their equally celeb kid, Blue Ivy.

The rapper has been a long-time friend of the Obamas. Only recently he organised a lavish fund-raiser for the President who is struggling in the face of the GOP candidate’s big-ticket patrons and Obama was happy to reciprocate with some good, solid parenting advice to the couple, who became parents in January this year.

Talking to radio station Z107.9, Obama, who is fond father to daughters Sasha and Malia said: “I made sure that Jay-Z was helping Beyonce out [with the baby] and not leaving it all with mom and the mother-in-law.” We are not sure how Michelle Obama reacted to this one considering that it is a well-known fact that she struggled to keep their children’s life normal when Obama himself was building his career, first as a Senator and now as the President of the United States of America. In fact, she gave up her career to make sure the kids had a normal life.

Obama, meanwhile, told the radio station: “Being a President or a rap mogul might be a tough job, but being a parent can humble even the best.”

While he is talking about parenting, we would like to point out to the President that the United States has a dismal record with providing working mothers with any support in rearing their children. Out of the 178 countries in the world, the US is among the only three that does not provide paid maternity leave to working women! American women are eligible for 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, but companies with fewer than 50 paid employees are exempt from this too which pretty much leaves a woman to choose between motherhood and her career/livelihood.

To be or not to be

YAHOO! THE company’s CEO Marissa Mayer has done it again. The lady, who stirred a hornet’s nest when announced she was pregnant when she was recruited for the top slot at the company, is now back in the news again about motherhood.

Mayer’s decision to get back to office and work after just two weeks of maternity leave has set off a raging debate about the propriety of her actions. Among the stuff being debated about the newly-minted mom’s decision to swap diapers and the baby’s nursery for her business suit and the board room, is the possibility that this might send the wrong signals to companies, where maternity leave is concerned.

Women’s groups are saying that Mayer’s decision to return back to work after a whistlestop break at nursing her infant son might be interpreted by companies to mean that women don’t, in fact, need longer time with their babies. The pressure will now intensify on women who have given birth, to return back that much faster after childbirth, handing over their baby to outside care. Others are saying that infants need much longer bonding time with the mother, both for nursing and for them to feel secure. Others are hinting that her relationship with her child will be affected and so will her work because women who sit up all night attending to their new born child are unable to focus on a full day at work.

As for Mayer herself, she seems to be pulling off her astonishing stunt with aplomb and has not yet shown any outward sign of stress either about separation angst or of physical fatigue. But then again, she is no ordinary woman. She is trained to handle lots of stress and pressure points. It also helps that she has a humungous bonus that will help her get lots of outsourced care for her baby.

To each his own, is what we say.


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