The Moms On Pix11: "Making A Difference Through Causes Because Of Children"

The MOMS, Denise Albert stopped by Pix11 with two moms who have taken on causes because of their children. Jessica Darby and Dana Levine are working hard to make life better for other families who share their struggles.

Jessica Darby started an eyeglass line for her daughter who wanted to be able to make her glasses fun and fashionable. To help her cause visit

Dana Levine’s son suffers from kidney disease and helps to raise awareness for the illness which her son lives with each day. You can support her cause at

The MOMS in Daily News Debating Marissa Mayer's Maternity Leave


Marissa Mayer ‘limited’ maternity leave is right on, says ‘The MOMS’ cohost Denise Albert


Marissa Mayer is doing what works for her, and I completely support her. It’s not for everyone, and no one should feel pressure because of Mayer’s decision.

I took 12 weeks off with my first son, which at the time worked for me and was what I needed. But when I had my second son, I basically went right back to work. I went to meetings. I worked from home, and occasionally went into the office. It was my decision, and I wouldn’t have done it any other way. I was running David Blaine’s company and producing a TV show, and we were in the middle of a project that I was passionate about and wanted to continue working on. It was another baby for me, and I was going to deliver it!

I assume Mayer feels the same way. She has worked tremendously hard to get to where she is, and she feels like she can do everything in a way that works for her and her family. That’s her choice, and she isn’t setting any sort of negative example for anyone else. Everyone should feel comfortable with their own decision, and should take 16 weeks or a year or whatever their company offers if that’s what works best for them.

While I love what Marissa is doing, and also understand it, I also can appreciate and commend Netflix for what they are doing with their maternity leave. Everyone needs different things, and it’s an incredible option to have. It’s a great way to support women, but I’m not sure I would have exercised my rights if I was working at a company with a policy like that. I was and am dedicated to my career, and taking a year off would have seemed like a professional setback – and truthfully, I don’t know what I would do [AT HOME]every day!

Marissa Mayer’s ‘limited’ maternity leave is disappointing, says ‘The MOMS’ co-host Melissa Musen Gerstein

I think Marissa Mayer is doing what is best for her and her family, but I think she also has a real opportunity here to make a difference for so many working moms in the workforce – and I am not sure she is.

I would never judge another mother’s decisions, or Mayer’s choice, but we need more CEOs speaking out about how difficult it is to return to work after having a baby, and to be open about the struggles of expanding a family.

Mayer has privileges and responsibilities that don’t reflect the average person. She has shareholders she reports to, and she is the CEO of one of the biggest companies in the world, and Yahoo is at a critical time when they need their CEO.

If she could take the time off, however, she might make a difference in so many other working moms’ lives. She is in a very public position, and one that could inspire change, and by not taking significant time off, I fear other employees will feel guilty with their choices.

I have three children, and every maternity leave was different. I know people who go to lengths and breadths to make their maternity special, from hiring Portland maternity photography professionals (or wherever they live, for that matter) to take just the perfect pictures and capture each moment to making babymoon travel plans. But, my maternity was somewhat different.

For my first born, I was living in Canada where you actually get an entire year of maternity leave. I did not take this because we needed the money, so I returned to work. For my second child, again I had to return to work for the paycheck. I went back when my baby was about 5 weeks old, and I was struggling. I was pumping at work, and feeling tremendous guilt and even anxiety. Without access to a product similar to Social CBD, I felt myself really spiraling mentally. I pushed through it, but it was not ideal. Then with my third baby, I took almost an entire year off, and it was mentally helpful for me and beneficial to my family.