Are women entitled to a Meternity leave?

May is for #‎momittment!

‬A month long public, online event, dedicated to offering compassion and support to moms everywhere.

Motherhood starts with pregnancy, giving birth and maternity leave.

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It's called a leave because women are leaving their regular jobs to take on a (additional) new, demanding job. 

Now there is a woman out there who thinks she deserves a leave, too. Only without the baby:

Her name is Meghann Foye, and she's getting a lot of heat from upset mothers, and I can see why - after all I am one, and I went through all the nausea, contractions, traumatic birth and recovery from pain, blood loss, postpartum hormones, sleep deprivation, the whole nine yards.

During my leave, I wasn't sitting on my couch, twiddling my thumbs, I didn't have quiet time to sip coffee and reflect on my next career move, and it certainly didn't feel like a relaxing vacation, quite the opposite! I was even considering cutting my hair short so that a shower wouldn't take that long!

I do, however, agree that a time-out may be a wonderful thing in everybody's life at some point. If you're looking for your purpose in life a leave without a baby - a meternitiy leave  -may be even more beneficial. Your mind won't be clouded by mommy brain fogginess, and you can really focus on yourself.

I know what it means to be all caught up in a challenging job that includes long hours, more often than not working nights and weekends, no real lunch breaks, out of town meetings, waiting around at airports while others enjoy their happy hour.

What came to my mind is the SATC episode a woman's right to shoes where Carrie attends her friend Kyra's baby shower and is asked to remove her shoes because the kids are not supposed to pick up dirt from the floor. So far so good. Only that by the time she wants to go home, her 485 dollar Manolo Blahnik sandals are missing, and the hostess / mom doesn't think it's her responsibility to replace them. 

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After some back and forth, Carrie figures since she's never gotten engaged, married and pregnant, (which, according to her math, totalled in USD 2,300 for gifts and travel expenses for Kyra's out of state wedding), her friend more than owes her the shoes that went missing. 

She decides to leave the following message on her friend's machine:

Hi. It's Carrie Bradshaw.
I wanted to let you know that I'm getting married.
To myself. I'm registered at Manolo Blahnik.
So thanks. Bye.

Kyra promptly sent her the new shoes and a congratulations card.

My point? 

There will always be people who feel they are entitled to something or they may be missing out on something.

Who are we to judge which of the "needs" are justified?

If you're gonna be a mom, you know what expects you (at least on paper): 

Your career will be either over or on hold, and even if you return, things won't be the same. 

You'll have to pick up your kid at daycare (what a lovely excuse to leave the office early!), and your home time will most probably not include any margaritas but milk bottles, spit-up, laundry, dirty diapers and prolonged bedtime routines after which you collapse in bed yourself. 

If there is a client dinner or an out of town meeting you'll need to make extensive arrangements. There goes your "parenthood flexibility". Oh, and by the way, if you're anything like me, you'll use up all of your network's goodwill to babysit for business functions. Forget about going out with the girls or, me-time!

On the other hand, if you're not gonna be a mom yet, by choice or unwillingly, you also know what expects you:

Your job feels like your home and family.

Once you leave the office, it's all about you. You can grab a drink on your way home, you can go out for dinner, you can veg out in front of your TV - just as you please.

When you go on vacation, you pack your suitcase, and you're done!

So even though, Meghann has no clue about maternity leave, I do agree with her on the following:

  • Work life balance is tough for everyone
  • Women are bad at putting ourselves first
  • Parents and non-parents should support each other and don't judge each other

Amen to that!

How about you? Would you take a meternity leave?

Here are some more replies to Meghann's article:

Parents should be worshipped by their childless co-workers
Maternity Leave Is Not ‘Me’ Time
Me-Ternity Leave IS NOT the Same as Maternity Leave

By the way, what I think is more upsetting than a lady wanting a leave without a baby, is the ugly shoe picture that Google posted to honor us mothers:

Are you serious, Google???
At least makes us smile, OK?

Happy Mother's Day!