Author of new book Meternity, Meghann Foye has hit the headlines this morning, explaining that she believes non-mums should be able to take maternity leave, or as she calls it “Meternity”.
Meternity is the story of an unhappy editor who fakes a pregnancy in order to go on maternity leave and figure out her personal life. Foye has now publically admitted that she thinks the concept of her plot is a good idea for ladies who decide not to have children.
In an interview with the New York Post, she said:
The more I thought about it, the more I came to believe in the value of a “meternity” leave — which is, to me, a sabbatical-like break that allows women and, to a lesser degree, men to shift their focus to the part of their lives that doesn’t revolve around their jobs…
‘It seemed that parenthood was the only path that provided a modicum of flexibility. There’s something about saying “I need to go pick up my child” as a reason to leave the office on time that has far more gravitas than, say, “My best friend just got ghosted by her OkCupid date and needs a margarita” — but both sides are valid.
This has caused outrage on social media, with many women flummoxed as to how someone can think of maternity leave as a ‘break.’
At the Hopeless Hannah house, we aren’t quite sure what to make of this. Personally, I feel that this is a well-timed publicity stunt to sell more books. Why would anyone say something that is so acutely controversial if not for self gain? I’m looking at you Katie Hopkins…
Does Foye really think that looking after another life – a child’s life – deserves the same time off as the desire to sit on the sofa and sob after a crappy date?
It’s a worry that comments like Foyes build up the suffocating walls surrounding motherhood that deem it a ‘vacation away from the workplace’ and not a real job.
What punctured my heart the most about this story was the below quote from the author:
I may not have been changing diapers, but I grappled with self-doubt.
As someone who has dealt (and to a certain extent, is still dealing) with anxiety, the idea that maternity leave should be used to combat self-doubt is alarming. We live in an age where 40% of all sick leave from work is related to stress. The workplace craves more than ever – and we crave more out of life. We all want to succeed; we want the best social life; the best relationship and the best home.
Of course people should be allowed time off work for mental illness and stress related issues. However, connecting it with maternity leave – the act of bringing a child into the world and caring for another life – is bloody bonkers.
What do you think?