Here’s What a “Me-ternity” Leave Should Really Look Like

As I’m sure you’ve read by now, a writer named Meghann Foye has made it known, in today’s New York Post,that she would like to experience “the sabbatical-like break” that is maternity leave. The headline: “I want all the perks of maternity leave—without having kids”. A blogger myself, I realize that Foye did this article precisely because it would stir up the wrath of parents everywhere, get a million clicks, and garner publicity for her novel, Meternity. But whatever, as a working mom of three kids age 5 and under, I’m taking the bait anyway. Yes, Meghann! Let’s do this. Employees without kids should experience maternity leave and I want to help you do that. My cumulative 10 months of (unpaid) leave have made me well-acquainted with this topic. But just in case those calm-seeming new moms rolling strollers into Starbucks at 3 p.m. have misled you (they’re basically sleepwalking), there are a few actions I think you’ll need to take—beyond taking an extended vacation—in order to do this authentically.

You’re right about one thing: On top of enjoying all of this me-time, you will need to start looking at life through a new lens—the one of how you’re going to raise a functioning/thriving new member of society in a batshit crazy world. And in a particular culture that, ICYMI which it seems you did, is not actually known for being super accommodating to parents. But if you say all the moms you work with peace out by 6 p.m. daily, awesome—hang on to that gig for dear life! And next time you’re out at 9 p.m. having that margarita with a friend, just know that the mom who left at 6 is back on her laptop catching up on work—before the next baby feeding.

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Freelance magazine writer who up and relocated her family to Maine mid-pandemic like a damn crazy person. More on that at @girlgonemaine

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Petra Guglielmetti

Petra Guglielmetti

Freelance magazine writer who up and relocated her family to Maine mid-pandemic like a damn crazy person. More on that at @girlgonemaine

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