You’ve probably heard about Meghann Foye, an author who wrote a book about a woman faking a pregnancy in order to get maternity leave.
Her book, “Meternity,” and the mindset that goes along with it, created such a stir that Foye backed out of an appearance on Good Morning America.
I completely reject her concept that parental leave is “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.”
I’ve discussed my experiences from my three paternity leaves. No sleep. Eating crap to give you energy to bounce a baby from 3am-4am. And then driving the older kids to school, running to the grocery store, then running back to the grocery store because I forgot pretty much everything I went to the store to get. [Lack of sleep for the win!]
Women give birth to a human being out of their bodies. Not just a human being, but one that weighs as much as a bowling ball. Also, this bowling ball-sized person has been growing inside of them for the better part of a year. Thus, a good portion, if not all, of a woman’s maternity leave is spent physically recovering to the point of being a functioning human being again.
Don’t mistake this for “Eat. Pray. Love.” There is no period of rejuvenating self-discovery. I’ve seen maternity leave. Three times. [Don’t believe a Dad’s take here? Check out ScaryMommy’s thrashing of Foye’s position.]
Does Foye actually think that parents get a free pass on work? That sounds like an individual company issue and not a societal one. Companies should be applauded for flexibility for working parents. But if a company blindly allows parents to toss work on non-parents, a conversation with HR is in order.
Look, I clearly support parental leave. And I also support paid sabbaticals. Many companies, including mine, offer them for tenured employees. But to link the two as if they are equivalent is horrifically misguided.
My final thoughts for Foye? Thanks for starting a national conversation on this topic. Maternity trumps Meternity. Always. Best of luck with your book.