Women Deserve Maternity Leave, Baby or No

Meghann Foye is tired of working moms having all the fun
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2016 5:00 PM CDT
Women Deserve Maternity Leave, Baby or No
A woman enjoys the perks of working motherhood.   (Shutterstock)

Fed up with working moms getting all the perks, 38-year-old magazine editor Meghann Foye writes in the New York Post that it's time for childless women to start getting theirs. "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," she says. But Foye has bigger fish to fry than working moms getting to leave work on time. She's advocating for "meternity leave" to balance out the maternity leave given to new moms. She defines meternity leave as "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."

Foye says a meternity leave would allow childless women to get the time to refocus and reevaluate their lives—time that is already afforded to new mothers. Foye actually took a meternity leave for herself and says the experience was invaluable. "I may not have been changing diapers, but I grappled with self-doubt for the year and a half that I spent away from the corporate world," she writes. Obviously, Foye's opinion has been controversial. "I have to laugh pretty hard at a Foye’s description of maternity leave as a 'sabbatical-like break,'" writes Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon. "It’s not exactly a vacation," concurs Korin Miller at Women's Health Magazine. "You're up every three hours to nurse. ... If you can squeeze in a five-minute shower, it's pretty much a damn miracle." And Laura June at New York Magazine points out only 13% of new moms in the US even get maternity leave. (Read more maternity leave stories.)

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