​Should non-mums get 'meternity' leave?

​Should non-mums get 'meternity' leave?
2 May 2016

All non-parents should be allowed paid time off from work in the form of a period of 'meternity' leave. That's what the author of a new novel aptly titled Meternity* believes.

Metro reports:

Meghann Foye is the 38-year-old author of new book Meternity*, about a frazzled editor who pretends to be pregnant so she can take some time off to figure out her life.

Meghann recently did an interview with the New York Post, explaining why she believes all non-parents (and particularly non-mums) should be able to take a similar paid period of 'meternity' leave.

In the original New York Post interview, Meghann said:

But 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.

For women who follow a "traditional" path, this pause often naturally comes in your late 20s or early 30s, when a wedding, pregnancy and babies means that your personal life takes center stage. But for those who end up on the "other" path, that socially mandated time and space for self-reflection may never come.

I had to stop reading there for a moment in order to gather my thoughts because the notion that maternity leave is a space for self-reflection is pretty much laughable. I mean c'cmon - self-reflection?!

I actually think Foye makes a really valid point that you shouldn't have to have a baby in order to have an opportunity to reconsider your working life. Plenty of mums start new businesses during maternity leave or at least acknowledge that it provides a welcome chance to think differently about their careers, after all, and the chance to work flexibly or change career path in this way shouldn't be out of bounds for those who aren't mums.

B-u-t I still think Foye is barking up entirely the wrong tree with her assertion that maternity leave means letting your personal life take centre stage. My baby took centre stage during maternity leave and, at least with my first baby, I spent most of that period worrying that I'd left my personal life on the floor of the delivery room and fretting that I might never get it back.

Most of us think we know a thing or two about motherhood before we have kids - it's a common mistake to believe that your kid will never have a dummy or be a fussy eater. But when reality hits, and we realise that few of us knew as much as we thought we did about motherhood, most of us find that our perspective changes. We become more understanding of the toddler who still has a bottle, or the mum who doesn't appear to object to the fact that her child eats only fromage frais and toast. I can't help but wonder whether Foye might one day discover how wide of the mark her presuppositions about maternity leave truly are.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on this story. Do you think women who aren't mothers should be granted a comparable period of paid time off to focus on other interests? Or do you take issue with Foye's meternity concept? Come and join the debate on our Facebook page or add to the comments below!


  • Anne E.

    OMG I can't believe this is even suggested. It's not a holiday! It's not about the mum/women or even dad that takes the leave its about the infant. The points not lost, it's not even recognised what a muppet!! :rage:

  • Lucy W.

    People on maternity/ paternity leave are generally focused on their new child, not re-assessing their lives. "Me-ternity" is better known as a career break which most large companies support already.

    • Nikki S.

      Or commonly known as 'annual leave'

    • Paula G.

      Love it Lucy you've hit the nail on the head

  • Jenna G.

    Isn't that just called annual leave?:thinking:

  • Emma W.


  • Helen D.

    Do me a favour:rolling_eyes:

  • Nicole L.

    Really? Do these women even know what mums do on maternity breaks? Hardly the same as a general break :confused:

  • Lisa H.

    I think she's crazy one step too far I was 34 when I had my first so i can understand that it feels like parents are getting a better deal but now I'm a (lucky) mum of 2 maternity/paternity leave is not good enough not paid enough not long enough and is purely for the children to bond with parents some people chose to work which is fine but I think she's missing the point there is no me time!

    • Lisa W.

      Going tescos on your own is now me time well is for me haha

  • Laura K.

    Take a holiday

  • Sara F.

    Yeah I agree, as long as she has to shit a house brick, then have someone drive over her womb a few times and has to live off two hours sleep everyday for 9months first. You know, just so she can feel the full benefit of what maternity leave is like. Great idea.

    • Kelly T.

      Love it !!

    • Claire S.

      Don't forget the sore boobs, bleeding for a month and projectile poop!

    • Jemma C.

      :joy::joy::joy: i'd have a me-ternity after 9 months maternity. Bloody need it!

    • Ruth K.

      Haha - superb!

    • Danielle C.

      Bleeding for a month, sounds great. 3 for me. :joy:

    • Amanda A.


    • Joanne G.


    • Samantha B.

      Couldn't of put it better myself. Well said :joy::joy:

    • Nikki P.

      Well said x

  • Niki S.

    That's a sabbatical! Maternity leave isn't a relaxing break!

    • Kelly T.

      Oh come on ! You get about 5 minutes rest a day , 2/3 hours sleep straight if lucky - a beautiful new smell called poop/ puke - best rest / me time ever ha ha

  • Chloe S.

    A career break or sabbatical is a great idea and I think more employers should embrace it. But it's not maternity leave and I don't really understand why the author makes this comparison. I know plenty of mums would like to take a career break too, not just non-mums.

  • Jo F.

    I think when you're a non-mum you do have this preconceived idea that maternity leave is all meeting for coffee and play dates, in fact it's something entirely different. Your priority is no longer 'you', it is this small human being that you have given life to and your job is to keep that small person alive. So that means in the early days, not washing your hair for a week, not sleeping as much as you'd like and eating cold food with one hand. The transition into motherhood is something that requires time off work, there is no alternative. It is not a selfish break from your career but a necessary one. I'm sorry but if you are not a mother yourself you cannot understand what it is like to be one. You never will until you become one. However, I fully support the need to take time away from work to reflect on your life and where you're at in your career and that's what career breaks are for.

  • Sharon C.

    What a dunce!

  • Rebecca G.

    I bored of supporting my family I am having 9 months off, but in the time while I'm out having fun and enjoying life, I want to be paid! :joy::joy::joy: no. Book a bloody holiday and get a grip

  • Rosalyn H.

    they all ready do its called a holiday. she has totally missed the point your not thinking of yourself when your on maternity when your up 4/5 times a night

  • Kylie L.


  • Deb T.

    A break????? Bloody hell. I'm on maternity leave at the moment and it's far from a break! I'm looking forward to getting back to work for some peace!! :joy:

    • Deb T.

      Reflux baby too. Love her to pieces but it's draining :cry:

    • Clare W.

      I've just done my first week back in work after 10 months off and my god it was so nice to do something simple and straight forward where, if something is wrong, someone can actually tell me what it is instead of me having to keep guessing till I pick the right problem. Don't get me wrong I've loved almost every minute of my maternity leave with my daughter but it was like I finally got some me time back.

    • Lisa W.

      Me to I'm on may leave for second time and it's no way a break it's harder than work work is the break love my kids but work will be nice and to have some more adult communication x

    • Beatrise B.

      Agree I can't wait to go back to work now . I'm home with my second now and I'm so tired I wanna cry . Work is much easier. She defo have lost meaning of what maternity is . P.s. Love my kids :heart:

    • Chloe L.

      I start my new job today, I've a 2 year old and 10 month old, I'm looking forward to some peace and quiet :joy::joy:

  • Carly P.

    Good grief. It's maternity leave, not a baby holiday! With a newborn, there is NO 'me' time. Going back to work gave me a break!

  • Stacy R.

    Maternity leave isn't about taking a break from work or "self-exploration", it's about your body recovering from a massive trauma and forming a bond with this tiny person that's appeared in your life.

    Yes. Many women do find that they can take a different path for the better in this time but it's not intentional.

    If there were such a thing as " me-ternity" then wouldn't it be an either/or situation, what if you took your my-time sabbatical and decided that you wanted a kid but technically you've used your maternity leave?

    And whist I'm over-thinking this why should men need paid time off "to a lesser extent"? Surely everyone is entitled to this apparently magical time of "self discovery", yes men get less paternity leave but if you're going to rewrite the rule book then it needs to be on an even keel.

    *yes, it's fictional and I'm really over-thinking it but it caught my eye ;)

    • Robert D.

      Pretty sure they already define time off like that as something called "holidays"?

    • Stacy R.

      Well yes. But that would be unfair, I mean us mothers are allowed a whole year to "find ourselves" (nothing quite as relaxing as being shat/spewed/pissed upon and clung onto or screamed at obviously!) whereas non-parents are only entitled to 4 weeks to do whatever they want and actually take time out to chill wherever takes their fancy... How utterly awful.

  • Emma T.

    I think sabbaticals could be could to rethink career paths. maternity leave tho is so much more than 'time off' . It's about ensuring a brand new human has the best start in life and letting mum heal from a 40week condition.

  • Steph W.

    Hahahaha!! :joy: because maternity leave is so relaxing and invigorating!! Oh God, I envy anyone who thinks it's 'me time' - you truly have no idea!

  • Rebecca K.

    This is crazy you've temporarily left your paid job to take up and amazing non paid job. The hours are harder and longer. It's not a holiday.

  • Jen A.

    Maternity leave isn't time off from work so u can dick around for 9 months or so. I'm busier and more shattered on mat leave than I was while working! What a load of crap!

    • Jenifer B.

      Omg I am actually enraged! !!

    • Jen A.

      I know what a ridiculous thing to say!!!

  • Nikki S.

    Yeh you get that time before you had kids, life's abit different funny enough when you've had a baby.....wtf!!!!!

  • Genna M.

    Yeah, as long as they have major surgery/have to push something huge through their genitals, then wake intermittently through the night to have something bite their huge, painful, swollen mammary glands while screaming and crying. Let them take a massive career hit too and return to work on reduced hours/pay for 'childcare' or whatever the alternative is for 'meternity' leave and be asked endless questions in interview for advancement and be rejected for this reason quietly, despite the fact it is illegal to do so. Maybe they could also enjoy not peeing alone, having to mush up all kinds of food and also getting huge amounts of judgemental/guilt packages thrown in for good measure, just so we are nice and clear that this is NOT time off for the sake of it...

  • Russell R.

    They get annual leave and it's all they should bloody get! For months while my missis was pregnant I worked overtime to build up my time off so I could take more than the poxy week I'm "granted" to spend with my beautiful boy and help my partner after everything she went through.

    The thought of this bloody angers and disgusts me I won't even get started on the equality argument

  • Lisa D.

    I'm halfway through my maternity leave and it's hard work - much easier being at work!!!!

  • Toni P.

    I'll happily do her job and she can have the rest of my maternity leave see if she changes her mind after months of sleepless nights because the baby is allergic to sleep!

  • Rachel D.

    What a silly idea from someone who obviously hasn't been through childbirth. I haven't had major surgery requiring months off work on sick pay, does that also mean I should be entitled to paid time off (above my holiday)?! I've not started my maternity leave yet (34 weeks, 3 days left at work) but I'm already desperate for it as being pregnant is taking so much out of my body. I can't imagine how those first few weeks are going to be - but I know for darned sure I won't have time to "re-assess my life"!

  • Angela S.

    Ermmmmm NO

  • Hayley S.

    when I go back to work in October from maternity leave I'm going to apply for me-ternity, you good to have my kids for 9 months so I can rest? :joy:

  • Kylie G.

    she`s aware its not a breaak isnt she? we dont lounge around with nothing but time on our hands relaxing all day.

  • Kate P.

    Hmmm....say something ridiculous and controversial to get all the mums on social media talking = shift more copies of her book. Nobody believes that this is a good idea, least of all Meghann Foye!

    • Louise C.

      Not sure it will make people buy the book but will def get extra attention

    • Kate P.

      They say any publicity is good publicity! I downloaded 50 Shades even though I was pretty sure it was going to be rubbish. I reckon if this book had come out before I had my family, I would have lapped it up lol :-D

  • Lynda C.

    Aren't they called annual leave ?!

  • Jo D.

    You get holiday allowance if you work, surely that's enough if you're not about to give birth! Or if you want break that badly save up as much as you can for months and then you can there's your money!

  • Lorna H.

    I used to work 60 hour weeks and was never anywhere near half as shattered as I have been since having children. She's obviously not too bright if she thinks she is losing out on a "break"!!!

  • Emma K.

    Time off to figure out her life?!? Hahaha my maternity x2 I didn't know my arse from my elbow!!! What nonsense!!! I don't judge people without children don't pretend to know anything about having them!!!

  • Sharon P.

    :) ..... i saw this already......i don't think for a second its easy being a 'mum'...but it IS a choice! why can't i get paid time off work to look after my furry babies?! :D

  • Laura H.

    Break.... :joy::joy::joy::joy::joy: she's f*cking nuts if she thinks maternity leaves a break! UR skint cause ur on stat maternity pay... 1/3 of my normal wage, UR in totally mummy mode with a baby as constant company (can drive U bammy on a teething day, believe me!!!) and U have to go to baby happy clapper clubs for adult contact during the day where sit in circles and sing nursery rhymes xx

    • Catherine J.

      Thank you someone who speaks sense however you forgot to say if an employer dares to pay more than the sat mat pay you have to pay it back. I had a crap pregnancy crap labour (emergency c section) and now my son is 6months old and teething it's certainly not a 9month holiday hshaha xx

    • Laura H.

      Aww I know! How they can justify the stat maternity pay is beyond me! It's most definitely not a holiday... It's an experience!lol there's brilliant bits but theirs real shitty bits too! Teething is a right shitey bit... Having no pals to kick about with and vent to monday - friday cause they all all works pants, happy clapper rhyme time... Oofffttt but we get to see the wee person we created grow up in front of our eyes and we witness all their little firsts and it's these wee things that balance out the right crap days where U sit in the toilet with the door shut just to get peace and for no other reason!

      I heard a great quote the other week "all mothers are loosing their shit on a daily basis... Some just hide it better than others" and that's soooooo true! Xx

  • Natalie P.

    Yes it's just that simple on maternity!!

  • Sammie I.

    how idiotic. if thats the case then men would have to have time off too

  • Christina L.

    She has no clue what maternity leave is all about. Definitely won't be buying the book!

  • Vikki N.

    They do.. It's called a nights sleep :zzz::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

  • Kirstin S.

    In America Maternity leave is 6 weeks if they're lucky. As much as she's missed the point of what maternity leave is, I think the replies on this post about how hard 9 months of maternity leave is shows that we British women don't understand just how good we have it.

    • Alyson Y.

      There are also British women who return to work quickly after the birth as they don't get paid maternity leave such as those who are self employed and therefore get the statutory element only. We are luckier than mothers stateside but then they also get less paid holidays etc than ourselves too.

    • Kirstin S.

      Statutory pay for 9 months is still a hell of a lot better than no pay at all after 6 weeks. it at least leaves us with the option of staying home. I'm confused what your point is about paid holidays? If they get less paid holidays than us that means they're even worse off than us?

    • Kirstin S.

      I went back to work 8 weeks after my son was born, not that it's relevant other than you implied I didn't know some mum's here go back to work before the 9 months

    • Alyson Y.

      I know people who just can't afford to take the salary drop to 90%. When it drops further they can't manage it at all. I returned to work when my eldest was 7 weeks old because that was just what was expected. Another friend recently went back to work three weeks after having her daughter.

    • Liz P.

      It was statutory for 6 months when I had my eldest. It must have changed then?

  • Gemma G.

    I love how people seem to think mat leave is a holiday!! It's bloody hard work especially when it's your 2nd or more child and quite frankly my job is easier - at lease I get the time on the train twice a day every day to read, sleep or stare into space like a zombie!!

    She is effectively saying she wants a sabbatical. In which case, take all of your annual leave at once then take the rest of the time off as sabatical. Does she think maternity leave is paid well and we all spend our fortune on ourselves whilst we're on "holiday"??? Reality is very few companies have a great mat leave package and most of the time on mat leave is either unpaid or being paid a pittance which either goes on your bills, or most likely, on your child(ren), not enjoying yourself!!! The only "me" time I have is when I'm asleep at nighy in between feeds and before my preschooler wakes. I'm thoroughly loving the time I get to spend with my 4month old son but it's faaaaaaaaaaar from relaxing!!

  • Leanne M.

    I've had two lots of maternity leave. I'd quite like a me-turnity leave now...

  • Katherine N.

    I can't believe I just read that right ..... "Me-ternity"?????? That is EXACTLY what every mother loses, the moment she gives birth...... It's no longer the sense of "me"........from this moment onwards it will forever be "us".... And maternity leave is there for mums to undergo this transition, to bond with this completely dependant being, to adjust their personality, their demeanour, their life to accommodate this..... Pregnancy is a completely different world to motherhood, and to say that every woman "deserves" this time away from work, regardless of whether they just gave birth or not is completely undermining the whole ethos of this scary new world for so many people.

  • Nicola D.

    Wtf is this?!

  • Emma M.

    A stupid woman who doesn't want children but thinks she should still be able to have 9 months off paid to find her self and have me time !

  • Nicola D.

    Take a flipping holiday!

  • Jane P.

    They donuts called a career break!

  • Katherine S.

    Only if she looks after my kids while she's on it. Ffs.

  • Vicky W.

    Lol self reflection really ..... what do you think have you had time to self reflect lol

  • Leah A.

    Sure the leave is to allow time to recover from pregnancy especially the difficult ones and have bonding time with the newborn ..... And just because some people can't get pregnant doesn't mean take it out on those who can. Not everyone just pops them out some people have damn difficulties to be blessed with a baby .

  • Grainne W.

    Hardly!!!!! Why would she it's called maternity for having a child

  • Emily W.

    They just keep coming out with rubbish! Remember the one where women should have a "period break"

  • Hazel B.

    She wouldn't be too sure if she found out what maternity pay actually is!!!! X

  • Sarah L.

    Yeah, because a year plus of sleep deprivation and caring for a completely helpless dependant 24 hours a day is a "break". Now I'm back at work I view work as my "break" from being a mum. Fair enough if people want to take leave from work to peruse other things but it is in no way comparable.

  • Louise T.

    I'm on maternity leave at the moment and with two kids I can definitely say it's no holiday. This woman has really annoyed me with her complete ignorance! It is a life choice to have a family or build on your career, both come with positive and negative factors. So to start suggesting that those without the family should be entitled to extra time off for reflection as a way of having their maternity leave is actually very insulting considering what those with children go through day to day! I'm still recovering from an emergency c-section where we could have lost our lives.....

  • Mary B.

    No as maternity leave isnt just for the mother to bond and take care of her baby but also so she can heal both physically and mentally

  • Jennifer M.

    She can have it if she spends her entire time not sleeping and covered in sick, wee, poo and milk that may or may not be her own.

  • Penny B.

    yup, I just LOVED my "break"...I loved changing shitty nappies, having no sleep, forgetting when the last time i saw my shower was, getting puked on, getting food or milk spat back at me and i REALLY loved that it took the organisational skills of an army general to leave the house...only for the darling to poop/puke/wee through each set of clothing you thought would be suffice for an hour out the house. oh yes, i felt so relaxed after all that

  • Linda S.

    So, this author was NEVER a baby herself and her mother NEVER took a day off work when she gave birth to her?

  • Valerie P.

    This is an insult to women without children,the avarage intellectual women would take holidays from work,not compare there break to someone who is taking maternity,the idiot her

  • Claire C.

    Argh...that is ridiculous!!!

  • Caroline C.

    This is just ridiculous - if you want 'me time' it's called a sabbatical!

  • Laura C.

    This woman needs a check-up from the neck up if she thinks maternity leave is any kind of 'break'. Yes, you leave employment for a while but that certainly doesn't mean it's not work! Motherhood is 24/7 unpaid work with no holiday, no sick leave and no break. It's absolutely amazing, but work nevertheless!

  • Kathryn M.


  • Emma K.

    If these women get paid time off I would like that too (am a stay at home mum) maternity leave is never "time off"

  • Sarah J.

    My baby is 9 weeks today and yeah its totally true I just am having so much fun and me time... Oh wait no I'm actually more tired haven't had a shower in two days and can't remeber the last time I was alone...

    • Catherine J.

      Wait to the teething stage comes Hun my son is going through it ATM and sleeping is basically non existent lol x

  • Clevy84

    Is this woman serious...... does she not realise that some days most mums are lucky to have a shower, hot brew and eat a meal??? 

    Me-ternity...... what a friggin joke! U try it lady..... its bloody hard work looking after a baby (but best thing ever I must add) x

  • Hannah J.

    I think she's out there with the most clueless of non-parents going - the reason peoples priorities change is not because they've had a reflective period of time away from work its because they have another person that they are responsible for and they don't have the option of working late or they change careers to fit in more with their family or things have to change because financial situations change! What she is on about is having a career break or sabbatical and thats not what maternity leave is - i also think its a bit sexist that she thinks men need this to a lesser extent! She's seeing women coming back from maternity leave with different priorities and seeming more self-assured and basically removing the actual children from the cause of this change but is oblivious to the benefits this could also have to men if they took substantial paternity leave. But its the actual children and parenting bit not the time away from work! Go take a holiday!

  • Louise M.

    Going to work is a break for anyone with a toddler :joy:

  • Kerry L.

    Do people think it's good pay in all jobs?? Sadly not only 4 weeks full pay in teaching then it drops off massively! To £20 by 8 months nothing by 9, by all means have a me-ternity, but it's not all getting paid not to work!!

  • Steph G.

    It's not a bleeding holiday ! She can live with the guys who expect tea on the table cos THEY have been at work all day!!!! How about she books some holiday like everyone else, maybe she will want days off unpaid or as holiday for her none children's sickness!

  • Lara S.

    It's not a bloody holiday! How deluded is this idiot?

  • Beccy C.

    y you can tell this woman doesn't have kids; she has no idea what she's talking about.

    • Amy M.

      Totally clueless!! And some what, "on another planet":joy::grimacing:

  • Mae H.

    A break...! Hahahahahahaha :joy::joy::joy:

  • Marie S.

    Ehh no I think not. Having a baby isn't exactly having "me time" it's constant as soon as you have baby until u go back it is however rewarding. If u want "me time" take unpaid leave & have as much as u want. People are entitled to rights but u need to fit into that category before ur entitled baby = maternity leave

  • Louise R.

    god alive, i have heard it all now.

  • Katy H.

    It's bloody ridiculous!

  • Laura C.

    Two words, Silly bitch

  • Kathryn R.

    Let's be clear, mums on maternity leave are in no way taking time off to 'figure their life out'. Please! Unless they count putting their every single solitary basic need second to the needs of another 24 hours a day that is. This idea is ridiculous. Typical of the entitlement culture of today.

  • Gillian M.

    No!! Maternity is far from a holiday and is certainly not ME time!! It's hard work most days you have to 1. Brig a baby into this world and whether it's natural births, assisted or section it's bloody hard work 2. You get no rest after this trauma and have to recover while taking care of a beautiful but demanding baby... They. Can't help it 3. You hurt like hell for minimum 1-2 weeks you can barely sit, pee or pooh!! 4. You have to adjust to a new addition to your family 5. Adjust to reduced income but increased outgoings 6. And Do everything you did before as well!!! It's time for you and your new baby to get to know each other and to adjust to your new family it's not a break and women who decide not to or cannot have children have career breaks they can take for ME time. I'm not being harsh or but Maternity is maternity and definitely not MEternity!!!

  • Sarah K.

    :clap_tone1: what a fabulous idea (!) I'm currently on maternity leave after having had my wee boy last September and up until I became a mum - I wouldn't have agreed that it is the hardest job. 1. There are no regular hours - you are always on call. 2. There is not at least 11 hours between shifts. 3. You are not entitled to a 15 minute break after working for four hours. 4. You don't always get peace to go to the toilet. 5. Your body has been absolutely pushed to its limits carrying - then birthing your child. 6. You often pee when you sneeze. I could go on - but my second load of washing has just finished in the dryer and it's needing sorted before I get to bed and then get woken by my teething 8 month old. :weary:

  • Debs P.

    O dont b ridiculous, woman without kids get holidays!!! :sweat_smile::sweat_smile::sweat_smile:

  • Claire M.

    Ha ha - it's called a career break for people without kids. Ffs maternity leave is not a HOLIDAY it's this perception that leads to all sorts of nonsense from muppets like her.

  • Keri H.

    WTF?! You cannot compare a want/need for a career break with maternity leave :rage: The whole point of giving new mothers paid time away from work is to recover from labour (it's called that for a reason) and to nourish her baby until they can be cared for by someone else to allow her to return to work. The paid part of the arrangement is so that the family can still eat and pay their bills! Just because a mother gets paid time off work does not mean she has 'me' time. Far from it! Bloody hard work if you ask me :joy:

    • Danielle C.

      Or a section. I took a long time to recover from both my sections, the normal births weren't so bad.

  • Alice F.

    Good grief... it's hardly a break from work... stupid woman honestly.

  • Nicky K.

    Of course I worked non stop from the age of 16. Worked 2 jobs. In finance very good wages. Then I had 3 children. Now the suits and high heels are a thing of the past. So is sleep. Shopping is replaced with visits to the park and Legoland. So no. Just an excuse to be lazy .

  • Kimberley H.

    This concept already exists, it's called a sabbatical, or career break or gap year. It's been going quite some time...

  • Suzanna S.

    Err...isn't that called 'holiday' or have I missed something here?!!

  • Jody R.

    The clue is in the word 'maternity'. Clearly the opinion of someone who is very self - absorbed. Let's be thankful she doesn’t have kids...

  • Opal C.


  • Rachel S.

    I'm more tired now looking after my 20 month old then I was doing 60 hours a week! Silly cow

  • Emma B.

    Yes, because that's why the majority of women who take maternity leave see their careers stall or stop completely afterwards and often suffer a massive post

    • Emma B.

      Agh...basically there's pay gap. A big one.

  • Lisa K.

    Blimey so many of you are getting angry over one person's opinion, who cares about her we all know things she obviously doesn't, you've given her the reaction she wants from writing a stupid book that prob won't even sell.

  • Melanie B.

    What a moron. Everyone (UK) is entitled to a career break if they want one.. Maternity leave and paternity leave are for people adjusting to a new phase of life.. Not reassessing what they already have!

  • Emmi W.

    This is why no one listens to women! Because most come out with this crap and it's so stupid it gets plastered everywhere than everyone thinks where all like that. And I suppose men don't get this non parent maternity leave either? It's mostly women but where the hell does everyone seem to think the world owes them?

    I think the best thing about this though is that she actually thinks maternity leave is a break. Like throwing up constantly, feeling dizzy, woddling around getting swollen feet, maybe if your a lucky bugger you might get spd. You got a baby constantly kicking you in the middle of thes night waking you up, your hormones are all over the place. And it's not over, cos once you go through the agonising pain of giving birth, you still have a baby to look after which is constant feeds (and during night too) changing disgusting nappies, baby crying in you'r ear and again, you may be lucky to get a baby who's got colic. You get fat, hormones are still all over the place, you may if had stiches so walking is a nightmare but like it's that easy to go anywhere anymore as you've now got a baby. And then whoever log you've had off its back to work again, but this time you get home you have a baby to look after. Yea maternity leave is soooo relaxing. This person obviously doesn't have kids and I feel sorry for any man that goes near her.

    Also no one will buy your book. The only reason I imagine anyone buying it is to see if there's more idiotic ideas to laugh at. People will do anything for more fame!

  • Ross M.

    I want sick leave but I'm not sick. Who do I talk to about that? ;)

  • Avril G.

    Don't buy the book,craziest idea I've heard

  • Rachel G.

    She seriously thinks mothers get a break! Wow!

  • Donna W.

    Rather go to work than look after kids :joy::joy::joy: xx

  • Jennifer W.

    This is absolutely ridiculous!!! They do get paid time of to reflect on whatever they choose! It's called holiday pay!!!!! Maternity leave is not a holiday! It's not a break either!! Giving Meternity leave to women who haven't yet had children makes a mockery of maternity leave! Get a grip! Book some of your allotted holiday to reflect on where your life is going!! Once I became a mum all I really want now is to pee alone!! 2 weeks to reflect on my life alone... Paid!!! Blimey sounds like heaven!!! Sort it out and woman up!!! You don't need paid time off to evaluate your life, if you're not happy change something! This is just crazy!!

  • Louise C.

    Can I get Meternity Leave even if I've had kids?

  • Sharon P.

    we all have an opinion ! I'm not a mother . It was your choice to be one . No one forced you to go through childbirth / suffer pain / sleepless nights / complete change of perspective etc etc . I think most working women who have made the choice NOT to have children will agree in part . I also think it should be the same for men . My pets mean just as much to me as your children do to you . I find it really offensive when people with children disregard / belittle that !! Anyway a ' mums' forum isn't the most neutral ground for this debate ... :smirk:

  • Julie Z.

    So that's why I go to the toilet with the lights off so that for five bloody minutes nobody can find me so can't ask me for something or to do something or to look at something... It's 'that socially mandated time and space for self-reflection'.

  • Hannah O.

    Ppphhhahhhh-coz maternity leave allows you 'time for self- reflection', you often don't even have time to bloody wee alone!!

  • Rachael S.

    Maternity leave and a career break, which ultimately is what the author is speaking about, are far from comparable and to me this is a strange comparison to make. Maternity leave is far from a break, it was some of the hardest (yet most rewarding) 9 months of my life. Sure she should take the break but it is certainly not a maternity, or me-ternity(?!?!), break.

  • Lisa W.

    Bet they would want to go back to work pretty sharpish if they got paid what we do on Mat leave!

  • Lisa W.

    What an absolute joke!!!

  • Sahar K.

    No. What an idiot

  • James D.

    What about guys then? I'm just wondering you know equal rights and opportunities...

  • Becky B.

    Maternity leave is NOT a break. It's lovely to be off from work but your pay drops significantly, you are tired ALL the time and...oh yeah...you are looking after a newborn baby!!

  • Julia G.

    Maternity leave isnt a break, looking after a baby is harder than going to work :rage::rage::rage::rage:

  • Helen M.

    Women cry we want equal rights with men then demand period leave and now meternity leave really women need to step up and get up n on with it is this what they faught for when Emily Pankhurst faught for women's rights I think not

  • Leanne J.

    Yes but she needs to live on maternity money! Be up all night full of baby sick black bags under eyes and then at 7am when she has a spare hour she needs to decide if she showers tidy up her shit tip of a house nap sterilise stuff or make a coffee and try and watch 6 weeks worth of soaps! Absolute selfish arsehole maternity is far far from a break!!

  • Tara G.

    If maternity means cooking, cleaning,ironing,washing, washing your baby for the 10th time and yourself because they have puked up. Sneezed on pooed on weed on not having a tissue on hand and having to use your jumper sleeve instead. Waking up several times for wees nightmares and unwell. And all the other stuff x that by how many children you have (2 for me) and yeah give me that any time

  • Joanne H.

    Yeah maternity leave is a total holiday camp and really let me find myself.....said no mother ever!

  • Kelly C.

    PAID time off?! Currently on maternity leave, wish it was paid!!

  • Niki P.

    Wow how to "poke the bear" what a silly futile thing for someone to write. Maternity leave is there for a reason and sabbaticals are there for a completely different and also valid reason. Get a grip lady.

  • Laura D.

    Ok would have loved a me-ternity before having my maternity!!! Surely this is just a holiday?! She just wants an extra holiday. Wouldn't we all :rage:

  • Leese M.

    Tell her to pipe down lol

  • Stacey F.

    Maternity is not a break :joy::joy::joy::joy::joy::joy: far from it lol

  • Charmaine K.

    Such a typical thing for people without children to think it's a nice break from work and tell you to enjoy your time off lol! Before I had my child I kind of felt the same way. You can't blame people as they don't know any different but at the same time people without children should try not to judge.

  • Elle M.

    Isn't the whole point of maternity leave to have your child and spend as much time bonding with the child and to recover from giving birth too before you go back to work? Why would someone who isn't pregnant/just had a child get maternity leave, it's not a bloody holiday!

  • Alan C.

    Erm, I want paternity leave then for having no kids. Let's see... I think I won't have 10 kids how long does that give me.

  • Suzanne C.

    So if you use all your meternity leave does that mean if you do have kids you then don't get maternity leave? And is it like once every 5-7 years you get 6 months off? How would it work

  • Jennifer H.

    Words cannot express how naive and stupid this women's idea is? If you want to change career think about it after hours. Very much missed the point just started maternity leave today, due in three weeks, and will just watch my income reduce until I get back to work. Its not time off its a really difficult full time job with a little person bossing you around 24/7!

  • Alison C.

    I think the perception of maternity leave to some people who haven't had a family yet is all coffee and cake meet ups with other mums because that's all they see.....they don't see behind closed doors and how tough going it can be, it's also hugely enjoyable but that doesn't mean it's not "hard work" - I mean it's 24 hours on call people! There is certainly NO me time, not even for a pee! It's the exact opposite of ME time as your day ( and night) puts everyone else before yourself!

  • Sharon P.

    I know , but your friend was rude :smirk:

  • Katy H.

    I disagree I'm afraid

  • Katy H.

    But cannot be bothered to go into this. ..its my opinion.

  • James

    I completely agree with the Author, Maghann although I'm not sure why she suggests meternity leave should only apply to women and not men. I can't believe the comments above - deciding to have a child isn't something that is thrust upon you, it's completely your own choice. You decided to have a baby so don't complain about how it isn't easy. How is it fair to people who might not want children?

    I believe a better system would allow universal leave of X months per employee, regardless of gender. If you choose to use your universal leave to bring a child into this world then all the best to you. If anyone has a logical explanation as to why this wouldn't be a fairer system for everyone, I'd be very interested to hear it!

  • Cheryl R.

    How can she think that writing a book about someone pretending to be pregnant is a good idea?! Its a bit rude and inconsiderate in my opinion. I love being a mum but 'me time' doesn't come into it. Being a mum is the most selfless thing anyone can do. In fact I go to work of a weekend for a break and for me time because in the week when I am with my babies all my efforts, thoughts, love and attention goes on them, not on 'self reflection!' What's self reflection again??

  • Katie L.

    Isn't that what annual leave is for? Stupid woman mothers need maternity leave to bond with the baby and to cope with no sleep and putting yourself second

  • Gareth P.


  • Aimee F.

    Cheek! Pffft.

  • Sally M.

    This is one of the craziest things I've ever read. Ask for a sabbatical, unpaid leave or extended holiday if you want to do something for yourself. Maternity leave isnt a holiday, it's damn hard work.

  • Paul J.

    There is no such thing as a non-working mother!

  • Carly G.

    That's what holiday pay is for...Oh maternity is not a luxurious time of its bloody hard work and I can't wait to go back to work.

  • Melanie E.

    Who comes up with these ideas..seriously!

  • Hayley T.

    It's all about 'feeling left out'. I do think career breaks or sabatical is a good idea for anyone but until you've had real maternity leave i'm not sure you can compare what new parents do with their time off and what a non parent would do with their time off.

  • Susan T.

    Maternity leave is not a holiday and I didnt have time to reflect. I was mostly sleep deprived and up to my eyes in dirty nappies and vomit. If women want maternity leave they have to earn it by having a child and going through the motions like the rest of us. Ffs ive never heard of anything so stupid in my life

  • Stephen C.

    Ffs. The entitlement of this woman is staggering. I suppose it's no surprise she needs a little me time.

  • Michelle G.

    Is that not what days off are for?!! Bot sure how much of a break maternity leave is tbh?!!....

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