Looks like author Meghann Foye sparked a conversation — and a controversy — with the release of her new novel "Meternity."
Meghann thinks people without kids should get an extended break from work, just like their co-workers who go on maternity or paternity leave. She speaks from experience. Years ago, Foye took her own self-financed meternity leave to kick start her writing career. I understand where Meghann is coming from. Burnout is a big problem in this country and childless workers are at risk because the perception is they are available all the time. Everyone deserves "me time" which is why many workplaces have vacation days and Paid Time Off. .
But Americans aren't even taking the paid vacation time coming to them. Every year they leave tons of paid vacation days unused out of fear for their jobs, or too big a workload or all kinds of other reasons. So are people going to take three months off unpaid for meternity leave? Let's be real, they most certainly are not.
If you have the desire and some savings, whether you are a parent or a single employee, you can take meternity leave any time you want. It's called quitting your job, regrouping and forging a new path that gives you the work life balance you seek. In that sense, meternity leave already is available to all workers.
On the flip side, what's going on in this country with maternity leave is pitiful.
Right now, 1 out of 4 mothers only takes two weeks off to have a kid, despite the toll on their bodies and the sleepless nights. Why? They can't afford to take more than that because our nation has no national policy on paid parental leave. Let's focus on getting that first. Let's help parents get the time they need to bond with their newborn, establish a routine and get ready for the balancing act that lies ahead. That will make a difference in our communities and for our families.
What are your thoughts on meternity leave? Is it an insult to new parents? If you could afford it, would you take it?