There Is No “Me” in Maternity


meghann foye

Meet Meghann Foye, editor at a popular magazine, whose apparent jealousy over a pregnant coworker’s maternity leave and the “special” treatment working mothers receive inspired her breakout manifesto novel, Meternity. It’s the story of petulant, self-entitled magazine editor (sound familiar?), Liz Buckley, who fakes a pregnancy so she can take advantage of all the perks (insert finger quotes) of maternity leave. Watch.

While I haven’t read the book (and don’t plan to) the trailer is enough to make me want to kick Meghann Foye. As. Hard. As. I. Can.

FYI. Pregnancy is not a part-time gig. Incubating a human being inside your body is EXHAUSTING, not to mention the “perks” – urinary incontinence, flatulence, hemorrhoids, indigestion, acne and cankles to name a few – make karaoke nights and boozy dinners far from appealing. And maternity clothes have come a long way since I wore them two decades ago, but they’re hardly “fab?” Puh-leeze. Get a clue.

You may think I’m overreacting. After all, the current P.C. culture dictates only radical feminists and lesbians – not traditional stay-at-home-moms – are allowed to be offended by stuff, right? Plus it’s fiction, and according to the majority of Amazon reviewers, it’s not even especially well-written fiction, but it reflects Meghann Foye’s genuine attitude about motherhood and maternity leave. I’ve got nothing against women who don’t have kids. It’s the mom-bashing that annoys me. I can overlook the blissful oblivion, but whiny, self-entitled narcissism… not so much. So yeah, I have a problem with Miss Foye, her book and her attitude. [RELATED New York Post article: I Want All the Perks of Maternity Leave – Without Having Kids ]

Miss Foye on working mothers/parents

“…after 10 years of working in a job where I was always on deadline, I couldn’t help but feel envious when parents on staff left the office at 6 p.m. to tend to their children, while it was assumed co-workers without kids would stay behind to pick up the slack.

It seemed that parenthood was the only path that provided a modicum of flexibility. 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.”

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot. If this sounds like a joke, welcome to the club because yes. In the greater scheme of things, a parent leaving work early to retrieve a child for ANY REASON is infinitely more valid than skipping out to drink margaritas with your friend who “just got ghosted by her OkCupid date.” FYI. Caring for children trumps boozing with friends. Always. Seriously, is there anyone… ANYONE… who does not inherently know this?

Miss Foye on maternity leave…

…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.”

Socially-mandated time and space for self-reflection? I can’t even…

You want a share of the sweet, sweet perks of maternity leave, Miss Foye?  Be my guest. Enjoy the searing pain and terror of your first postpartum bowel movement; engorged breasts with cracked, bleeding nipples; and lochia, which is like menstruating, only more like hemorrhaging blood along with items never-before-seen in normal periods like thick mucus and large chunks of venous tissue mostly from where the placenta was attached to and then ripped from the wall of your uterus.  Oh yeah and did I mention it lasts something like four to six weeks? Because… it does. Enjoy the chronic sleep deprivation, Miss Foye, and the resulting compromised state of mental and physical functioning and the mind-numbing, inexplicable crying (yours and the baby’s) along with the angst, fear and self-doubt that smacks you square in the face when you realize you are solely responsible for the well-being, safety and LIFE of another completely HELPLESS human being. Self-reflection and introspection? Good luck with that…  0042077-R2-013-5

FYI. There is no ME in maternity.






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2 thoughts on “There Is No “Me” in Maternity

  1. Miss Foye is delusional. Obviously she doesn’t understand that her “me-ternity leave” starts each and every week on Friday afternoons at 5pm and is over on Monday mornings at 8am. Unlike the actual Moms whose R&R is non-existent, even on those weekend hours.
    I love the commercial of the man standing in the doorway of a room and saying “I’m not feeling well, I’m going to take the day off” then it pans to the other side of the room to his son standing in the crib looking at him with a puzzled look.
    Delusional, I tell you!

  2. In the 60s the company policy, where I was employed, was 3 months pregnant and you had to terminate your employment. In the 40s the same company, when you married you had to terminate . Thank god we have evolved. Today when women have to work to help make ends meet I think its great women and men have these perks. By the way, childless women, how many times have you taken unjustified days off? ie. too much to drink the night before, up late, shopping etc. By the way the women who had to terminate in the forties when they married where married to our servicemen who were overseas covering our butts, Stop and think about it, there are still women whose husbands are in the service and they have to work to supplement their income and raise their children. These women may not be pregnant but sometimes need to put children before work. Hide your heads in shame to all those who think time off for these women is unwarranted. Shame on you.

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