An author claiming women without children should be allowed to take time off work for a ‘me-ternity’ leave backed out of an appearance on Good Morning America today after she faced overwhelming criticism over her ideas.
As a magazine editor, Meghann Foye, 38, grew weary of fellow coworkers who left the office at 6pm to spend time with their children, while she was expected to pick up the slack without a valid ‘excuse’.
She proposed that women should be given time off to reconsider their life goals and avoid burn-out after she observed new mothers returning to work with a fresh sense of confidence.
GMA host Amy Robach addressed the outrage, bringing in psychiatrist and mother-of-four Dr. Janet Taylor, who said Foye’s idea pits mothers against childless women in an unnecessary competition.
Foye said it was unfair that expecting mothers got to take a break from work, only to return with a clearer idea of what they wanted in life.
In a NY Post piece titled, ‘I want all the perks of maternity leave – without having any kids’, Foye wrote having a child seemed to be ‘the only path that provided a modicum of flexibility’ in an age where people are expected to be on call every minute of the day.
She also argued that tending to a friend who had been ‘ghosted’ by a date was just as valid a reason to leave work as a parent who needs to pick up their child from school.
On GMA today, anchor Amy Robach announced: ‘Meghann was supposed to join us right here live. She has just pulled out of the interview. There has been so much backlash about her comments, viewers across the country [have been] weighing in on this all night long.’
Robach shot back at Foye’s arguments, saying maternity leave was ‘diabolically opposed’ to Foye’s ideas of focusing on the self.
Dr. Janet Taylor weighed in, adding: ‘There’s no question you need ‘me-time’. But maternity leave is not a time of play, passion, or reflection. It’s a time of you bonding, being sleep deprived..it’s all about your child.
‘Once again, it pits moms versus non-moms. As women, we don’t need that. i think it really minimizes the notion of stress and guilt for working moms. And it undermines the fact that being a mother is a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week, full-time commitment, and we can’t belittle that.’
Some great responses:
And there was a great comment at the Daily Mail site:
I knew someone who was out all the time getting chemotherapy, while I toiled away. How about us cancer-free workers getting Me-motherapy? Booking my morning show appearances now.
IMO, though, this is a natural result of having maternity leave in the first place; eventually, others will feel entitled to a similar break…