I want all the perks of maternity leave — without having any kids

Discussion in 'BS Forum' started by HackettStillSux, May 2, 2016.

  1. HackettStillSux

    HackettStillSux Well-Known Member

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    Good Lord, We are doomed as a society...

    http://nypost.com/2016/04/28/i-want-all-the-perks-of-maternity-leave-without-having-any-kids/

    I was 31 years old in 2009, and I loved my career. As an editor at a popular magazine, I got to work on big stories, attend cool events, and meet famous celebs all the time.

    And yet, 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.

    “You know, I need a maternity leave!” I told one of my pregnant friends. She laughed, and we spent the afternoon plotting my escape from my 10-hour days, fake baby bump and all.

    Of course, that didn’t happen. 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.

    When I graduated from college in the early 2000s, I enjoyed the same unspoken expectation shared among my fellow Gen-Xers: If you poured your heart and soul into your career, you would eventually get to a director level and have the flexibility, paycheck and assistants beneath you to begin to create a work-life balance. Then the 2008 recession hit, and people were lucky to have jobs at all. Assistants and perks disappeared across industries, and I felt like the cultural expectation was that we should now be tethered to our desks and our smartphones.

    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.

    And as I watched my friends take their real maternity leaves, I saw that spending three months detached from their desks made them much more sure of themselves. One friend made the decision to leave her corporate career to create her own business; another decided to switch industries. From the outside, it seemed like those few weeks of them shifting their focus to something other than their jobs gave them a whole new lens through which to see their lives.

    While both men and women would benefit from a “meternity” leave after a decade or so in the workforce, the concept is one that would be especially advantageous for women. Burnout syndrome is well-documented in both sexes, but recent research suggests that women may experience it at greater rates; researchers postulate that it’s because women (moms and non-moms alike) feel overloaded by the roles they have to take on at work and at home.

    Bottom line: Women are bad at putting ourselves first. But when you have a child, you learn how to self-advocate to put the needs of your family first. A well-crafted “meternity” can give you the same skills — and taking one shouldn’t disqualify you from taking maternity leave later.

    As for me, I did eventually give notice at my job and take a “meternity” of my own. 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. And I grieved the loss of my dad, who had just died after a long illness. But a “meternity” done right should be challenging. It should be about digging into your whole life and emerging from it more confident in who you are.

    It also gave me the opportunity to help someone achieve their “meternity” dreams — even if that person was a fictional character. My first novel, “Meternity,” was just released, and is about a woman who fakes a pregnancy and discovers some hard truths about what it’s really like to “have it all.”

    Ultimately, what I learned from my own “meternity” leave is that any pressure I felt to stay late at the office wasn’t coming from the parents on staff. It was coming from myself. Coming back to a new position, I realized I didn’t need an “excuse” to leave on time. And that’s what I would love the take-away for my book to be: Work-life balance is tough for everyone, and it happens most when parents and nonparents support and don’t judge each other.

    I want kids in the future, and I might still take a traditional maternity leave. I might not. But either way, I’m happy my “meternity” taught me to live on my own terms and advocate what works for me.
     
  2. BrowningNagle

    BrowningNagle Well-Known Member

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    I saw that article the other day and could do nothing but shake my head. What an entitled Bitch

    "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."

    how much of a loser do you have to be to utter those words let alone put them on paper for an editorial at a major newspaper.
     
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  3. JetBlue

    JetBlue Well-Known Member

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    I don't want to work but I wanted to be paid. Feel the Bern!
     
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  4. phubbadaman

    phubbadaman Well-Known Member

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    I couldn't even read it. It is clearly written by someone without children, for people without children. Author has no idea what they are talking about.
     
  5. deathstar

    deathstar Well-Known Member

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    Two words...Fuck that.
     
  6. JetsHuskers fan

    JetsHuskers fan Well-Known Member

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    Obama's America
     
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  7. Jets Esq.

    Jets Esq. Guest

    The author believes that employers should offer unpaid sabbaticals to employees. I don't see what's so offensive about that.

    People just love looking for reasons to get wildly offended.
     
  8. 74

    74 Well-Known Member

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    why the fuck did I read that
     
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  9. Greenday4537

    Greenday4537 Well-Known Member

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    So he basically wants leave without pay. Plenty of companies do that. But you can't expect them to wait for you to get back. The job needs to be done whether you are there or not.

    I do disagree with the bullshit excuses parents get away with for not doing their jobs or leaving early or showing up late. As if having sex without a condom on and no birth control means they deserve rights other people shouldn't have.
     
  10. RuJFan

    RuJFan Well-Known Member

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    I bet you'd be the first to run to boss screaming how much you need a day off when your dog develops unexpected diarrhea. But a kid with 102 fever is a BS excuse to you.
     
  11. JetBlue

    JetBlue Well-Known Member

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    Because her reasoning is that if parents get time off to tend to children then she should get time off for whatever the fuck reason she wants to have a break. She also compares her friend being ghosted as equally important as tending to children.

    The basic thing she, and you may be missing if you think there is nothing offensive about her position or reasoning, is that society and government has placed a value on raising children and wants to ensure parents can have bonding time with children to facilitate that positive impact. It has also determined having a break isn't equally as important and you shouldn't get paid leave and have your job held, because you need a little fun. It's a bit offensive to people with any semblance of work ethic that people believe her need for a break compares to the needs of child birth and bonding.

    You can disagree that bonding with children isn't important, or perhaps government shouldn't be involved in that, and that would be your call. But some people would be opposed to those positions.
     
  12. JetBlue

    JetBlue Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately for you the government believes raising children has value and should be accommodated within some level of reason. That's not really quite the same act as simply having unprotected sex.
     
  13. Greenday4537

    Greenday4537 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not talking about taking taking need out of necessity. I'm talking about people who regularly cut out using BS excuses. Other than going home to walk my dog, I haven't taken time off for the dog once. But it's adorable how defensive you got so quickly. The entitlement is sad.
     
  14. Jets Esq.

    Jets Esq. Guest

    I didn't say what you think I said. You can't show me where I claimed that childrearing is not important, because that's not what I said. You're confusing the two completely separate issues of maternity leave and sabbaticals (unpaid breaks for any reason,) so I will explain where I stand on each.

    My opinion is that the US should join the rest of the world and require all companies to offer all mothers paid maternity leave. Obviously that should only go to mothers, or adopters of infants (if a single dad adopts a baby, then he should get paid paternity leave.)

    The US is one of only 3 countries in the world that does not require paid maternity leave. (The others are Swaziland and Lesotho.) Our government only requires employers to provide unpaid maternity leave, which most low-earning women cannot afford to take. If you're a cashier, you essentially get no maternity leave at all because you cannot afford to take any unpaid time off from work. That's utter bullshit and completely unacceptable in the wealthiest country in the world. Even if you do have a middle class job, every extra week you spend bonding with your kid takes money out of your pocket. Women shouldn't have that financial pressure on them to get back to work ASAP.

    As you hinted at, the lack of bonding time between infants and mothers causes kids to have much higher rates of mental illness. It's been shown that this bonding is crucial for normal emotional development. Those first few months are among the most important in your entire life, as far as development goes. This problem is worse in lower income communities because, as I said, few of those mothers can afford to take any time off from their jobs.

    I would require all companies to offer paid maternity leave, like they do in 185+ countries. And I would make this mandatory - absent certain very extreme situations (i.e. if she's an elected official or something,) she wouldn't even be allowed to go back to work early. American moms should be entitled to 12 weeks of paid maternity leave, at the rate of their salary or $2,000 per week, whichever is less. They should then be offered an optional 6 weeks at half that rate (but not less than the rate of minimum wage,) and then up to a 14 weeks of unpaid leave.

    I understand if others disagree about paid maternity leave and think that unpaid maternity leave is good enough. But I do want people to understand that the US's position is very extreme in this regard. Paid maternity leave is the norm almost everywhere in the world other than the US.

    As for the author, she wasn't saying that the government should mandate unpaid sabbaticals be made available to all women. To her, it felt like the only way she'd be able to take a breather from her career and be guaranteed to have her job back would be if she got pregnant. And she's correct. I see this as completely separate from motherhood - she's just venting about the fact that work-life balance in the US is skewed too heavily towards work, and she's correct.

    Now as for the reporter quoting her as sounding jealous of the mothers - I will reserve judgment until I hear an actual interview clip of her saying that. I know from personal experience that news reporters go into interviews with quotes pre-loaded, designed to grab headlines. They know the angle they want to write beforehand, they know exact quotes that they want to use, and they try to manipulate you into playing along with their narrative. They'll act super nice and talk to you for 20 minutes, then they'll approvingly ask you if you agree with a certain statement. If you say no, they'll look hurt and ask you again later. If you say yes then they'll quote you as saying it, because the whole article (unbeknownst to you) was actually designed to make you look bad.

    I know this from experience. Many years ago a reporter tried that on me but I wouldn't agree to the quotes he suggested. He interviewed someone else, and sure enough that exact quote appeared under her name. After that I realized how sleazy many reporters are and have always been skeptical when I hear them quote people, because I know that many times those quotes were the reporter's words, designed to fit the story the reporter came up with before the interview started. I wouldn't be surprised if the news reporter in this scenario did a similar thing, because this whole article seemed designed to enrage moms.
     
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  15. Dierking

    Dierking Well-Known Member

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    I work in a small business where we have an unspoken but demonstrably undeniable policy of not hiring women of child-bearing age. Very un-PC and mostly illegal, but we have bills to pay.
     
  16. HackettStillSux

    HackettStillSux Well-Known Member

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    It's called Vacation Days.
     
  17. RuJFan

    RuJFan Well-Known Member

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    I didn't get defensive. I've taken exactly 1/2 day, once, when my son ran into a fence on the school playground and broke his 2 front teeth. I have nothing to be defensive about.

    Since you have trouble understanding reasons behind people responses, I get PISSED OFF when a little piece of shit who never had a kid and has no clue what it involves talks about it = forgetting a condom.

    How do you know those people you bitch about take BS day off? How do you know what's their tolerance for trouble with the kids? FU for equating kid trouble to a bad date. Or to your stupid dog, for that matter.
     
  18. BrowningNagle

    BrowningNagle Well-Known Member

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    yeah that's a bunch of bullshit I'm with ya
     
  19. Dierking

    Dierking Well-Known Member

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    Not on point, but I fucking hate people who tell you "my dogs are my children" like the two are remotely equivalent.

    Kind of a pet peeve of mine, you might say.
     
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  20. BrowningNagle

    BrowningNagle Well-Known Member

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    I hated that myself until I married a woman who grew up with that mindset. Now I'm a big ole pussy and the pets sleep in between us.
     
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