Enough with the MEternity leave
Have you all read about the Meternity intriguing dream this girl, Meghann Foye, has? I’m sure you have. Yes, another post on what Meghann recently wrote as author of the new book ‘Meternity’, about a woman who fakes a pregnancy so she can have take a break from work but without having the biggest challenge, worry or stress – the kids themselves.
I tried to stay away from this hot topic all bloggers, parents and social media seem to devour. Too much fuss around it if you ask me, but there are people who really need to get the fact that children are anything and everything BUT vacation, beach holidays or a trip to the moon. And the very first shock of true motherhood is the maternity leave itself.
Without wishing to be too cruel or attacking her like many did before me (as I believe she had the best intentions when she actually took precious time to write a book that is currently so criticised – maybe not the best move to involve mums, Meghann!) I’ll give you 10 reasons why I think she is pretty right, maternity leave is in fact a MEternity leave:
1. It’s ME waking up 2374894 a night to feed a hungry little mouth. I’m obviously exaggerating, it only feels like 2374894, it’s been in fact just 12 times a night for the first few months of motherhood…
3. It’s ME fighting this sore nipples drama that half of London’s population already been flashed to as babies learn pretty fast how to successfully undress a mum (especially when hunger strikes during bus rides).
4. It’s ME changing the dirty nappies (when no other brave ones are around); it’s also me being overwhelmed with joy when they are full of crappy stuff as we all know nothing makes a mum happier than a baby who eats well and shows it in his nappy.
5. It’s ME living and reliving millions of guilty feelings over the not so silly past, present and future worries like: when to stop breastfeeding, when to ‘abandon’ them into a nursery, when to leave them overnight with the mother in law you’re not too sure she may exactly be the most qualified babysitting material despite the good job she seems to have done with your husband, or whether you should let them cry a little at nighttime when you’re feeling a brain zombie numbness and you’re simply too exhausted to get off the bed, pick up the shouting gorgeous creature and attend to his/ her needs.
7. It’s MEternity when having to save as much money as you can as the statutory pay sucks at paying bills and at other ‘sophisticated’ things I may want in my life (like groceries!)
8. It’s ME fighting bloody hormones day and night, confusing the other half who sits here helpless, speechless and a little annoyed as none of the ice-cream flavours he’s feeding me as midnight snacks are tasty enough for my poor mood.
9. It’s ME feeling ten times worse at the sign of colic, fever and bruises, it’s me feeling the pain of the little gum pierced by a cruel but so cute tooth, it’s ME reliving it each time a molar or a incisive comes through.
10. But it’s also ME not having to fake anything else in my life as I actually got a kid a couple of years ago. And I’m tired. Happy and tired. And still true to myself.
Forget for a second about all those pregnancy perks and challenges, pains and uncomfortable angles you’re forced to live with sometimes for more than 9 months (I was almost 2 weeks overdue, I thought the heavy torture like experience will never end). Forget about the giving birth scare, that anxiety you feel when the cruel contractions hit you. Think of the endless nights, bad maternity pay that many other mums around the globe don’t even have access to, the extra pounds that make you blue. So yes, it’s a lot of me involved in this Meternity experience, but maternity leave is not ‘me time’.
I said it before and I’ll say it again: childless folks will always have sympathy, will be genuinely compassionate and will try hard to get to understand the change I’m going through. But they will probably never completely and fully grasp the unselfishness that comes with the job of being a parent.
What’s a maternity leave without the very essence of it? A holiday. Most likely a sabbatical in your case, dear Ms Foye. Get a holiday, dear, get a magazine job, start writing for a traveling column, not books that may confuse even more these new generations of women for whom the thought of motherhood is already as heavy as lead. Parenthood is scary enough, no need for people like yourself to write funny witty books to support selfish dreams of selfish people. I got only 2.5h of sleep last night, so excuse the crankiness, I now have to go and get rid of some food scraps on my clothes…
Aly, a mother who truly enjoyed every second of her delightful meternity time.