ME-ternity Leave – Perks for the Childless ?

baby-and-puppy_look-a-like

Same Same but Different?

Having children is a life choice. Some people choose to do it. Others don’t. Some people choose to do it well. And others well…they choose to carry on living recklessly with a few screaming brats in tow and see what society will do to save them.

Theoretically the decision to have a child is not really that different from the other choices we make such as whether to adopt a puppy, whether to go on a epic around the world trip or start meditating as way of finding inner peace. However, it does seem to me that having kids is one choice which receives far more support from society than any of the other aforementioned things.

We often see countries which offer their citizens generous parental leave benefits (it’s no longer PC to say maternity) as advanced. But are policies that favour one life path (marriage, kids) over the alternatives really something we should be supporting and promoting?

Look I am not a hater of little people. Maybe one day I’ll meet some bloke as equally fabulous as myself and we’ll choose to procreate but for today I want to highlight how all these advancements with regards to parental leave policies fail to consider a very important group, namely those childless singletons.

I once had a colleague who struggled after adopting a puppy. Everyday the puppy would cry for its mummy when it was left at home alone so each day the girl received calls at work to say the pup was distressed and she needed to drop everything and run home to tend to her ‘baby’. Let’s just say in this situation HR were rolling their eyes. However, if it were a human baby I’m sure they’d be a lot more empathetic. But why? Should pet-owners be able to take ‘Paw-ternity’ leave to help their new puppy adjust to life in this big, scary world?

Meghann Foye, an American magazine editor recently caused quite a stir by suggesting that all women be allowed to take ‘ME-ternity leave’ – time out from the world of work to do something life-enhancing. Lots of people came down on her pretty hard but seriously think about it. Why should the men and woman who choose not have kids be forced to suffer and pick up the slack in the office while others just continue to reap the benefits as they go on to have their 2nd, 3rd and 10th child? Why shouldn’t my reasons for taking a career break not receive the same support from the company/government as another chick’s decision to spread her legs?

I don’t see why if it was done fairly and applied to everyone (including the guys) the whole concept of ME-ternity leave couldn’t work. Furthermore, if limits were added, say everyone was given just one stint of extended leave to do with as the which and any subsequent career breaks would need to be funded by the individual themselves, such a policy may even go some way in tackling some the many social issues caused by all the unwanted progeny in the world.

So Rinsers, it’s time for you to have your say. Do you think that parental leave benefits favour those that choose to make babies over others who love using contraception?  Should single people also be entitled to benefits from a company/government that support them in making alternative life choices? Do you think this idea of ME-ternity leave has any value? Answers in the comments below…

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41 comments

  1. bklynboy59 · May 5, 2016

    Ummmm the lady with the mummy puppy…needs to get a life seriously have to run home to baby sit your dog??? Wait um boss I have to go home and baby sit my cat really??? Come on that’s a bit much. Vacation tine is what you Me Ternity for .

    Liked by 1 person

    • EnglishRosiee · May 5, 2016

      You are not getting my point. If a mother had to run home because her human child was sick or crying would you be telling her to get a life??

      Liked by 1 person

      • bklynboy59 · May 5, 2016

        No but a baby and a dog are two different things and should be approached differently.

        Liked by 1 person

      • EnglishRosiee · May 5, 2016

        That’s what society tells us. But to some people a dog is as important as a baby. That’s their life choice and who has the right to tell them there dog is not important. Rules should be applied equally. If a mum has the right to take time off to look after her baby, I also have the right to take leave to do as I please. By not offering childless people the same benefits, we are basically saying their life choices don’t matter unless they are a parent!

        Liked by 1 person

      • bklynboy59 · May 5, 2016

        You don’t think you’re over thinking this just a little? To compare a dog to a baby?Employers do offer time off not including vacation time. Sometimes under the right circumstances it paid time off other times unpaid.

        Like

    • EnglishRosiee · May 18, 2016

      I’m not overthinking this and it’s not about babies and dogs being compared (that was purely an example). Would you change your mind if I replaced getting a dog with writing a book or doing a PhD or volunteering with orphans in Africa? It is about CHOICE.

      No woman is forced to have a child. Its a choice as are the other things listed above. Why should childless people have to support those that CHOOSE to procreate while they offer no support for our life choices?

      It’s society saying that becoming a parent is a legitimate choice but having a dog, writing a book, saving orphans is NOT and therefore will receive no support.

      Liked by 1 person

      • bklynboy59 · May 19, 2016

        I disagree with you, this is a very extreme view . If you were pregnant you wouldn’t take advantage of the materity leave afforded you?

        Like

      • EnglishRosiee · May 19, 2016

        Of course. But why should it be at the expense of those who plan never to have a child? I’m not arguing to abolish maternity but to have the perk extended to other life paths and also be more limited as I believe unlimited stints are open to abuse.

        Liked by 1 person

      • bklynboy59 · May 19, 2016

        Who said it was at the expense of? Having children can be planned and other times it is not.There are other things employers extend to employees who like you may wish to take time to…like you said write a book …maternity is a very public and legal option but there are other methods you can get from your employer for personal pursuits

        Liked by 1 person

      • EnglishRosiee · May 19, 2016

        Yes and No. Allowing employees to take sabbaticals to write books, etc is at the discretion of an employer. Maternity leave is a legal thing. Why? Why is motherhood more respected (by the law) than other life paths?

        Liked by 1 person

      • bklynboy59 · May 19, 2016

        Because for the longest time in many cultures it was not recognized and many women were not treated well during that time.

        Like

      • EnglishRosiee · May 19, 2016

        Sure. But now we have maternity and paternity leave. I want it to be extended to childless people…let them make life changing decisions too! I don’t wish to back track to the darks ages.

        Like

      • bklynboy59 · May 19, 2016

        It took this long for fathers to get time off I had to used my vacation when my son was born and only a few days when my days was born now you get a block of time to be with your family…it is progress granted slow but progress as for the childless …appeal to your local lawmakers perhaps you can get a movement started toward that but make it productive other wise it will sound like a jealous rant

        Liked by 2 people

      • EnglishRosiee · May 19, 2016

        I’m sure when the paternity leave people started that sounded like a jealous rant too…

        Liked by 2 people

      • bklynboy59 · May 19, 2016

        but there was something to that called balance …if a woman can have time off for a baby why can’t the father have the same benefit? Society is much different and more complex than in the dark ages but as I stated …start a movement to a lawmaker …you never know it may get you the desired results you seek.

        Liked by 1 person

      • EnglishRosiee · May 19, 2016

        It is at the expense of because other childless staff members pick up slack when colleagues take maternity leave. But it doesn’t work both ways. Which seems unfair to me. Not everyone will be able to cash in on this perk.

        Liked by 2 people

      • bklynboy59 · May 19, 2016

        Not true …if you took a leave of absence to see the world and write a book about your travels your colleagues have not choice but to pick up the slack .It does work both ways.

        Liked by 2 people

      • EnglishRosiee · May 19, 2016

        Yes…but most employers wouldn’t keep your position open or pay you while you do those things. But they do if you have a child? If I wanted to travel the world, my employer would replace me so colleagues would not pick up the slack, if I took maternity however…

        Liked by 2 people

      • bklynboy59 · May 19, 2016

        Ok can’t have it both ways …and I do know employers that will keep your position open but that will tell you how much they value you as an employee

        Liked by 1 person

      • EnglishRosiee · May 19, 2016

        Yes but it’s still optional to offer a sabbatical. It’s seen as a nice gesture. Maternity leave is different… An employer must give parents at least a minimum.

        I’m not asking for it both ways (although that is what Meagan Foye asked for) I’m saying let’s be fair. Everyone gets one stint of extended leave to do with it what they want…have a kid, write a book…whatever they CHOOSE! Any further extended leave periods can be taken on their own buck….make sense?

        Liked by 2 people

      • bklynboy59 · May 19, 2016

        Materinity has to do with labor laws which were awful for a long time and yes you want it the way you want it which the same as maternity which is why I suggest ….start a movement take it to a local lawmaker state why you think it should be more liberal and see where it goes.

        Liked by 2 people

      • EnglishRosiee · May 19, 2016

        Will do. Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • bklynboy59 · May 19, 2016

        try it even if it doesn’t get the result you are looking for right away you may have planted a seed toward something down the road

        Liked by 2 people

      • EnglishRosiee · May 19, 2016

        Sure. It’s just that this whole concept has so much opposition already.

        Liked by 2 people

      • bklynboy59 · May 19, 2016

        So do you think it is worth the fight ?

        Liked by 1 person

      • bklynboy59 · May 19, 2016

        Maybe you can try it from a different angle or add to it with your own brand of knowledge

        Liked by 2 people

      • bklynboy59 · May 19, 2016

        in other words don’t let the opposition stop you.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Teaforme · May 5, 2016

    I appreciate the idea behind this post but I think it’s important to look at this logically and not emotionally, aside from emotional needs of a crying child or puppy just the physical needs differ hugely. A new born human baby needs to be fed every two hours, then burped, then watched after feeding as they can potentially vomit and choke, then they need their nappy changed and then it starts all over again… they can’t do any of this by themselves till about 3 years old when even then it’s problematic. A puppy just needs to be cuddled and can be left to be fed and watered (and can do so without supervision from 8 weeks). A human woman after giving birth has insane hormone fluctuations and very unpleasant bodily functions that don’t play by the rules anymore. Now as a childless lover of travel I’d love my work to give me four months off to do so… but… I haven’t ripped my nether regions to push out a human and I won’t be guaranteed no sleep for the next four years, and I don’t have the responsibility of forming a relatively well rounded human so ja… I don’t mind if my pregnant colleagues get the time. I’m happy sipping sundowners on a Friday night.; ) The fact that woman still get forced to work when they aren’t healed properly or still get less job opportunities because they posses a uterus is a definite for discussion!

    Liked by 2 people

    • EnglishRosiee · May 6, 2016

      But the truth is nobody is forced to have a child, rip their nether regions and suffer from lack of sleep. Most grown women are fully aware of the pros and cons of having kids and the make the decision (hopefully alongside the father) knowing what it’ll entail.

      I am not arguing that having a child is easier than adopting a puppy. It’s not. (I’d get the puppy as practice before the child…but right now I can’t even look after a plant) But my problem is that by offering perks to mothers/fathers but not to those who choose alternative paths…society is just entrenching the belief that the marriage and babies path is the right one. It maybe for some. But if you look at the amount.of kids being neglected you’d probably realise that not everyone should be a parent.

      Policies should advance to such a level where people realise childbirth is one of many options available, not the only one. Maybe then people would make better decisions….

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Miss Scarlet · May 5, 2016

    I agree with this 100%. I do feel people with kids do get more slack in the workplace than those of us without. I have had an enforced career break due to a serious medical issue and put this on my CV. I removed it as I felt it was causing employers to discriminate against me. However, had I put career break due to child rearing, I think this would have been looked on more favourably.

    I will also add that I feel the same about people who take regular smoking breaks and the time that this adds up to over a working week!

    Liked by 2 people

    • EnglishRosiee · May 6, 2016

      Yup you hit the nail on head with smoking break point. If a person takes smoking breaks instead of lunch break fair enough but not in addition to.

      If you want to have a children go ahead but not at the expense of everyone else. maybe they could give up a few years of annual leave to make up for the maternity?

      I don’t think my idea of everyone having one stint of extended leave is unreasonable. It doesn’t tell wannabe mums that they can’t have kids full stop but just says have one on society, then the other five on your own buck. Seems fair to me!

      Liked by 3 people

      • Miss Scarlet · May 6, 2016

        Absolutely! You’d get my vote any day.

        Employers need to be more flexible to all staff. And with that comes more employee loyalty!

        Liked by 2 people

      • EnglishRosiee · May 6, 2016

        Thankyou. But it seems Mothers do not see my logic. Because I haven’t given the world a child I am less of a person.

        Liked by 2 people

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  8. babyitscoldoutthere · October 4, 2016

    WOW. I had never even thought of this but I’d just like to say that I LOVE it!
    I can totally see where you’re coming from: absolutely no hate for mothers and not undermining the difficulties that come with being a working parent BUT also wanting to be awarded some of the perks as well!

    I’ve created my own social media campaign that focuses on totally supporting a woman’s right to make the decision herself as to whether she has children or not. I would love it if you could check out my blog at https://babyitscoldoutthere.wordpress.com and leave me a comment on some of your thoughts and experiences!

    Thanks,
    J

    Liked by 1 person

    • EnglishRosiee · October 4, 2016

      Thanks for reading the post !!! I’m glad you see my logical point of view. The main thing is that motherhood is a choice…and it should be supported by society but so should other legitimate life choices. I’m not suggesting we back track on all the advances made in that area I am just asking for they systems to be more reasonable towards people who don’t have children.

      Like

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