SOAPBOX: Nope, there’s no me in maternity

I LEARNT a new word this week - meternity.

According to author Meghann Foye, it is taking time out to detach yourself from your desk and reassess the priorities in your life.

But the way she explains the concept has made hairs on the back of necks of mothers stand on end and I can understand.

"It seemed that parenthood was the only path that provided a modicum of flexibility," she wrote.

"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."

At first I laughed at the comparison of the dependence of someone's life on your ability to take care of them to a social faux pas by an adult.

As for the term meternity, while clever, it implies maternity leave is a walk in the park.

I'm sure many new mothers used their maternity leave to think about where they were in life, what their future goals might be and where they saw their career going.

There's plenty of time for that while getting up every couple of hours to feed a baby and change nappies.

When you do get some golden hours of quiet, the first thing all mothers do is write down a five-year plan they can begin to execute on their return to work, or contemplate a complete career change.

I know I spent at least the first four months in a zombie-like state, barely able to make a rational decision on what to cook for dinner.

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