Mothers crying foul that their maternity leave has been likened to an extended holiday for two, meanwhile non-parents are wondering how they can get some extended paid time away from work.
I cannot weigh into this debate as I am not a mother and have therefore not taken maternity leave.
However, I do have some fairly heavy exposure to both sides of this story. I do not think for one second that maternity leave could be considered ‘me’ time for anyone, ask any new mum what their new routine looks like and I think within about 30 seconds you will have had an attitude alteration.
I think all mothers everywhere deserve a giant medal for their tireless work in raising the next generation. Equally, I think there is another group of people who are working just as hard making their contribution to the business world through their work in a thousand different capacities.
Both sides of this equation are working hard for the future of their family or for their career, and often both.
Creating a period of leave for non-‘new parents’ to refresh already exists, it’s called Annual Leave or in some instances Sabbatical leave.
If you are so cray-cray at work then you need to have a look at your own contribution and therefore responsibility for that. Are you saying ‘yes’ too often, is your boss taking advantage? does he/she know they are taking advantage?, are you keeping any kind of control or focus on your own work / leisure balance?
So before we go demanding more leave, remember that we all have 24 hours in each day (parents, and non-parents alike) and how we manage that time and who we offer it to is entirely up to us.