Category Archives: book

Maxi Pads and Meternity

Remember when Apple first introduced the iPad and we were all like, “iPad? That sounds like maxi pad. Is Apple seriously going to name a product after something that reminds people of a feminine hygiene product? Why would anyone buy that? That’s so dumb.”

Obviously, the iPad/maxi pad debacle worked itself out.

Yesterday, a woman and named Meghann Foye introduced us to the concept of “meternity” – a leave of absence from work that has all of the perks of maternity leave without having any kids.

Now listen. I think the idea of “meternity” leave (or sabbatical or leave of absence or resignation) is kind of awesome. There are times in our lives when it would be hugely beneficial and therapeutic to take a time-out from our daily grind to re-evaluate our priorities and indulge in some precious, well-deserved, soul-searching, passion-finding me-time.

I have a confession to make.

When my husband and I moved from New York City to Miami in 2004, I treated myself to a “meternity” leave. I’d been working full-time in public relations for several years and wanted to shift from the agency to the client side of the business. More specifically, I wanted to do public relations in the non-profit sector.

Removing myself from the rat race of New York City plus my husband’s cushy new income allowed me the luxury of volunteering, networking, and finding my niche in the non-profit community in Miami without the hindrance of a full-time job. I also did yoga a few times each week, tagged along on my husband’s business trips to fun places, got a puppy, and took a watercolor art class at the local botanical garden. It was lovely.

A year later, my “meternity” leave paid off. I joined a group of extraordinary women who wanted to create a safety net for young women aging out of foster care and dangling on the precipice of poverty, abuse, incarceration, or worse. I helped build a non-profit organization from the ground up. To this day, it’s the professional work of which I am proudest.

Eventually, I had a baby, and I took a maternity leave. I spent three bloody, poopy, leaky, booby, pukey, sleepless, pee-packed, postpartum depression-filled months keeping a baby alive, saying goodbye to all of my shoes because my feet grew half a size PERMANENTLY, and figuring out how the fuck to comprehend my new identity as a mom, and, oh yeah, finding the courage to leave my tiny baby with a stranger so I could go back to work.

My maternity leave was way different than my “meternity” leave.

Ms. Foye’s new novel, “Meternity,” sounds adorable. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it turned into a screenplay for the big screen. Who doesn’t love watching a Hollywood actress wearing a fake pregnancy belly? I hope the heroine, “Liz,” is played by Emma Stone (I love her raspy voice) or Olivia Wilde (a real-life mom!). If it’s Jennifer Lawrence (also an awesome choice) then the guy who just might be “The One” MUST be played Bradley Cooper. Ryan Reynolds or Channing Tatum would be fine, too, I suppose. Whatevs.

In the end, the iPad (blech!) caught on, so maybe “meternity” leave is going to be “Huuuge!” Maybe we’re being too politically correct. Maybe “meternity” leave is going to make America great again!

(Or maybe it’s chick lit and click bait.)

What do you think?


Filed under book, motherhood, pregnancy

5 Reasons It S-u-c-k-s That Your Kid Can Read

Reading is awesome! My kids read street signs, menus, game instructions, homework directions, and, on rare but exciting occasions, books. Reading allows them to explore their curiosities and learn about the world in which they live with a new sense of enthusiasm and independence. It’s a developmental milestone that makes me feel as proud as when they learned to wipe their own butts! But there’s a downside. There’s always a downside.


1. You can’t speak in code anymore. The good old days of speaking freely in front of your kid about your kid, as in “We can’t play after school because we’re going to the d-e-n-t-i-s-t” or, “He’s getting a s-h-o-t,” are over. With literacy comes spelling skills!

2. You can’t watch the news. The world is a f-u-c-k-i-n-g scary place, and your kid’s newfound ability to read makes keeping up with current events – even on mute – a difficult proposition. A passing glance at the news ticker scrolling across the bottom of the screen broadcasting hideous updates like “school shooting kills 9 and injures 12” or “pilot downs plane that kills 150” elicits the kind of questions that will make you wish you could explain something as uncomplicated as “Where do babies come from?”

3. You will become a liar, albeit a creative one. Imagine, if you will, a leisurely afternoon drive on which you pass an – ahem – adult establishment on the side of the highway. It’s no big deal (besides, you know, prostitution and sex trafficking and stuff) until your new little reader takes note and asks, “Mommy, what’s the Booby Trap?”

Me: Um… “It’s like one of those indoor play places with bounce houses and laser tag.”

Kid: “What do you do at the Booby Trap?”

Me: Um… “You team up with other kids and search for hidden booby traps. Like in Home Alone. You earn tickets for each one you find and win prizes.”

Kid: “Can I have my birthday party at the Booby Trap?”

Me: Um… “We’ll see.”

4. You will have less privacy (if that’s even possible). Motherhood is nothing but a debilitating series of events that chip away at your privacy and personal space. First, it’s your body. Then, it’s your bathroom and bed. The grand finale is your phone, and there is nothing more irritating than your kid reading your incoming texts out loud while waiting in line at the bank.

Kid: “Mommy, you got a text from Anne.”

Me: “Give me my phone.”

Kid: “It says, ‘I can meet for coffee after my wax.’”

Me: “Give me my phone.”

Kid: “What’s a wax?”


5. You will have to watch your back. As if commandeering your personal communication isn’t annoying enough, you will very likely discover your kid peering over your shoulder at your computer screen while you edit an essay on your personal blog about all the reasons it s-u-c-k-s that he can read. From that point on, he will refuse to call you Mommy and only refer to you – at home and in public – by your blog’s moniker, The Runaway Mama.

“I’m thirsty, Runaway Mama!”

“I’m hungry, Runaway Mama!”

“I am NOT taking a bath, Runaway Mama!”

Reading is awesome.


Filed under book, list, motherhood, reading