The war of the women…

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“After all this is over, all that will really matter is how we treated each other”

 

It doesn’t take much to be kind.

A smile to someone you don’t know, a simple ‘good morning’ to a passing stranger, a surprise bag of home-baked goods from a friend (seriously, thanks Fran, those blondies were amazing!)

It’s easy.

So why is it, in today’s society, people choose to be so unkind to each other? Not all the time, don’t get me wrong, since I started blogging I’ve come across some utterly wonderful people who I have got to know (albeit virtually) but it’s so empowering to find these amazing, talented ‘normal’ people and connect with them. But sadly, I’ve also come across some complete and utter twonks.

Twonks (a socially acceptable way of calling someone a complete dickhead) are everywhere. They lurk around every street corner, they congregate in every town centre, they comment on social media, and they do my head in.

I came across a new twonk this week. A woman called, Meghann Foye. If you haven’t heard of her yet, you soon will do. And brace yourselves, she is already featuring on my twonk scale.

The Twonk Scale (1)

Miss Foye, from the US of A, has been in the papers for the last few days because she has apparently, ‘said the unsayable’.

She has come out and said that women without children should be allowed to take time off work for “ME-ternity” leave in order to “avoid burnout”, after she viewed mothers coming back to work after having children as having “a renewed, fresh sense of confidence”…and that has really annoyed her.

Yes, seriously.

I told you she was a Twonk.

Miss Foye, who I shall now refer to as Miss Twonk, was a magazine editor at the time she had this eureka moment. She became annoyed with fellow co-workers who left the office at 6pm so that they could spend time with their children, while she was left in the office to pick up the slack without a ‘valid excuse’ as to why she needed to leave. Because of this, her friend told her she needed some “ME-ternity Leave”, so she took this idea, and ran with it. Then shoved it in our faces. Thanks love.

I think what Miss Twonk is missing here is the fact that once said parent gets home to their child, they then have another job waiting for them. That of being a parent. A 24/7, 365 day a year, no holiday or overtime bonus, job. Whereas Miss Twonk can leave work, take a leisurely stroll to the train station, have a peruse around the shops at the station, pick up a wine/meal deal, and then get on her train home, her parenting work colleague has had to move like shit off a shovel to catch the only train that gets them back home on time so they don’t miss the nursery closing and get a huge bill from them for being late (as well as having a distressed child as everyone else’s has been picked up), or worse still, a black mark against their name and the fear of further repercussions for not picking their child up on time.

I understand that having children is a choice, and it’s not one that everyone chooses to make, or is able to make due to reasons beyond their control, but that doesn’t mean we should be made to feel bad about it. For goodness sake, parenting comes with enough guilt as it is without this woman adding another arguement as to why we should be ashamed of ourselves into the mix.

Miss Twonk has a new book out all about it (what publicity she is getting eh?! The cynic in me would say it’s almost like she has had it all planned like this…) entitled, METERNITY. It’s fictional, but based on her thoughts and experiences. A writer from the New York Times called Emily Giffin has said, “METERNITY is guarenteed to surprise and delight” – well she has done that first bit alright Emily…not so sure about the second.

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It is said by Miss Twonk (yes, I was serious, I shall be calling her that for the rest of my rant) that it is unfair that expecting women (ones who are preggers) get to take a break from work, only to return with a clearer idea of what they wanted in life. I don’t know about you guys, but that first year zooms past in a blur of crying (baby and parents), sick, milk, poo, bathing, exhaustion and delirium. I certainly don’t think parents use it as a way to sit and contemplate life or find it in any way catchartic. Yes, it is a time of joy, and they are precious moments in life which are required in order to form that bond with your child and to make sense of your new life as a family, but to suggest that it’s a holiday, a way to plot a new career path, is just ludicrous.

In a piece entitled, “I want all the perks of Maternity leave – without having any kids”, for the NY Post, Miss Twonk wrote that having a child seemed to be, ‘the only path that provided a modicum of flexibility’ in an age where people are expected to be on call every minute of the day. I don’t know what parents she is reffering to, but I can tell you know Miss T, plenty of working parents I know have to put in the hours elsewhere to make up for the fact they need to leave early, whether that be in the evening once they’ve got their kids to bed, or at the weekend. They don’t just swan home, switch off and think, ‘oh well, I’ll let someone else sort that out’, they are probably wracked with guilt that they didn’t read a bedtime story that night because they didn’t have time, or they’re stressed out because even after a full day at work, plus sorting their family out, their days work still isn’t finished.

Life is tough.

Most people I know, with and without kids, are stretching themselves to breaking point. In that sense, and that sense alone, Miss Twonk may have a point.

They don’t have enough time to do ‘fun stuff’. Couples are not spending enough quality time together because they’re working different shifts to each other around life commitments, the kids, their families, to make ends meet. We are all in the same boat, and I think it is really unfair of Miss Twonk to try and divide us in the way she has. She needs to take a step back and think about exactly what it is she is trying to say.

The work/life imbalance is wrong for almost everyone.

We live in a world where we are almost constantly reachable. Social media, the internet, phones, emails, the list goes on. It is so hard to switch off. The world is a smaller place, you can talk to someone on the other side of the world within seconds, and it has become the ‘new normal’ for people to work as soon as someone tells them to, even if it is out of normal working hours and it disrupts their life. Their time. It doesn’t matter if you’re a parent or not, there is that same expectation.

I’d also like to say how much this has annoyed me from a man’s perspective. I’m not a man, I’ve checked, but if I was a chap and I was reading this, it would have me pretty peeved.

The majority of Men, whether Dad’s or not, work their butts off. You see stories all the time in the news of men, pushed to the brink who only see one way out of a situation. It’s an all too common occurance. The mere mention of a gender disparity here is just unforgivable. Why shouldn’t men have a year out from work to comtemplate their next steps and to reduce stress? Why shouldn’t anyone?! Miss Twonk was lucky enough to do just that, take a year off to compose herself (oh, and write a book which she plans to make a tidy sum of money from, did she mention that?) –  most normal people don’t have that luxury. They have bills to pay, a mortgage to maintain, dependants. They can’t just take a year out, as much as they would like to. This notion infuriated me. In fact, she should probably be higher up my twonk scale.

Most ‘stay at home Mum’s’ didn’t choose to be there. It probably made little financial sense for them to go back to work. Don’t get me wrong, many mums choose to stay home to raise their kids, and that’s amazing, that’s the reason most people have kids, but I’m sure if you ask, most of them will say they feel guilt (that word again) at the fact their partners have to go to work and carry that financial burden alone. That said, us stay at home mums are doing a rather important job ourselves that’s all too easy to forget about because it’s not seen as a ‘real job’. Trust me, if all stay at home mums stopped doing their ‘not-real jobs’, we would have a bit of a situation on our hands…and it wouldn’t be pretty.

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Once again, someone has managed to pit woman against woman, sister against sister, women against men, and quite frankly, I’m sick of it.

It’s been said many different ways, so many times, and I’m done with hearing it.

Why can’t we all just just get along and be kind to each other? Be accepting? Understand?

Life isn’t a competition.

And as for Miss Twonk, I hope she has ‘found her happiness’. Because she sure as hell ruined mine this week.


Do me a favour this week, take a moment to be kind to someone.

-After all this is over, all that will really matter is how we treated each other-

No matter how small the sentiment, you’ll be amazed how it can make you feel.

(I’ll have a G&T in a can please…) 😉

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27 Comments

  1. April 30, 2016 / 1:15 pm

    What an absolute, selfish ass-hat if ever I heard one! Makes my blood boil!

  2. April 30, 2016 / 1:17 pm

    You could not be more on the money with this post if you tried!
    And seriously, it is not exactly me-ternity time if she is happily sat at home writing a book which is going to gain her a huge sum of money, thats a sabbatical to do a different job!
    And no way did I return from my maternity leave with a renewed sense of life, probably more a relieved sense of 5 minutes peace!
    Having said that, I left again after a year as a realised it was no longer for me. I was earning roughly a fiver for working 20+ hours after childcare, and I missed my baby. I wanted to be at home. But oh my god it is the toughest job in the world.
    So what if she was still there at 8 at night, most parents are still up at 10pm trying to negotiate sleep time with tiny monsters whilst she is treating herself to a pedicure and a long hot bubble bath (apparently they still exist, I thought they were outlawed in 2004, funnily enough the same year my first child was born).

    Grrrr!! xxx

  3. April 30, 2016 / 1:34 pm

    Oh my goodness. Some days I am so ashamed to be American (Trump=forehead slap). This is the first I’ve heard of this and to be honest, I’m even ashamed to admit that I’ve even read most of Emily Giffin’s books. I am utterly baffled by so much.
    Overwhelmed? Overstressed? Overcommitted? Geez lady, just take a vacation. After all, at least she can take it without packing for 5 people and filling 12 suitcases. Crazy lady.

  4. April 30, 2016 / 3:03 pm

    She’s pitching this as if maternity leave is for ‘the mother’ which really, after a few days of physical recovery (which let’s be serious ladies, ‘recovery time’ for mothers is a very different thing than ‘recovery time’ for every one else) it’s about caring and raising this completely vulnerable new life form that we are trying to put out into the world to be part of the future that’s going to clean up the mess we made of it all. On the same token…if this gains momentum I will be curious how I can go about getting a meternity leave from my maternity leave 😉

  5. admin
    April 30, 2016 / 3:33 pm

    Haha!!! What an utterly brilliant idea!!! Meternity from Maternity. I think that there’s a blog post for you in that hun!
    You’re totally right, ‘recovery time’ is a lot different for us new mums. Whatever way your little one makes it’s way out into the world!
    xx

  6. admin
    April 30, 2016 / 3:35 pm

    Leanne, you’re spot on!
    I’ve not heard of Emily before but i am going to have to read up on her now! I get in essence what she is saying, life is too much sometimes and you need a break, but for goodness sake, don’t make maternity leave out to be some kind of holiday. Miss Twonk has really hit one of my nerves…no, 50 actually! 😉
    xx

  7. admin
    April 30, 2016 / 3:38 pm

    My sentiments exactly… x

  8. admin
    April 30, 2016 / 3:39 pm

    Ah, thanks Leah.
    And your comment about the bubb;e bath being outlawed….hilarious!!!! 🙂 Hahahahahaha!!!!

    This woman is utterly idiotic. If i saw her, I might bop her on the nose…and I’m not into violence. 😉
    xx

  9. April 30, 2016 / 6:43 pm

    Why has her wanting a break from work got anything to do with maternity? It’s called a sabbatical. I guess she wouldn’t have sold so many books if it was called “my lovely sabbatical”. Twonk! X
    Nia Patten recently posted…Spotlighting-A Subtle   Highlighting Technique My Profile

  10. April 30, 2016 / 7:41 pm

    Well said, Doris. I actually read this article in a newspaper this week, and I thought to myself, this is going to make many women’s hackles rise! I thought it quite bizarre how Miss Twonk’s brain could actually work in this way. I’m sure there must be many people who wished they could write an article as thought provoking as yours.
    GeorgieMoon recently posted…May – what’s in store?My Profile

  11. admin
    April 30, 2016 / 7:52 pm

    thanks Yvonne.xxx

  12. admin
    April 30, 2016 / 7:53 pm

    Soooooo true Nia!!! High five that ✋
    Absolute twonk.x

  13. admin
    April 30, 2016 / 8:01 pm

    Ah, thank you Mrs Moon!! What a lovely thing for you to say.
    I couldn’t help myself. I’m not a confrontational person but the more I read of this the crosser I got. I know technically I’m woman bashing in it because I’m being rude to her but sometimes these people need to step down off their soap box don’t they…
    X

  14. May 3, 2016 / 6:13 am

    Well she certainly has never had to care for anyone else with those statements. Brilliant response. And yes, Twonk. #TwinklyTuesday

  15. admin
    May 3, 2016 / 6:45 am

    Thanks Claire! Mega twonk. I understand I’m woman bashing myself in my rant but she infuriated me so much I had to write something before I burst!
    And thanks for reading and writing.xx

  16. May 3, 2016 / 7:27 am

    She is an absolute Twonker and I will TOTALLY be stealing the word so I can ‘swear’ in front of my kids. LOVE it. And that TWONK has absolutely NO idea. How did she publish that? But, I shall try to be nice, so as not to attack another female…see…you have inspired me already!

  17. admin
    May 3, 2016 / 9:39 am

    Hahaha!!! You’ve made my morning Anna!
    Twonk away, it’s so liberating!!
    It’s a fictional piece but based 200% on her own personal experience. She just changed the characters name…which is pointless as we all know she is talking about herself. Which sums her up really. Twonk!!
    Hope you have a lovely day!! Thanks so much for reading and writing.x

  18. May 3, 2016 / 10:17 am

    I’ve not read the original piece yet (but I should because I enjoy a good piece where I get to rant after) but I have read the rules of MEternity that came out after which really tickled me if you see it floating round FB. The problem with all of this is no one really understands until you actually have the little darlings in your life just what they entail!! #TwinklyTuesday xx
    Laura @ Life with Baby Kicks recently posted…Travel; Honeymoon in BaliMy Profile

  19. admin
    May 3, 2016 / 10:59 am

    You’re so right Laura.
    She realy got my nanny goat she did!!!
    I’ll go have a look for that post you’ve mentioned, i’ve not seen it yet.
    Thanks for reading and writing! Gem.xx

  20. May 3, 2016 / 11:25 am

    Great to come over to your blog. This is a great post! I can’t believe this crazy lady?! Me-ternity?!!! Have shared on twitter! x #twinklytuesday

  21. admin
    May 3, 2016 / 11:44 am

    Thanks so much Lovely
    I love your blog.x
    She is utterly bonkers isn’t she?! I understand the sentiment, we all need some time off, but to liken maternity leave to a holiday?! She’s a twonk
    Thanks for sharing!xxx
    Gem.x

  22. May 4, 2016 / 12:19 pm

    Oh my goodness I had not heard of this…well, we have a different word here in America, but Twonk will do for here lol. So anyway I had not heard of this twonk or her book or her ridiculous ideas. (Trump says so many stupid things by 10 a.m. I switch the TV over to “Let’s Make a Deal” and ignore the news the rest of the day so if it was on there I missed it.)
    I can only assume she is a victim of our horrendously inadequate educational system; I can think of no other reason for her idiotic statements. I know that people who don’t have kids have no clue of how hard it is. Yes, it’s beautiful, those first few months of parenting, but it’s also harder than anyone imagines. Especially if you have a colicky baby or one with special needs.
    I have no sympathy for Miss Twonk, and I find her victim-playing offensive. You want some time off from work, Miss Twonk? Take it. It’s not like you work at McDonald’s and will get fired if you call in sick two days in a row. It’s not like you make minimum wage and need every single hour of work you can get.
    It seems if anything she had too much time on her hands if she had time to write an entire novel of drivel. I don’t even have a job outside the home and I barely have time to write in my journal, much less a novel.
    Oh, you’re jealous that new moms come back to work “refreshed” after a couple of days, or weeks off? I find that incredible hard to believe. When my children were babies, I seemed refreshed at work because frankly, waiting tables was less work than being at home with 2 littles. It’s not like I was lounging around or catching up on my beauty sleep. I was just happy to be out of the house!
    It seems to me like Miss Twonk is a passive-aggressive…we’ll stick with twonk lol. If she was expected to work past the end of a work-day and she didn’t have the guts to stand up and say no to that, well, that’s on her. If she saw her co-workers “find themselves” after a few weeks away from their desks and that clearly made her jealous, she should have done the same. Last I checked slavery was abolished here about 150 years ago. She can take off any time she wants. Not so for the millions of minimum-wage workers who work 2 jobs to support their families.
    And the fact that she worked somewhere that even HAS maternity leave means that she is better off than many workers here in America. Yes, yes, a twonk indeed. (That’s my new favorite word, by the way 🙂 )

  23. May 4, 2016 / 8:31 pm

    Well, boo hoo for her. Someone is getting something she’ not, it’s not fair … what about me! Well, life isn’t fair. She gets lie ins, disposable income and a social life … Mum’s get maternity leave and to rush home at the end of the working day to pick up their children from the daycare they’ve paid for … We get cuddles though. And not to be called a twonk.

  24. admin
    May 4, 2016 / 9:07 pm

    Love this!! We do get cuddles, and aren’t they the best! Xxx

  25. admin
    May 4, 2016 / 9:07 pm

    Oh my goodness me, this is the best response ever. So much so, you’ve spurred me on to publish a blog post tomorrow with your response on it – is that ok with you?! I’ll also link back to your blog.xx

  26. February 14, 2017 / 4:39 pm

    We try and make our blog an avenue for describing how temperament can be applied in everyday situations — rather than offering nothing but theoretical models. Glad you found us and we hope you keep reading!

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