“There were constant battles . . . between those who had chosen to have children and those who had chosen not to – all ostensibly for the sake of our publication, but more accurately as a way to work out personal differences under the cloak of business discussions. Our boss was happily childless (“When I see children, I just want to put them in cement,” she once admitted), and she was unimpressed with the fact that mothers needed to return to their families earlier rather than later each evening. Her right-hand woman also had no children. They didn’t like to do extra work to make up for the women who went on maternity leave, and they didn’t appreciate having sacrificed portions of their personal lives to the office when others hadn’t.
“Well, what does the woman who chooses not to have kids do? asked the boss. “She should take a maternity leave to fulfill herself.”
A new mother grunted from her position at the table, her breasts sore from pumping milk into bottles, her eyes swollen from nights awake. “Right,” she said, “it’s a fucking vacation.”
— from Marcus of Umbria: What an Italian Dog Taught an American Girl about Love by Justine van der Leun