If we are to contribute to the workforce in healthy ways that fairly recognises and rewards our talents and potential, surely parents shouldn't be penalised for dipping out of employment and suffer the longer term impact on their employability.
I am a feminist. I am passionate about striving to achieve gender equality in our communities, politics and organisations. I want my daughters to grow up to reach their potential and not be disadvantaged or overlooked in any way due to being girls. So why can't I change a tyre on my car? And why don't I care?
As I thought back to the last few days I'd had in Spain, I realised one thing: I didn't want to go back to the UK. I could feel the heat rising up my body and my palms were becoming clammy. What was it that was making my pulse race so much? The thought of returning to work? The weather? The lack of adventure ahead?
I am now a writer, part-time TEFL teacher and travel blogger. I get to be creative every day, be my own boss and find so much happiness in what I do which wouldn't have been possible if I hadn't taken that leap and booked that first plane ticket.
Why the sudden burst of initiatives? Partly it's due to the work of coaching team Women Returners who have partnered with Opportunity Now to develop "returnships" - short-term paid positions, project-based, typically with training and mentoring support.
Gap years used to be seen as the last big chance for an adventure before working life, and we did it (if we could) because everyone knew we couldn't very well stop mid-career for a break. But if such societal blinkers were removed, doesn't a career break make more sense than a gap year?
Four months into my new lifestyle, which combines life hacking, career break, early midlife crisis and late gap year, I've got one alarmingly simple pearl of wisdom to share: we should all be trying much, much more new stuff.
Many people question an 'appropriate' time to take a gap year, often worrying that they've missed the opportunity or that that they are unable to commit to a full year. There is however, no right or wrong time to take a gap year, and no traditional length of time to travel for.