I am a huge fan of Sheryl Sandberg - pretty much all she does, including Lean In. I love it so much that as a developer and trainer at Birth Boot Camp DOULA, it is required reading for those coming to doula training with me. Mrs Sandberg's thoughts apply to professional work, home life, birth . . . really, I could just go on and on about her. If you want to hear me do that, come to training :)
But, what I really want to write about is the recent article on New Orleans Moms Blog, "Leaning Out: Did I Make the Right Choice?" GREAT title, right? I really appreciate what this mom has written. I despise the idea of mommy wars and the marketing that has perpetuated that idea. Because really, we are all just doing what we need to do for our families and ourselves. I am totally a mom who Leaned Out, just as Sheryl Sandberg talks about - before I even had kids. Then, I had my first baby, tried to lean in - and well, that sent me into a mess of identity crisis and aggravated some ppd. I have found my balance.
That's a lie. There isn't a balance. It is a balancing act. And that's what I appreciate about this recent NOMB article. I work hard to do all I can for my family while running Nola Nesting and serving all of my clients and Doulas. Do I fall short? Sure. I always have more business ideas I want to tackle, things I want to work on and more stuff I want to do with my kids. Because I am a professional and my clients and work are very important to me, I make sure I meet all of those needs. But, I'm always adjusting. Similar to this author who has returned to full time work for a bit after taking some time off for her family. I know how it stimulates that part of the brain, how exciting it is and how much you miss the boring things of home life as much as you miss the great moments.
Sometimes I rock it all! Some days I win! I am so happy those days. The house is caught up, my kids are happy, I am loving being their mother and I am rocking at work. Then, there are days that don't go so well. Lots of calls to return, emails to write and children asking for more of me.
I would love to see all women Lean In the way Sheryl Sandberg describes. Isn't it great that Amanda Bensabat, the author of the NOMB article Leaned In before having kids? She was able to Lean Out, then she could jump on a great case because of the professional work she had done before, and be able to Lean Out once again. Sheryl Sandberg talks about staying in the workforce, fulfilling our personal achievements before we hold ourselves back for a family we don't yet have. But, once you're there and have your family, sometimes we gotta Lean Out. There's no easy decision. There's no universal right. There's only a right-for-you answer.
How have you handled your professional life and family? Did you Lean In? Lean Out early? Lean Out for your family? Or, like Sheryl Sandberg did you find your professional life an important piece to your over all happiness in your family and motherhood? Cheers to you all!