I came across Sheryl Sandberg and Lean In when I was on maternity leave with Caitlyn (December 2013). I was planning my move back to work and I was struggling coming to terms with being a mom and how that fitted in with wanting a a career as well. Then…I caught an interview with Oprah and Sheryl Sandberg, and I was blown away. Here was a woman, a mother, super successful, COO of Facebook (right!) and she was setting the path. I immediately bought the book on my kindle – there was no time to get to Exclusive Books. I had to have it right then and there.
Sheryl was telling me that I have choices. ‘Hey even if you have a kid, lean in, go for it, allow your husband lean in at home, etc.’ . I totally lapped it up and yes it was challenging but that became my motto. Lean in! The world was my oyster. I even had a lean in circle and quoted her in conversations. I loved this woman (and I still do).
Now here we are 3 years later
I now have two kids, we are a mostly functional 🙂 and happy family. Sheryl was right by the way, leaning in has been good for me, it came with stretch assignments, rewards and sponsors. All good. As I said, I love this woman.
So everything is okay…. but I am so darn tired. So tired. I have two kids now, and I am over thirty, if I have not made it clear already having two kids is really busy and exhausting (yeah yeah I love them and all that).
What I actually am saying is that I will lean in but will lean in to things that make me happy and fulfilled. This is something I started thinking about when I returned to work in February from my second (and final) maternity leave.
Where to from here?
Leaning in at work too much takes time, head space and emotional energy. It could leave me with nothing left to give. Time is less of an issue, I mean actual emotional energy and head space. And I need that emotional energy and head space to live my life. I want my girls and my husband to have me as part of their lives.
This book remains one of THEE books for me and I still find so much value in these ideas and that can be a whole post on its own. My life has evolved and what I take from Lean In has evolved too. I needed it at a stage of my life, where I needed to understand how to work through being a mom who also WANTS to work. And it served its purpose beautifully as I took exactly what I needed from it. It still remains a truly inspirational book to me.
I still need the concept of leaning in, but in a different way
I still believe there is value in the ideas from Lean In for me personally as I do still want to work and make an impact through my work. Currently, I like to think of leaning in, as having choices and as leaning in to what makes me fulfilled. It is not about leaning in to climb the ‘corporate ladder’, but its about ‘doing me’. That is why it is important for me that the work I do excites, energizes and interests me.
I like how Cathy Caprino puts it “Let’s just choose what we want, and live that.” Lean in to life, work, family, kids, whatever makes you feel fulfilled and happy. As life evolves, we evolve and change and that is okay.
Do you have any mottos, quotes, books that you find inspirational?
Image source: Lean In Book
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