I’m one hundred percent in on the mom struggle; I write about it constantly, I’m torn daily, sometimes hourly, with what I should be doing and what I should not be doing, and, while I don’t often second guess myself, nothing makes me more unsure about my choices than looking at my kids.
And then I read Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. These life-changing books seem to be coming at me a lot recently, Running Like a Girl rocked my running and half-marathon training and this book, Lean In, is doing that for my career and family.
I grew up in a house that had a stay-at-home mom and a work-to-support-the-family dad. We were traditional and well cared for and common. But every once in a while, I caught glimpses of my mom and her dreams, her desires that weren’t confined to the walls of our house. And while I don’t believe there is anything wrong with being a stay-at-home mom (I sometimes fantasize about it…), I do think there’s something wrong with doing what society thinks you should do if it’s not what you want to do.
My mom is a product of the fifties and she was raised to be a mom. There was never any talk or encouragement to pursue a career or college or anything once she graduated from high school, she was supposed to get married and make a home. But I know if she had more options, she would have chosen differently.
I wish this book had been around for my mom.
Lean In affirms this atypical life that my family and I lead. Where Chris stays home and raises our babies while I support our family and pursue writing in my “spare time.” Where he cleans the bathrooms and does the laundry while I pay the bills and explore career options and dream big.
I spent the majority of this book highlighting, underlining, writing notes, and re-reading because she was speaking directly to me. Sandberg wrote Lean In for me. And I don’t think that’s thinking too highly of myself when I say that because I know there are a few million other wives, mothers, daughters, co-workers, learners, and dreams just like me that she wrote this book for.
This one changed my world. I can’t put it on the shelf yet, I’m not done with it and I’m not sure I will ever be. I keep flipping it open, re-reading sections, nodding my head enthusiastically, and then underlining more. I keep finding more passages that apply to my days, my dreams, my ambitions. This book helps me see my career, my steps, and my plans more clearly.
You’ll be hearing more about Lean In from me, her words have definitely lit a fire, gotten my wheels turning, and given me the push I needed. Have you read her book yet?? Do it. Whatever your life track, read this book. Raising girls? Read this book. And then let me know what you think, because I want to talk about it!