where the writers are
lean in?

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is telling young women to Lean In to corporate America, to “take a seat at the table,” “join the conversation.” She worries that we have put ourselves on the ‘mommy track,’ often before we’re even dating. She posits that a lack of confidence and ambition has led to the shortage of women in the top tiers of corporations.

Too late for me, Sheryl. I didn’t lean in. I often chose to, as USAToday columnist Lionel Beehner writes, “sit back, listen and maybe even learn something.” I did. I learned a lot. I was met with many opportunities I didn’t fully explore, due to a lack of confidence and ambition, as well as a strong desire to be there for my children. I didn’t outsource mothering. I’m fine with the decision in that I, along with my husband, raised wonderful sons, kind and vital people. Somewhat ironically, they are confident and ambitious. One with a professional career, the other on his way. Both happily married. One, who is a new father, is an interested and involved parent.  

I’m a successful parent. Success elsewhere, not so much. Just as Sheryl said in her O interview: “We’re not using the full talents of our population.” I leaned back so far I’m horizontal. Please don’t shovel any dirt on me.

8 Comment count
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Love your stance, Jodi. You

Love your stance, Jodi. You win. m

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Thanks, Mary. We all win when

Thanks, Mary. We all win when we produce happy and kind children, don't we?

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[I don't want to hijack this,

[I don't want to hijack this, Jodi, the rant we are unknowingly in collusion on.  But I have an iced Americano by my side, my kids are at their dads, and I just put my sweatpants on after wearing a pair of jeans all day that were too small for my belly (the enchilada I ate last night has staged a successful coup in there).  In other words:  the rant is inevitable; so just move aside a bit, cause it's barreling down].

You have said it just right, though.

I will only add:  Could the feminine corporate America stop freaking pushing all women into the track that they freaking chose?  Because it's insulting.  Because it assumes that we are so completely preprogrammed by societal demands and structure that we are unable to make effective choices on our own.   Because who in their right mind would ever choose the Mommy Track over a high-paying, powerful job at Facebook?

Well, guess what?  I would, Sheryl, you naive little tart!

I am and was capable of making that decision for myself, and I Mommy Tracked it.  And it wasn't because I won't lean in, or couldn't if I had to; or couldn't run circles around you in leading one of the most successful companies in the world.  It was because I WANTED TO!  

Stop deciding what's best for me, Sheryl.  I did exactly what I wanted to do. Because a strong emotional connection with my kids helps me go to sleep at night, and it isn't weak or "leaning out" to forgo the self-involvement of externally-appreciated success for the benefit of a newly-sprung human being.  It's called "committment."   And it's satisfying.  

So back it down, Sheryl; you're on ground that is shaking pretty hard with self-important self-righteousness.  

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Say it, Sister!

Amy, those sweatpants are doing the trick. Love this rant - feel free to rant anytime. Read the last bit out loud to my son and husband! Husband laughed out loud at your passion and son said "Say it, sister!" 

I understand what Sheryl is trying to say to some degree. Many women in the workplace have very little confidence and don't take risks. But you hit the nail on the head with your pointing out that "a strong emotional connection" (which takes time) with our children helps us sleep at night, and eschewing "the self-involvement of externally-appreciated success" doesn't make us weak - or less than successful.

Well put, and thanks for joining in the discussion. About time we recognize the value and sacrifice of raising good people. Perhaps corporate America should change to allow more parents to do so.

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Excellent, Jodi ~

While I'm a feminst and humanist, Sheryl's lean in campaign bugged me.  I understand her point of view but I prefer some people rebell against it.  Too many sheople like me follow these memes and swallow those lines.  I think you made a better choice, maybe a more mindful choice. Like Sheryl, I think we're not using our populations's full talents, too, but unlike her, I think some talents are better applied in other directions besides business - like raising families, writing and painting, and eating good food and enjoying company and life.

Take care.  Cheers, M

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Thanks, Michael. Exactly:

Thanks, Michael. Exactly: Talents needn't be used only to increase the stock price to have value. Sometimes leaning in to our life is as wonderful as leaning in to a corporate career. Just wish there was some financial reward. ;)

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Ah, I've been so busy with my

Ah, I've been so busy with my three kids, two step-kids and low paying job that I missed this exchange!

If I may be so bold to point out that her position smacks of the same guilt trip that our mother's generation had to deal with in the 60's-70's- in reverse!

Our mothers and grandmothers fought for the chance to choose- work, and/or home. Some did both quite well. Others decided they wanted to step out for a time and then return when their kids were older. 

Why the backlash now? I admired my Mom for going back to work when I was a teen. I worked for three years after my son was born, and decided that I was giving him the leftovers, and the best of me was expended all day in the classroom nurturing and teaching inner city kids.

I think Sheryl is perhaps blind to the reality that our previous generations fought for the CHOICE to work, or not. We do not create any solidarity or sisterhood when we ridicule our sisters who chose another route. 


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I hear you, Annette, with the

I hear you, Annette, with the distractions of life that make you miss the conversations on Red Room. I've been away for nearly a month, too.

Yes! You're on target with your criticism. None of us can make the decision for another. Whatever choices we make, may we make them with ours and our family's best interests in mind.