Hey Sheryl Sandberg! I leaned in and she barfed on me.

12 Jun

Every month, I meet with nine incredibly smart, funny, and insightful mothers to discuss books.  Although technically it’s a book club, this group represents so much more to me.

In the town where I live, sometimes finding a mom who can talk Tolstoy and Brahms is challenging. Let me be clear: I don’t need everyone to love art, music and literature; I love a good chat about nap times and recipes and poopy diapers as much as the next mom. But every once in a while – once a month, to be exact – I need to get back in touch with the world.  I need to think.  I need a good laugh.  And I need a glass of wine.  This is exactly the service my book club provides.

lean inThe women in my group were collected from all walks of life.  Strike that.  We’re all white, middle-class mothers.  But our backgrounds and situations are varied; Last Monday night, we actually had a Muslim, a Jew, and a smattering of Christians sitting down together like a bad joke. And we discussed one of the most provocative books to be published in a long time: Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.  And we still hugged before we got in our cars to drive home!

I am not going to review this book.  It simply isn’t necessary – Google “Sheryl Sandberg is”  and you’ll find:


  • Sheryl Sandberg is an idiot
  • Sheryl Sandberg is hot
  • Sheryl Sandberg is annoying

Whatever your feelings on “women, work, and the will to lead,” you will find someone who agrees with you on the world wide web.  For my part, the best thing I got out of Sandberg’s “sort-of feminist manifesto” is the encouragement to do whatever I do with my whole self.  While I didn’t particularly love Lean In (I’m pretty sure the word I used was “detest”), I profoundly enjoyed sitting with a handful of thoughtful women to discuss what it means.  Lean In forced me to distill and define my thoughts on womanhood, and for that matter, personhood.  Never a bad thing.

The following day, while mulling over everything that was said, rocking my precious Sweet Chuck and humming softly, I looked deeply into her cherubic face and thought I have made the right decision to be here with her.  I can definitely lean in to that.

It wasn’t two seconds later that a silent gush of breast milk, teething cookie and scrambled eggs erupted from her mouth, shooting into the air above her and splashing back down on her face.  Three times.

Thanks a lot, Sandberg.

6 Responses to “Hey Sheryl Sandberg! I leaned in and she barfed on me.”

  1. Beth-Anne Jones June 12, 2013 at 10:39 am #

    I just blogged about this book on http://www.4mothers1blog.com yesterday. Whatever my thoughts on the book, I have to say, Sandberg has done a phenomenal job at adding to this conversation.

    • Jaime June 12, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

      Couldn’t agree more.

  2. Marta June 12, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

    I have been considering reading the book because i’ve been thinking lately about how there are no good role models for women in the workplace. As a late twenties, working mom, who’s career focused I’m not sure who to look up to. I think of the two young girls who work for me and I hope that I’m a good role model to them. I feel like I’ve been shaped so much by bosses, and I wonder if I will have that affect on them.

  3. Jacqueline Frederick June 13, 2013 at 10:55 pm #

    The most important thing for women is the unfettered choice, without recrimination or criticism, to decide to what she will devote her life, and take pride in her decision.

    • Barb M June 17, 2013 at 3:01 pm #


  4. Barb M June 17, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

    I’ve been following the “Lean In” discussion. And even though I chose to be a stay-at-home mom over 30 years ago, I am very interested. I have 3 daughters who are college grads, and I am so happy that they have more choices than I had. They have female mentors, and people who help them find direction. These are things I never had. But I don’t regret my life. Even though at the time I wasn’t always confident that I was meant to be a wife and mom, looking back I realize that God put me in the life I was meant to live. And I chose to “Lean In” to my family. And when I look at these 3 very beautiful, bright and happy young women, I am very happy about the direction I leaned.

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