I just finished Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.
While I commend her for an insightful book on the world of women and work, I am not sure that I agree with everything in her book. I found her viewpoint to be very biased toward the importance of women having a career. Sheryl’s book is an important manifesto for women in leadership and the role of women in society today. She champions the cause of women in senior leadership and encourages and empowers women today. Although I think this is an important cause, it is not the only role for women in society. I believe that women can have it all and juggle family and career.
I realize that not all women have a choice and many must work; I was fortunate enough to be a stay-at-home mom for 13 years. Our family made choices to move to places with lower cost of living and to live a more modest lifestyle. After my girls reached middle school, I rejoined the workforce. I believe that different seasons can lead to different choices. I believe that those years at home with my children were an important contribution to society. It is my opinion that the shaping of the lives of the next generation and the fabric of family is too important a task to leave to others.
Although Sheryl might say that I “leaned out,” I would disagree. I leaned in – to different priorities. I would not trade those years for anything. They resulted in close relationships with my daughters who are now confident, happy, and productive young adults.