Sheryl Sandberg Takes the Cake…and Makes My Day

8 years ago, before the birth of my first child, I decided to be a stay at home mom. My husband and I agreed it was the best solution. I admit that I felt a lot of guilt about not working, although anyone who has been a SAHM knows what a fallacy that statement is.

Two children into it, and I woke up one day with the realization that my marriage and the balance of power in our relationship had taken a heavy blow. It wasn’t anyone’s fault. I think this happens in many relationships. I didn’t understand my husband’s world anymore and he didn’t understand mine. I had lost a lot of self-esteem and felt more and more inadequate. I wanted to go back to work, but the thought terrified me. As any mother who is out of the workforce for a while knows, I was paralyzed with insecurity.

A friend recommended I read Sandberg’s book “Lean In” and I did. It struck a chord in me and completely inspired me to push myself beyond my fears, self-doubt and mom guilt. I started working again and it was a shock. I was full of pain every time I couldn’t be there for an ear ache or a school event, and I constantly felt like an imposter in my job.

On top of that, after 10 years of writing in my spare time, I had had a revelation about the book I was finally supposed to write. It was akin to meeting “the one”. When you know you know they say… and I knew. I didn’t tell anyone I was writing the book except my co-author who helped push and support me. I leaned in even harder, and I almost broke from the strain.

One day, while dropping my daughter off at school, she asked if I would come in to speak for her class about careers. “Not for the jewelry job mommy, but as a book writer”. She was 6 at the time and I could see she was really proud of me. Her words reverberated in my ears and I broke down and cried when she left the car.

I thought that was the payout. My leaning in had inspired my daughter. What more could I want?

But something else happened recently that made me believe in boomerangs of inspiration.

Yesterday a friend wrote and said. “Did you know that one of your articles was cited in Sheryl Sandberg’s new book “Option B”?”

I was flabbergasted.

“What?”

She quickly sent me the photos and there it was. It was only a paragraph. It was only a one sentence citation in the back, but my vision had inspired my inspiration (Sheryl Sandberg) in some very small way.

Despite the “success” that otherwise may seem far more gratifying from an outside perspective, this one really took the cake so to speak. And for more on that cake piece… here is the article she cited.

For all those moms (and dads) out there who struggle with guilt and who lean in every day wondering if you are doing enough. You are. If you try to be kind and work hard for what matters to you (at home or outside of the home) the universe has a funny way of paying it forward.

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