July Book Review: Lean In


I don’t know if y’all remember this little diddy from last month where I shared my struggles with work life balance. Well, life has a funny little way of throwing you a bone every now and then.

This month I’d noted on an annual goals list for work to get more involved with my company’s “women in the workplace” group because I always think it is a good idea to network and get to know your co-workers in a positive light. Any who, because of this I said to myself that I would try my best to attend this quarter’s women’s event. The event is a book club in which we were tasked to read Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In.

I read the reviews online and chose to ignore them because a) the book was on sale at Target and b) I’d already dedicated myself to attend this event. I’m so, so happy I ignored the ignorant reviews, because now I have a review to add to the “great” pile”.

In short, I loved this book. On Goodreads I went ahead and gave it a 5 (out of 5) before finishing. I figured out early on that I would need a highlighter because there were so many amazing ideas and points that inspired and empowered me. Sandberg is Facebook’s chief operating officer, hailing from her prior position as Google’s VP of Global Online Sales and Operations. Sandberg discusses personal anecdotes relating to being a woman of power and having a family at the same time. Lean In implies “leaning in” to your career just as you begin thinking about leaning back because you want to start a family, or you think there are too many challenges with males in the workplace … giving yourself a chance before you decide to prematurely lean back.

“Girls growing up today are not the first generation to have equal opportunity, but they are the first to know that all that opportunity does not necessarily translate into professional achievement. Many of these girls watched their mothers try to ‘do it all’ and then decide that something had to give. That something was usually their careers.”

Sandberg talks about sitting at the table with your work peers, not being afraid to speak your ideas and keeping your hand up a little longer, sticking up for one another as women, and owning your own power. She talks about the guilt women feel about not being able to do it all. She talks about investing in your career and sharing the workload with your partner.

After I read the chapter titled “Make Your Partner a Real Partner” I half-joked to my husband that he should read it. And he did. He had nothing in particular to say, but it made me really happy that it would open up future conversation regarding some important decisions on balance in our household. Sandberg writes on being too controlling or critical of your spouse,

“Whenever a married woman asks me for advice on co-parenting with a husband, I tell her to let him put the diaper on the baby any way he wants as long as he’s doing it himself. And if he gets up to deal with the diaper before being asked, she should smile even if he puts that diapers on the baby’s head. Over time, if he does things his way, he’ll find the correct end. But if he’s forced to do things her way, pretty soon she’ll be doing them herself.”

Sandberg really inspired me and I would recommend this read to women of all walks of life and all career types, no matter what type (btw, I consider being a SAHM a career too). I learned to recognize, embrace, and accept my own power, support and be non-judgemental of my peer female co-workers or friends, not to be so critical of my husband, and to stop worrying about how I’m going to balance work and children before I’ve even conceived.

I will be reading this again.

“Trying to do it all and expecting that it all can be done exactly right is a recipe for disappointment. Perfection is the enemy.”

I’d love to open this up for discussion, anyone else read this? What did you get out of this book? xoxo ‘n lols, crystal


2 thoughts on “July Book Review: Lean In

  1. Pingback: life lately under the oaks | under the oaks

  2. Pingback: Blog Year One: A Recap! | under the oaks

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