Yesterday I led the annual board planning meeting for eight+ hours. The purpose of the meeting was:
- to conduct a philosophical discussion around decision making and prioritization, and
- to identify the major objectives for 2019, in all key result areas
It should be noted that I also have a 14 week old infant, my son Granite Wolfe (Wolfie), who rode out with me to Riverside from Redondo Beach. My devoted friend and our Director of Marketing volunteered to care for him while I facilitated the meeting, and bring him to me to nurse as needed. Most of the time I work from home (a matter of luck, negotiation, support and trust), and I am committed to breastfeeding. Please add to the purpose of the meeting:
- to unapologetically embody and exemplify the reality (not vision of the future; this is here and now) that a woman can and should be in the board room, in her infinite capacity and including all that she is: postpartum, breastfeeding, devoted to her child AND a dedicated, trusted, and fierce leader, hiding nothing, free of shame, full of feelings and milk and love for her baby and anger at the man and pride in her courage and strength, and peace and gratitude.
because the world can handle this. Men can handle this. Women can handle this. They can handle this. We can do this. We don’t have to ask for permission to be mothers; we can ask for respect to feed our babies. We don’t have to hide our desire to be with our children; we can ask for the opportunity to negotiate a way of being both mothers and workers. We don’t have to veil and minimize our great work situations from other women; we can show them what’s possible. We don’t have to have shame and shrink to get what we want, followed by over-the-top work ethic to prove to our bosses that they made a good choice; it’s okay if we simply do our jobs well and contribute value in alignment with expectations. We don’t have to say yes and then panic to complete the task; we can say no or not right now or yes, but. Also, it’s okay if our babies coo in the background of conference calls. And when they do, we don’t have to run away from them into the bathroom and close the door to avoid offending someone; we can just hit mute, or redirect the conversation.
Stand your ground and be an earthquake.