Sunday, 14 April 2013

Leaning In

The theme of my sketchbook is "reinvention", and in the case of my first sketch, I'm thinking on the reinvention of myself. 

I've had the fortune this year to step away from full-time work, and into a more hands-on role as a mum.  My year of less work has coincided with big things happening on the paid work-front - big things that make me invigorated and ready to step back in the classroom.  But those same big things, and the process of how we are getting there, have left me feeling, at times, grouchy and critical.

Recently I have developed an obsession with reading all things about women in positions of leadership, and if it's by a woman who is also a mum, all the better.   When a friend passed me this article earlier this week, and the author again referenced the tiara syndrome, all the pieces came together: I have no right to be grouchy or critical if I haven't tried to do anything about it. 

So, my sketch.  We're loving our old school Mr Men and Little Miss books these days.   The children's book, a reinvented cover for Little Miss Princess, is drawn with Crayola markers and crayons. It represents the mommy side of me (and reminds me to BUY GROWN-UP ART SUPPLIES SOON), and a lot of the fun I’ve had this year being at home with my little ones.  On the other side, we have Little Miss Princess, here reimagined as a brunette, who has tossed off her tiara.  She’s going back to work, and she’s going to attempt to throw her natural cynicism and grouchiness aside, along with that crown.  There’s no sitting back for this little miss, and she definitely won’t be second-guessing herself or her abilities. She’s reinventing herself.

Oh, by the way, she definitely WON’T figure out how to balance the work/family thing. If anyone does figure that out, there are millions to be made.


  1. I love the story behind your sketch. Great meaning. I read the article about about Sheryl Sandberg and her book, Lean In, in Time magazine. Jon Stewart recently interviewed her on The Daily Show too. Fascinating. I have always wondered why things are not more equal at the higher level. Sometimes I think that it's a world that isn't attractive for women, but then I wonder, why isn't it? And what can we do about it?

  2. Your journey of working mother is such a hard one, and one that is riddled with a paradox of emotions. I love the idea of leaning in to the hefty task, especially when we can lean on each other as working mothers. Then, when you look at the disparity of female leaders with male leaders, the frustration becomes almost paralyzing. Thanks for tackling this vital subject~I already have an idea for your book, and even though I don't think I'll get your book this time around, I'd love to add to it. It may take until next year to get to you though!