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The Advantages of Doing More for LLL

Paddy Pizappi
Waldwick, New Jersey, USA
LEAVEN Volume 35, No. 1, February-March 1999, p. 5

As a Leader we each have basic responsibilities:

  • Help mothers one-to-one, by telephone or in person, keeping accurate records of these helping situations.
  • Plan and lead monthly Series Meetings.
  • Supervise the management of the Group, including membership, finances, Group workers, Group Library and materials for sale: inform the Area Coordinator of Leaders (usually through the District Advisor/Coordinator) about LLL activities through written monthly reports.
  • Keep up-to-date on all important breastfeeding information, taking advantage of LLL opportunities for continuing education through publications, meetings, correspondence and the network of resource Leaders.
  • Take an active role in helping other mothers find out about leadership and help them prepare to become LLL Leaders.

At times these duties may seem like a lot of work, especially when "all we really wanted to do was help mothers breastfeed." Why would anyone choose to do more? There are many reasons why Leaders who may already appear to have a very full plate take on an extra LLL responsibility.

One of the greatest advantages for me personally has been the increase in my circle of LLL friends. I seem to relate more easily to mothers who share my philosophy of parenting and passion for mothering through breastfeeding. By taking on an additional job I have made contacts with Leaders from other locations. Like me, you can build relationships with these "long distance co-Leaders." You will gain friends who share your joys, concerns, victories and frustrations.

Another advantage of an additional duty is an increase in knowledge, both breastfeeding information and how LLL functions. Often as new or isolated Leaders we are not aware of the way things get done within the organization. As we take on new roles we learn about the behind-the-scenes activity that maintains our organization and helps it expand. Through the normal course of correspondence with other Leaders we also gain information about breastfeeding experiences we might not otherwise be exposed to. Through some Area positions such as the District Advisor /Coordinator you may learn more about meeting and fundraising ideas.

An increase in self-esteem comes from doing a job well. You may receive a pat on the back from others that you work with. It can be very satisfying to help Leaders, Leader Applicants and others to understand the LLLI mission and philosophy. Tangible results from your efforts can go a long way toward bolstering your self-image. Taking on an additional LLL position can actually help rekindle the passion of a Leader teetering on the edge of burnout. You may not think that more work could be the answer for a Leader who is already feeling burdened. Many times Leaders give so much to mothers, yet feel unappreciated and doubtful whether they are making a difference. By working within LLL, a Leader can find reward in the appreciation shown by another Leader.

As you work in an additional capacity you help LLL continue to help mothers. You may choose to work with other organizations encouraging and promoting breastfeeding.

Expenses incurred in the course of doing additional LLL jobs are often reimbursable. As mothers who have chosen to stay home with our young children, Leaders are often hard-pressed to find extra money for anything. Some Areas, Divisions, Affiliates and LLLI provide full or partial funding for conferences and training sessions. This could be helpful for Leaders who cannot see their way clear to fund themselves. Check with your Area Coordinator of Leaders or other appropriate support Leader regarding financial reimbursement policies.

As you can see, there are many advantages to taking on that extra job. Without dedicated Leaders in these extra jobs, there would be no organization to be part of. It is possible to do extra work without letting go of your ideal of putting your family first. The LLLI Founders certainly accomplished this, so why can't we?

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