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Full Circle: Leader Returns as Grandmother

Ruth Maxwell
Batavia, Ohio, USA
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 35 No. 3, June-July 1999, p. 70

It had been almost 20 years since my last LLL meeting. I was both elated and apprehensive about going back. I was elated because I was taking my daughter who was expecting my first grandchild; I was apprehensive because I was a grandma-to-be, not a mother-to-be. Would I feel out of place? Needless to say I shouldn't have been worried. I felt right at home despite the fact that my babies were now grown.

It is amazing how some things change, yet much stays the same. The mothers who come to LLL meetings are looking for answers to the same questions I had more than 20 years ago. They are looking for the same support and encouragement I needed. LLL was there for me and I'm so glad it's there for my daughter.

As I spent the next few months accompanying my daughter to meetings. I saw her knowledge and confidence grow. I watched her enjoy the companionship of other women: those soon to be new mothers and those who already had children. We talked about the ideas shared at the meetings and what she did and didn't like. She was beginning to form her own ideas about how she wanted to mother her own baby. In addition to providing breastfeeding information and support this is what LLL is all about-a place to develop your own beliefs about how to raise your child. LLL is a place to gain confidence in the fact that you really do know what is best for your child and your family.

The Leader of the Group we were attending was doing everything on her own. I remembered the support I received from my co-Leaders and couldn't imagine how difficult it must be for her. At one point the Leader announced that she needed to take a leave of absence. Meetings would be discontinued for at least a series while she decided whether she would continue leading. I knew I had to see if there was a way I could keep the Group going. I spoke to the Leader and together we checked to see what could be done.

I am happy to say that the process of reactivating as a Leader wasn't as difficult as I thought it might be. During the interim I met with the group in the same location but called it a "Breastfeeding Support Group." It was clear to everyone that the meetings were not official LLL meetings yet all continued to enjoy the opportunity for gaining information and encouragement.

In a short time we once again became an official LLL Group, now with two Leaders. In addition, my daughter plans to pursue accreditation. I have come full circle. After leaving LLL in order to have more time to grow with my family. I am back once again, excited at the prospect of helping new mothers who want to breastfeed their babies. What a joy!

I would recommend returning to leadership to any former Leader who finds she has more time on her hands now that her children are grown. Full circle Leaders will not only be welcomed but are needed more than ever. What could be better than giving back a little of what we received all those years ago?

Check with the Area Coordinator of Leaders for the procedure to reactivate as a Leader in your Area.

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