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Focus on Fathers

La Leche League Family Circle

Shirley M.
From: NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 18 No. 2, March-April 2001, p. 73

My favorite part of being involved in La Leche League is the relationships! This was the reason I attended my first meeting. We had just moved to a new town and I needed new friends. However, what I didn't consider was how my involvement would affect my husband, John.

I quickly became very good friends with the Group Leader, Carla. I began preparing for leadership soon afterward. Carla and I have many things in common, including the fact that we each have four children and their ages mirror each other. Since we spepd so much time together doing LLL work, our children have naturally become friends, too. Our five-year-olds, Gage and Lexi, have already made their "wedding plans."

The outcome we didn't expect is that our husbands would also become good friends. They share an interest in computers, help each other with home improvement projects, trade books on tape, and coach soccer teams together. They even co-led a father's session at our Area Conference a few years ago.

Recently, Carla, and I went to an Area Conference together. Our getaway plan included leaving our long since weaned children with their fathers. We were really looking forward to the time to ourselves. What a treat - a three-hour drive with nothing to do but talk! Can you imagine? We were also anticipating all those energizing sessions that are only found at LLL conferences. We made plans for months beforehand!

Our husbands were planning, too. Their agenda included a campout with the children. Everyone was excited at the prospect of a great weekend. Then, during dinner one night, Pete phoned and the bubble was burst. He had to work that weekend! Canceling the campout was only part of the disappointment. Pete and Carla's children would miss their last soccer game of the season, too.

Later, John and I talked about the situation and he decided that it was unnecessary for the children to miss their soccer game. He offered to have them sleep over and then take all eight to soccer while Pete worked. Consequently, while Carla and I were enjoying a conference session on "Raising Loving Siblings," John somehow corralled eight children into a van and made it to the soccer field by 8 Am. What an amazing feat

I think it is unusual when a man develops enough attachment to another's children to care that they miss their last soccer game. John and Pete frequently watch the other's children, but my husband's willingness to take all eight of the children to a soccer field early on a Saturday morning left me awestruck. But when I thought about it, I realized that Pete would probably have done the same.

When I went to my first meeting looking for friends, I had no idea of the many benefits that would be coming into my life. The perks of being involved in La Leche League never seem to stop. Thanks to the support of such a loving husband, I'm able to give a lot of my time to this wonderful organization. I think he agrees that the rewards keep coming back to us tenfold!

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