We Fill in the Gaps for Each Other
Burke, Virginia, USA
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 36 No. 2, April-May 2000, p. 24
"We fill in the gaps for each other." I just love that notion! This subject of level of commitment and "Just where do I fit in" has come to mind for me from time to time. As a Leader of 24 years and the mother of one 25-year-old son, I have occasionally felt out of place. My initial involvement with La Leche League was very different than it is now. It was intense and personal. Leading a group was exciting mother-to-mother work. As the years went by and we found that our family was to remain small, I began to doubt the value of my contribution. After all, I had only breastfed one baby. I was boosted by the members of our group who took comfort in the knowledge that they actually knew someone who had breastfed, weaned naturally, and practiced the family bed and loving guidance and survived! Then, there came a time when I began to forget what it was like to worry about a baby. It was hard to empathize with a new mother. Just as I was once again questioning my involvement with La Leche League, I became a Human Relations Enrichment (HRE) Instructor and found my niche. I could still make a valuable contribution to an organization that I loved. My focus turned from helping mothers to helping other Leaders do their job better. At each turn in the road, as I found my interest in volunteer work waning, I have come upon a different aspect of La Leche League that has intrigued me. I like to think that I have helped some mothers, left behind some strong Leaders in the group, helped some Leaders become better at what they do so well, and now at this stage am helping HRE Instructors become better at their job. I'm very aware though, that none of this would work if other Leaders weren't ready and able to fill in my gaps.