Leaders Who Lunch: The Advantages of an After-Meeting Meal
Kathy Grossman, Jen Hermes, Jessica Kyle, Gretal St. Onge, and Joi Straaten
LLL of Sandy, UT, USA
From: Leaven, Vol. 44, No. 4, 2008, p. 12
Every month our Group has a Series Meeting and an Enrichment Meeting in the morning. Because we rarely have refreshments and our meetings end around noon, several of us started going out to lunch afterward. Now our after-meeting meals are an institution: something we all really look forward to! In addition to conducting Group business, we can keep in touch with our LLL and personal lives. Here are some guidelines for and advantages of after-meeting get-togethers.
Lunch is an optional activity. Sometimes a Leader doesn't have the time, funds, or energy to take another two hours out of her day. We email the missing Leaders any special decisions or business discussed.
When I was a member of LLL before I became a Leader, I always felt rejuvenated by attending a La Leche League meeting. It was my way of recharging my "mothering batteries." However, after I became a Leader I sometimes felt drained after a meeting rather than recharged. Once we started going out together for lunch after meetings, that changed. Even if I do feel drained after the meeting, I find that discussing the meeting over lunch with my co-Leaders does in fact leave me with my "Leader batteries" and my "mother batteries" fully charged once again. -- Jessica
A few years ago I started getting a babysitter for my kids who outgrew interest in attending LLL meetings. Since I already had the sitter, I thought it would be fun to go out to lunch with the other Leaders and friends after the meeting. Some people bring their kids, and some don't. For me it is an enjoyable and yummy outing that's fun! -- Jen
Several years ago, I thought I would be too tired to do more LLL work in the day. But then I realized how fun and energizing the after-meeting get-togethers could be. Plus we got a lot of business straightened out. There turned out to be no down sides, and I got to take home half of my meal for lunch the next day. -- Kathy
You lead the meeting, you choose the restaurant. After months of all of us trying to reach consensus on an eating place, we found it much easier -- and a perk for the one who led -- to have one person do the choosing. We have gone to some restaurants where we vowed never to go back (mostly because of noise levels), and now have favorites because of the comfortable table arrangements, friendly service, and good food.
Since I know we'll be going to lunch afterwards, I can defer socializing with Leader friends at the meeting and concentrate on mothers' concerns. In a few hours I'll be getting a good dose of chatting and catching up. -- Kathy
Sometimes a Leader who cannot attend the meeting still wants to go to lunch. Since our meetings usually end around noon, lunches usually start around 12:30, so we can all plan to be together for the meal. The one choosing the restaurant tries to let the rest of us know her choice by email the day before.
You pay for your own meal. We let the server know we need separate checks and try to avoid any debt to each other for meal checks. A typical lunch costs between $10 and $15 (US).
Only Leaders and Applicants go to lunch after a Series Meeting. We can discuss business, plan our next meetings, and talk discreetly about leadership training. If there are decisions made or actions planned, one of us emails a summary of what was discussed to everyone including Leaders who weren't there. After Enrichment Meetings, we invite all the attendees to lunch.
I like it that we can have Enrichment Meetings but don't need to plan Evaluation Meetings. As Group Treasurer, I can also go over money issues so we know our bank balance, coming expenses, and ordering needs. -- Kathy
We handle business, socialize, and recap highlights (or lowlights) from that day's meeting. Once we set up for the meeting, host it, and clean up, we are hungry to say the least. So eating out fills that need and many more! -- Jen
Jen and I share a babysitter, Miss Ginny, for our younger children on LLL days. My daughter looks forward to the play date with the babysitter, and I look forward to our lunch out. It is a day for me to volunteer and help other mothers with breastfeeding and then rejuvenate myself with a ladies' lunch. The adult meal is like icing on the cake: it's a great way to end my LLL day. -- Gretal
It is hard to imagine not having this biweekly tradition to look forward to, and I am quite sure this has helped stave off the dreaded Leader burnout. -- Jessica