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Thursday, November 17, 2005


Former LLLL

I retired not so long ago from LLL, after spending eight years with the organization and trying to change it from within. I sadly concluded that it couldn't be done. Too many of the upper administrators are hardcore "no working mothers need apply" and unwilling to look at circumstances on an individual level, though they are supposed to do just that.

I saw this happen in my own Group. Two mothers applied for Leadership. Mom A had been coming to meetings for two years. She brought many friends (many of whome became members) to meetings, was an active and eloquent participant, and was always ready to help out with functions or meetings. She was friendly without being pushy and always willing to share knowledge.

Mom B came sporadically. She never brought anoyone, never offered to do a group job, and rarely participated in meetings. She had some quite incorrect facts that she presented at times in meetings.

Mom B was the one who was accepted by the LAD. You see, Mom B was a SAHM, while Mom A worked part-time while her child was cared for by a family member -- and Mom A had carefully arranged her schedule to be away when her child slept, so the child was unaware of her absence.

It was quite disenheartening to find out that Mom A wasn't qualified enough, when all Mom B had to do was state that she was home all the time and she was automatically accepted. I declined to stay involved after this affair, though Mom A continues to attend meetings and brings her friends to them. She is a class act.

Last I heard, Mom B still has not finished her application, and probably won't. LLL lost out on at least one potential Leader with this decision, and lost me as well.


I wonder how much leader recruitment (& subsequent completion of the process) has to do with the group itself. In "my" group, three people started the LA process about a year ago but only one person went through with it. Meanwhile, the group has had a cadre of the same 3 leaders for many years. On the other hand, the group nearest to ours has something like eight leaders with five more in the pipeline.

Personally, I thought in my case that the LAD focused way too much on the fact that I spent three or four hours away from my child a week going to a class two semesters a year. IMO, three or four hours a week does not require lengthy explanations of the possible negative consequences on a child.


That's very discouraging to hear that mothers working outside the home aren't encouraged to be leaders within LLL.

By the way, Kateri, I know you plan to go back to nursing school. Are you also planning to get certified as an IBCLC? I'd considered it for a while, but the number of required counseling hours was too daunting. Even more so now that I know it would be difficult for me to volunteer as a leader with LLL.

Lisa C.

I was interested in being a leader in my LLL group, but was turned away (before I ever really applied, the leader of the leaders deemed me unworthy) because I work. It really turned me off, and I eventually left the group.


Whoa... I didn't know any of those things and I'm glad you shared them. I may get some kind of work next year in the fall... well, I'll see what happens, maybe it's not meant to be.

suzanne lim

Hi there,
I was skimming through the internet looking for ideas for my upcoming series meeting and stumbled across your blog.
I am very surprised to hear that moms you know were turned away from pursuing leadership due to their being employed.
As a member of the LAD in Canada, I am familiar with the requirements of an application for LLL leadership. Here in my part of the LLL world, employed mothers are accredited quite regularly! The key is not that the mother works outside the home, but the sensitivity/respect she shows to the child's reaction to the separation. How does the mother's life and attitude reflect the LLL concepts that speaks about baby's intense need to be with his mother? This is the bottom line in determining a woman's suitability for leadership. The sole fact that she is employed does not in anyway preclude her from becoming a Leader. The prerequisites for applying and the criteria for accreditation are international, which of course, means that they are the same everywhere. The woman you spoke of, possbily did not fulfill the requirments in some other way???
Just felt I had to clear that up.
Feel free to email me.

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