Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The New Perfect

Just days after my last blog about finding the right balance as a mom, the latest issue of my favorite magazine arrived in the mail, (no, it’s not O!) Working Mother, and the November cover story (unfortunately, it's not on newsstands yet.) . . . the choices we make, a study on how we feel about the choices we make. Reading that article reminded me of the book Good Enough, the New Perfect, by Becky Beaupre Gillespie and Hollee Schwartz Temple, a book outlining their empirical study of working moms and how we feel about the choices we make. It's a hot topic!

While the WM study focuses on working moms and stay-at-home moms, Good Enough focuses on working, professional women with big degrees, big offices and big salaries. The primary difference being that many professional women have the luxury of choice, but what is surprisingly revealed by both studies is that the struggles to be a good mom, wife, employee, friend, business owner, etc. are the same, no matter the education, occupation or income level. We all carry the ever present, “mommy guilt.”

Just as I am liberated by living by my choices, and no one else’s, it’s validating to read that so many other mothers are struggling with the same issues and crafting strategies that work for their families, and no one else’s. My new favorite quote is "Don't let your inner voice be drowned out by other's opinions." Steve Jobs. There are so many voices and so many opinions, it's no wonder so many mothers are confused and frustrated. There is no "one size fits all."

 A traditional division of labor may be okay for my neighbor, but my family is not traditional so that solution will not work for us. My husband cooks and does laundry, and that is OKAY! That doesn't mean I'm not doing my job as a mother, it means it needs doing, I'm busy at the moment and he's not . . . no earth shattering social statement!

 It’s encouraging to see success stories of women who have crafted creative strategies that yield more satisfaction in their lives. Reading their stories can infuse you with the motivation needed to overcome your current obstacles. “If they can do it, so can I!” The success comes in doing what is best for your family, not necessarily the fancy job with the fancy office and fancy salary to afford the fancy nanny. 

Becky and Hollee have a website to continue the dialogue, and a Google search of Good Enough is the New Perfect, work/life balance, working mom, mompreneur, etc., will yield myriad websites and blogs filled with encouragement, motivation and validation for whatever your situation, be it as a  mompreneur, PT, FT, work at home, stay at home, you name it, SOMEONE OUT THERE has been there and can give some guidance.  We need to take it easy on ourselves, and know that we are Good Enough!


  1. Enjoyed reading this entry. We do make sacrifices for our family, in the end hoping those sacrifices will ultimately benefit the family. "Good enough" is good enough for me!

  2. Thanks for sharing, Deborah! I'm glad this resonated with you. Please feel free to share.

  3. Great post!! Alan has cooked and done laundry for years now.... Everyone has to do what works for their family! I think no matter our working / economic / household dynamics each family has their own struggles and solutions. We need to embrace our uniqueness and not second guess our choices. There isn't a such thing as a supermom! She has a good husband (or support system)behind her helping and filling in the holes. That might look different for each family and that's ok - no guilt!

  4. Thanks, Donna. Life without the guilt is so much better!