Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Good Enough is the New Perfect Part 2: What kind of mothers are we?

We have both been reading Good Enough is the New Perfect: Finding Happiness and Success in Modern Motherhood. Read more about the book and authors, Becky Beaupre Gillespie and Hollee Schwartz Temple here.

The book got us both thinking about where we fall on the Never Enough/Good Enough spectrum. So we interviewed ourselves.

1) Which kind of mother are you? 
Lib: I started out as a Never Enough mom, without a doubt! From the over-detailed 3 page birth-plan, to the perfectly decorated nursery to the closet full of match-y smocked bubble baby outfits, I was a hard-core perfectionist. Not too interested in the journey of motherhood, unless I was at the helm with MY LIST!!

Em: I'm pretty sure I've always been in the Good Enough mom camp. My friends have always commented that I am "so laid-back". Compared to their ironing of baby pajamas and warming their babies bottles and diaper wipes, I WAS nuts for feeding my babies ice-cold breast milk bottles straight from the fridge and wiping butts with no-name brand, unorganic room temp wipes. I have tried from that very first of four sons to enjoy more and worry less.

2) Have you always been this type or has your perspective changed through the years/ through the addition of more children?
Lib: My shifting into a Good Enough began with boy #2 and having to let some stuff like perfectly organized closets go. By boy number three, I was in survival mode. Yes, they all looked decent at church on Sunday, but no more perfectly matched smocked outfits.  My thick-skinned perfectionistic heart started to embrace my Good Enough side once baby boy number 4 arrived.  It S-L-O-W-L-Y dawned on me that what my boys needed wasn't matching pj's, incredible healthy meals and a long list of do's and don'ts.  They needed me. 

Em: Again, I think I have probably become MORE of a Good Enough mom as the children added up to 4. When real life happens (medical issues, heartbreak, loss), it becomes even more clear what is really important. Record-breaking office (or volunteer) hours and award-winning scrapbooks don't make the list. I want to be content, not perfect.

3) What practice, habit, tool keeps the balance for you?
Lib: Two things keep me balanced in pursuit of Good Enough: 
1) Morning alone time. I cannot express how giving up 10-15 minutes sleep can transform an entire day. 
2) Remembering and remaining aware my family needs more than just all their physical needs to be met. They need to see me having fun and enjoying life!

Em: Having a life outside of the kids. I have a great group of friends and we make time to get together. My husband and I spend time together alone whenever we can. We are blessed to have family close by who consider spending time with the boys as just that, and not babysitting. Also, finding the humor in it all. With 4 sons, there is plenty of good material. 

4) When overwhelmed/ unbalanced, what do you do to get back on track?
Lib: The only thing that works for me to get back on track is prayer. Period.

Em: Remind myself that our mothers, our grandmothers and our great-grandmothers managed to turn out some pretty decent people with a lot less backup. And drink an ice cold beer.

We think it's a great, thought provoking, look at where you are/how far you've come kind of book!

Hope you do too!

Em & Lib
linked to Kristen

1 comment:

living-the-balanced-life said...

Awesome post! I loved the book as well, but having you two interview each other was fantastic!
I was a Never Enough in my head for a long time. I had this idea that things should be perfect, but never could quite get them that way, so I beat myself up about it quite a bit. My shift from Never Enough to Good Enough came from a nervous breakdown brought on by stress and overload, specifically from a job working over 80 hours a week. Now, I am definitely a Good Enough, and by some might be viewed as lazy and too laid back, but, I don't care anymore!
Great job! My first time here, I am gonna take a peak around!
Love to have you visit me sometime!


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