I came across a movement (if you will) the other day through Twitter. I follow a woman named Hollee, mostly because I heard she lived in Morgantown and as you know I love all things Morgantown. Once I began following her I really loved what I heard her say (in 140 characters of course) so I did what any good Twitter stalker would do and I started poking around to find out more about her. Hollee is a law professor and has a Journalism degree. Oh, she’s also a mom and she speaks about how she balances all of that and still leads a happy life. See why I follow her?
Hollee and her writing partner Becky (who is equally impressive) have this website which defines The New Perfect as “a fresh approach to having it all.” These women interviewed other working moms and found there is a shift in what we consider having it all. We have moved from wanting everything to perfectly balance to accepting what we have and where we are as good enough. I loved this idea. I thought to myself-yes! these women have written a book about what I’ve been trying to communicate through this blog for years. We have to redefine the role of modern womanhood to realize we’re actually doing it fine, heck-well even. As you know I constantly espouse the idea that we need to accept what we’re doing as good if it’s working for us. There are a million ways to do things right and if we’ve found what’s right for us, we are good enough. Balance is in the eye of the beholder. Hollee and Becky are pointing out that women are heading in that direction already. I thought that was great.
Then, as always happens with me, I went through a phase of doubt. I worried that maybe this “we’re all right” mentality might lean so much toward accepting where we are that it leaves no room for growth. I feel this same way about the whole “embracing our curves” movement. As someone with plenty of curves, I wonder if we lean too far toward acceptance that we overlook the unhealthy habits that may be responsible for some of those curves. Yes, I say we because I fall into well into the curvy category and I know when I get into a “I’m fine just the way I am” mode it’s a defiant excuse instead of a healthy acceptance. Therefore, might it be the same with motherhood? If we all say, “well I’m good enough” when we think we’re not accomplishing enough or doing it well, will we eventually stop actually being good enough because we’ve been settling for less for so long? What if in all this acceptance, what we’re really embracing is stagnancy and apathy? What if, like my fitness, our acceptance actually backfires?
Then, in the midst of all this cerebral warfare, I had a good enough day. Oh yes, there were great plans that included a giant work project, a giant school event and of course feeding people and laundry. I woke up to a sick kid, so all the work and school projects had to take a back seat. It got done but later and probably not as thoroughly. The laundry? Well, it’s clean, but my kids have pulled new uniforms from baskets in the basement instead of their closets for two days.
I went to bed last night and even if it wasn’t pretty, everyone was fed, clean and feeling loved. Guess what popped into my head? Yep, Good Enough is the New Perfect. Things got done-even if they didn’t happen exactly the way I would have wanted. I didn’t work out, but I ate well and I will get back on the treadmill today. We were good enough. We were perfect even. I didn’t beat myself up for not getting it all done, but I also never, not even for a second, lowered my standards for the next day.
I guess acceptance doesn’t always start a slippery slope toward apathy. Acceptance can be healthy. Hollee figured that out. Thankfully, I found her.
*Photo courtesy of New Perfect website. Hollee and Becky’s book comes out in April. I have not read it and was not asked to write about it. When I find something I think I love, I have to share it
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.