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The perfect read for every mom

By Staff | Apr 29, 2011

I will preface this review with how I read the book – “Good Enough is the New Perfect.”

It was started during work travel then continued spring break with my kids (which I worked and they played) with a Diet Coke, kids running around me, pulled out of my bag along with my copies of House Beautiful and Martha Stewart Magazine. And while that isn’t bad enough, it was a friend that pointed out the irony. That about sums why I needed to read the book.

What is good enough for me may not be good enough for you. But I like it! My house is not perfect, my cooking is not perfect, and I am certainly not perfect. Here’s my story.

I have LOTS of kids (my brother-in-law calls me the woman from the nursery rhymes that live in the shoe), I work full time (not close to home either), I have no family nearby to babysit or pick the kids up from daycare when I am late and I have a husband who has a job which requires him to work until at least eight hours or whenever the next shift decides to show up. I am over 35 and have a chronic illness, that when I become overstressed, I tend to have issues.

My best friend is so neat and organized she actually has hanging labels on her tablecloths to identify each and has them filed by size! Really? Yes really! I admire her but the pressure to keep up is too much for me to bear. I have forgotten to take my daughter to girl scouts (never forgotten to pick her up) or to send a blankie for reading time at school. I cannot make every choral concert and attend every game every time.

I am not perfect but I am who I am. I am happy with it; I am good enough. You may not be okay with it, but you don’t have to be. Right there is why I love this book! It embraces this philosophy.

This book’s intro says the “book is about getting exactly what we want as mothers, professionals and women Refusing to live by other people’s rules. It is about choosing to work hard because we love what we do, not because it is the logical next step.”

This is fantastic! As a little girl I remember watching Mary Tyler Moore throw her beret up in the air and Marlo Thomas as THAT girl be amazing women and thinking someday I could be like them. This book is freeing and gives us permission to be THAT girl (or mom or doctor or lawyer, etc.) and do it on our own terms.

This book is a fresh perspective for this generation to have it all without having to be perfect at it all. We are not our mothers and grandmothers – things are different today.

The man does not go out to work from 9 to 5 and bring home all the income to support the household. We need to give ourselves permission to do the best, but you define what best means for you. Hollee’s best is not Becky’s best or my best or your best. This book flat out makes you feel okay when you – as my girlfriend says she does – go to the store, buy cupcakes and then mess up the frosting and put them on a tray to look homemade. It is good enough! Is a first grader really going to be able to tell the difference between mom’s frosting and store bought? No!

A key to balance is picking what matters the most to you. It drives home the point that happiness and balance are what you and you alone (along with your family) have to be happy with – not the other kids’ moms or coworkers or even your mother-in-law!

The authors speak from experience – one a former lawyer and the other a former journalist – married and moms who have dealt with life-altering events that they chose and some that were forced upon them – just like the rest of us.

A long time ago I heard the phrase normal is just a setting on the washing machine. Their normal may not be your normal, but it is real enough where you identify with the authors. In the unlikely event you cannot make the connection, they bring real life input from loads of women from all over the U.S. in all different jobs, different sized families, different education levels and various marital statuses. They talk to doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, home-schoolers, grandmothers, first-time mothers, mothers of multiples, single mothers, business leaders and stay-at-home moms.

One of the many reasons I loved this book is that you won’t see a mirror of yourself in every chapter, but you can relate to every chapter. There are women in your life in each chapter. The authors tackle real-life problems of being good enough for yourself, your family and your job and the pressures of trying to be everything for everybody and not leaving yourself behind.

This is not a how-to manual or something similar to a diet book that has you follow-each-step-to-lose-five-pounds-in-two-days type of book. It covers real life moving from picking up the kids, to making dinner to checking your emails while at the soccer game and the guilt you have when your kid scores the goal and you missed it because you were on your Blackberry. This is a book that helps you to realize you can still celebrate with your kid because you were there.

This is a must read for every mother, especially one that has a life! Perhaps a Mother’s Day gift?