Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Review: Good Enough Is The New Perfect

I found some time last week to read a book that was on my list for months. I am so excited for Hollee and Becky now that Good Enough Is the New Perfect: Finding Happiness and Success in Modern Motherhood is finally available!

First I must admit one thing: I haven't read the entire book. It is so full of stories from mothers who describe their struggles to find balance, but it also includes helpful suggestions for moms who are struggling right now. And if we're honest, I'd have to say we're all struggling right now, today and everyday. Just like laundry, there is no end to the balancing act we must perform. Each morning will present new challenges to our best-laid plans, and it is our ability to find ways to weave those challenges into our lives without giving in to the chaos that make us "Good Enough" moms.

My second confession: I'm not rushing to finish the book anytime soon. Rather, I see it as a permanent fixture on my nightstand, something to read carefully and completely, not skim through to the end so that I can check it off my to do list. It is that book that I will pick up at night after a particularly hard day when I need encouragement, support or just a good laugh. It will be the one I use when my children or family or friends or co-workers come up with a completely new way to frustrate or confuse me. And it will be the one I will turn to when I am on the verge of tears, desperately trying to keep my life in balance and feeling like a complete failure.

What I like the most about The New Perfect is how Hollee and Becky have woven personal stories of their own along with stories from a variety of women to provide us with the "how we got here" history of modern motherhood.

Our mothers provided us with unprecedented opportunity, and we have felt the pressure to live up to their expectations ever since. What we forgot along the way is that these women didn't live up to anyone else's expectations; they created their own. That's how they made progress and changed the workplace. Instead of feeling like we're not doing enough from their point of view, we need to use our energy to make sure we're doing enough from ours.

With Mother's Day coming this weekend, I know that The New Perfect will be a popular gift for moms of all ages, but I have another suggestion. I see this book as a wonderful graduation gift for those young women who are just starting their lives. College graduates, and even some from high school, may really benefit from reading our stories. Would they take from this book the same things I do as a mom who has been out of school for a number of years? I wouldn't expect that. But I would expect them to find inspiration in its pages, and I hope that they would see that we still don't have all of the answers. Maybe they'll see this as an opportunity to find new ways to balance their lives at an earlier age. And maybe they won't expect to have the answers, either. And that's good enough for me.

☆☆☆☆☆ out of 5 stars.

Good Enough Is the New Perfect: Finding Happiness and Success in Modern Motherhood by Becky Beaupre Gillespie and Hollee Schwartz Temple is available now. You can read more on their blog at http://www.thenewperfect.com, visit them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/BeckyandHollee, or follow them on Twitter: @beckyinbalance and @holleeinbalance.

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