I've long been a subscriber to the theory that you can't be perfect.
Some would say that's the lazy woman's way out, a good rationale for not vacuuming or for taking the path of least resistance in life. But for me, what it has really meant is knowing when to cry "Uncle."
That's why "Good Enough Is the New Perfect: Finding Happiness and Success In Modern Motherhood" resonates so deeply with me. This wonderful, smart book by Becky Beaupre Gillespie and Hollee Schwartz Temple made me feel that much less alone on this imperfect path I've chosen as both a mom and a professional.
Hollee and Becky are both driven, intellectual powerhouses: Becky is an investigative journalist and Hollee is a lawyer and law professor, and they brought all of their skills to bear in this book.
Their original, ground-breaking research reveals a new paradigm emerging in modern motherhood, one that resonates deeply for me, and, I think, lots of other women.
Based on exclusive data, more than 100 in-depth interviews, and the latest research, Good Enough Is the New Perfect builds on the growing "anti-perfection parenting" movement.
More and more women are tossing their Never Enough attitudes aside and embracing a Good Enough mindset. While it may be a messier reality, Becky and Hollee show that Good Enoughs are often happier -- and more successful in their professional lives.
Written with a highly personal, engaging voice, the book tells the real and inspiring stories of moms (including the authors themselves) who reached their own breaking points when it came to striving for perfection. What they found when they released that self-expectation was that they were actually able to achieve more -- and with balance.
When my daughter was born, I fretted for four long months over whether or not to leave my high-paying but terribly unfulfilling corporate job as a marketing manager for a Fortune 100 company. The job came with a lovely salary, but was slowly sucking the soul out of me.
I never planned to be a stay-at-home mom, but suddenly, that was all I wanted. I couldn't bear leaving my child behind each day for work that paid for my fancy apartment but left me longing for the scent of my newborn's skin.
So, after long talks with my husband (and his full support), I left that behind. The day I resigned was one of the happiest of my life. Fast-forward six years and I find myself on a path of my own making, as a entrepreneur, social media consultant and freelance writer and editor.
It is a path I never could have imagined, one that didn't fit into my notion of what a perfect life would look like. There is little job security in what I do, but there is a tremendous amount of freedom and fun. I can be with my children when I choose and I also feel very, very good about the work I do.
I am satisfied.
My carpets are often dirty and dinner sometimes comes from a box or a bag, but we are perfectly imperfect.
I was lucky enough to be a first reader for Becky and Hollee's book, and I am here to tell you that if you read it, you will either feel less alone and validated -- or, if you are struggling with the burden of perfection, you will find in its pages the permission you need to lay that burden down.