5.09.2011

Never Enough

For the From Left to Write Book Club we read Good Enough is the New Perfect: Finding Happiness and Success in Modern Motherhood by Becky Beaupre Gillespie & Hollee Schwartz Temple. This post was inspired by the book.

I need this book. I need to follow this book. I think this book may have been written for me. And I can't wait to finish reading it, which makes me realize that I may have even learned something from this book.

The book breaks moms down to the "Good Enoughs" and the "Never Enoughs." A Good Enough is the happier, more well balanced, realistic mom, because she is able to figure out what she really wants from life, prioritize, and accept that she can't do everything.

I am not a Good Enough.

I'm a Never Enough. I'm incapable of saying no, I don't prioritize, I have a hard time delegating, I don't necessarily have realistic expectations of myself. I wish for more hours in the day, not less to accomplish. It's not perfection that I'm after. It's everything. Between being a mother, wife, sister, friend, cook, blogger, full time employee, I'm stretched. And I'm rushing through every day, rather than feeling like I'm getting the most I can from each day.

I know most moms feel this way. But after reading about the case for Good Enough over Never Enough, I realize that something has to give if I want things to change. I'm just not sure what it is right now. It's been a long time coming.

And on Saturday I got a big wake up call... Matt took W to soccer and on some errands, which gave me about two hours to get stuff done in the morning. My mental to-do list was so long and scattered I struggled with choosing where to begin. I decided to start with a shower and think it over, keeping in mind that I had to leave at noon for my friend's 1:00 wedding shower (important detail).

I got myself ready, caught up on some work, and then focused on moving all of W's clothes into his new room and cleaned out his closet. I started a blog post, threw in some laundry, and Matt got home to tell me that W was bad at soccer, misbehaved, bugged the other kids, didn't listen to the coaches, and that it was, apparently, a huge disaster. I felt terrible for missing it, for not being there to witness his behavior first hand, wondering how Matt handled it, what I would have done differently. But, I didn't have time to figure it out, I had to leave for the shower. As I was finishing my make up, I received a text message that said: "Are you coming?"

Huh? I grabbed the shower invitation (the same invitation that I had written the directions on earlier that morning and had been hanging on the refrigerator). And there it was: The shower started at 11:30. I had written it on our calendar wrong. I jumped in the car and hit the road. In my hurry, I managed to get lost and then act nasty to my sister when she called me.

I made it to the shower an hour and a half late, so was hardly able to hold a conversation with my friends since I was so distracted by how the morning went and what I had read in this book... I got into the car to head home, got stuck in traffic, and then completely lost my mind. I had to get home. I hadn't spent any time with W that day, there was a chicken to roast for dinner, W was moving to his big boy bed that night... I still had a mile long pre-baby to do list, a few hours of work to finish, a couple of posts to write, and a book to read. Life was not working in that moment. It was 3:30, not nearly enough time left in the day to get half of my to-do list done. And I sat there on the expressway, gripping the wheel, and told myself to figure it out.

Something has to change, I know. In all the things I want to do well, I'm failing. I may have failed at finishing this book, but not at being inspired by it. I've promised myself to finish it, learn from it, and make some changes. And I know that if I do it will be easier to accept that I didn't fail, I just prioritized.

This post was inspired by Good Enough is the New Perfect: Finding Happiness and Success in Modern Motherhood by Becky Beaupre Gillespie & Hollee Schwartz Temple, which I received complimentary as part of the From Left to Write Book Club. To see how this book inspired other bloggers, visit From Left to Write.

8 comments:

Thien-Kim aka Kim said...

Lisa, you are doing your best! Don't be so hard on yourself. All the baby needs is you, the family, and diapers!

melanie said...

i appreciate your honesty--you always look so put together and at ease when i see you, it is hard to believe you have the same struggles i do...

i'm hoping to figure out how to be "good enough" myself--before one or more of us in the household go absolutely insane!

Emily said...

Wow, great post! I can so relate. And I felt like you did about the book: that it could have been written for me. The authors are really onto something.

Amy H said...

I think it was written for me too. But its greatest gift was making me feel like it was ok that I didn't finish it by today...and that I could take time to read and learn from it as my life allows.

Sending good baby thoughts your way!

Jennifer Larson said...

Hi, you don't know me, but I followed a link to your blog on Twitter.

I think I am a Never Enough mom myself, and I feel pulled taut too much of the time. Not that I'm really sure how to rectify that. But I wanted to let you know that you're not alone!

April said...

I think you've gotten what you need from the book for now. In other words, it's good enough to not finish it just yet. I'd suggest instead, the next time you have a moment to read, just breath and be!

Some Suburban Mom said...

Some days are just like that! Take a deep breath and try to cut yourself a little slack. I think the "Good Enough" title is something you come to over time. Myself, I'm more of a "Good Enough" than a "Never Enough" but that wasn't always the case. You are doing your best, and I think maybe that's the lesson in the book. We are doing our best, and that really is good enough!

Michelle said...

It is SO not just you. I was SUPER productive this morning and got SO much done before I had to leave to take Mister Man to therapy and the afternoon chaos that ensues every Wednesday. About 1/4 of my to do list actually got done. And that's because I haven't said no to things I should have. And yes, I was late getting him to therapy, too. Ahem.