The Great Balancing Act: Achieving Balance

Jenn Marie Maxwell

Striving for Good Enough

on June 30, 2013


The modern woman today typically plays many roles in their lives. Many of us are educated professionals, wives, and mothers…And this is just the main and tip of the iceberg ones. There are so many more and so much more that we, as modern women handle on a daily basis.

I currently work full-time, attend Business school full-time, am a wife, step-mother of 2, and preparing to have my first baby in a matter of weeks. I literally have 8 calendars on my iPhone and 1 that I carry around for my personal appointments and homework. I’m busy and I know that. I also know that I cannot be perfect. In my quest for perfection a frizzy-haired, stressed out, exhausted me finally admitted that it’s not possible – as much as I would like it to be. I cannot be there for everyone all the time. I cannot maintain a meticulous home and cook gourmet meals every night…Heck, I can’t even fold all my clothes all of the time. So why was I trying so hard to be perfect? I’m a Christian. I should know better; I’m human – even as a wife and mother.

I remember the first time I made my mom cry. Gosh, I felt horrrriible. I had done it, made my mother cry. The woman who I thought was unaffected by the world or even having feelings. Moms have feelings? WHAT?! She cried and when I asked her what was wrong she said, “Jenny, you hurt my feelings. I am a human being and I have feelings. I’m not a superhero, I am just a mom trying to do her very best everyday.” Wow. Consider my 6-year old mind blown!

I stopped trying to be perfect because the only person it was hurting was me. There’s a great article that I read recently titled, 5 Reasons Moms Should Stop Trying to be Perfect. The one that struck me that hardest was that recognizing that perfection is a myth. It cannot be our standard of for success in any of our roles.

What I have done is work towards focusing on what is in front of me at the moment. If I’m at work, I’m going to concentrate on rocking work for the day. School, okay put that student hat on (so I can get that graduation cap), then at home I’m a wife and mom and that’s my focus. I can’t be all of them at once nor be perfect at them all the time. IT’S JUST NOT POSSIBLE. What is possible though, is being good enough. My husband will still love me if the laundry isn’t all folded. My boss will still value me if my make-up isn’t perfect for work. So let the make-up routine and laundry take a little hit – I’m going to enjoy my life the fullest everyday regardless of my “imperfection.” I’m just going to get through it all – step by step, day by day.

And let me say, once I stopped trying to be so darn perfect all the time – my happiness increased and my stress significantly decreased. Whew! I’m human. It’s okay!

There’s an amazing blog to read called, The New Perfect. I’m addicted to it because my new perfect is being good enough.

This is just another step towards achieving the balance that I seek.

Tell me about your moment of clarity when you realized striving for perfect is not worth it?

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