Vacation reading: Good Enough is the New Perfect

by Jen Lee Reeves on June 17, 2011 · 1 comment

in 2011, Books, Vacation11

I rarely take the time to sit down and read a book… So when Hollee Schwartz Temple contacted me a while back for an advance copy of Good Enough is the New Perfect; Finding Happiness and Success in Modern Motherhood, I thought it was worth trying… but I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to sneak in time read it before the release. I was honored for her to ask me to read it. Now that I sat down and read it during vacation, I totally understand why she reached out to me.

The book focuses on how most moms are constantly juggling… finding the right balance between our children, marriages, jobs, passions… The “new perfect.” It’s something I’ve written about before on this site and I know I’ve said things time and again about the struggles all of these roles hold in my life on Facebook and Twitter. I’ll be honest, I don’t read a lot of books about being a mom. So this book caught my attention by appearing at my house in an envelope from the publisher. I’m not sure if I hadn’t met Hollee through a friend who introduced us on Facebook that I’d have bought the book without encouragement from friends. But now I’ll take the time to encourage my friends to buy it now that I’ve read it.

Why, you ask? First, Hollee (who is a law professor) teamed up with Becky Beaupre Gillespie who is a journalist. They wrote the book with a conversational tone of a blogger, research of an academic and descriptive writing skills that come from a journalist. They mixed a combination of research, interviews and personal experiences to offer suggestions on how each mom has a chance to make changes and figure out her “good enough.” I love following my passions. Making a difference in my communities (online and in person) and helping parents learn how they can advocate for their children is what I’m passionate about. My career as a journalist has allowed me to inform, change and teach so many. My job as a professor has helped me lead so many people into their careers and for many I’ve helped guide them towards their personal goals. My time online with this site has been a special joy that is worth the smaller amounts of sleep at night. I can’t say I’ve figured out my perfect, but I know by reading this book, I’m on the right track. What I think was really great to read in this book, was how so many women have the same concerns and thoughts, but rarely do we sit down and speak about them with other women.

I’m fortunate to have a growing group of women who have met through Twitter and meet at least once a month. We even created a hashtag that combines women and wine together. (It’s a wonderful combination.) There’s another group of women bloggers who try to meet once a month for brunch to talk about writing and audience development. These are organically formed groups of people who just want to spend time together. I’ve found women in my town who enjoy exercise and running and I try to meet up with them when it fits my schedule. I have a growing network of moms (and dads) through this site and a few other online groups that focus on the merger of technology and journalism. I really appreciate how I’m a part of these communities. I also appreciate my husband is willing to support me in these efforts. I’m realize I crave more social opportunities than he does… Thankfully he supports me!

I also appreciate this time on vacation. We’re all having so much fun. Relaxing with a book, riding a bike, hiking, exploring. Our friends who have spent the last week with us are leaving but my parents will arrive tomorrow to keep us busy and the kids happy. A neighbor tells me a family with children is renting a nearby house next week. We have so much to look forward to!

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