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  • Writer's pictureLiz Fehlman

Welcome to the Good Enough Club

Right out of college, I worked for a CEO who promoted the phrase:

Perfect is the enemy of good enough.

It seemed strange to me at the time, especially coming from my new boss lady. Who, mind you, is currently sitting in one of the top 5 positions for Richest Women in Tech. How could someone so successful be telling her employees that eventually, you need to settle for good enough?

Because you do. And I learned that very quickly during my time there. In software implementation, you do your best to analyze, validate, build, test, tweak, re-test, re-tweak, validate again - rinse and repeat. You can do this so much that it'll actually drive you crazy. Literally sitting-up-all-night-in-the-Marriott-lobby-trying-to-get-the-damn-appointment-button-to-appear-crazy. At some point, I had to throw up my hands and say "good enough!" Let's press play, let's go live. We'll see what didn't shake out in our build and we'll recover...but we have to keep going. Because if I sat there and aimed for perfection every time, I was never going to have time for anything else.

I've since left that company but not that mindset.

Insert Mamahood. I've been doing this thing for almost a year now, and in that time I've been asked to join a lot of clubs. There's the Mom Guilt Club. The Working Moms Club. The Mommy Shaming Club. The Organic Food Only Club. The Post Pregnancy Weight Club. The Breastfeeding Vs. Formula Club. All different ways of thinking and parenting. And as I reflect back on the memberships I've accepted and those I've rejected, I realize that I only want to be a part of one Club from here on out -

The Good Enough Club.

I had this realization as I stood over the stove and stirred Carter's Velveeta. As I ripped open the silver packet of squishy, orange cheese and spread it over those delicious white flour noodles...I thought to myself, 'damn. there's probably a lot of shit in here.' And then I stirred it all together, ate half the pot myself (#firstrimester), and fed him the rest. He loves Velveeta. The look on his chubby face as he smashed those noodles into his cheeks brings hormonal tears to my eyes every time. And I thought, 'I probably could have made this from scratch.' But I didn't...and I spent the extra 30 minutes I would have spent grating cheese, kissing his belly and making him giggle. Good enough.

I had this realization as I sat online one night, picking out his first birthday decorations. On Etsy. That's right, someone else is making this stuff for me. I'm a working mom. I'm tired. I don't want to craft. I want to pay someone else to craft so that I can go to sleep a few hours earlier tonight, stress-free. Good enough.

I had this realization as I've slept through most of my workouts for the past 18 weeks. I'm growing another baby inside me and trying to take care of the one who's already here. I know I should lift some weights. I know I should attempt to run around the neighborhood. I mean, we literally have a home gym attached to our house. Instead, I go and pull Carter from his crib and snuggle him back in bed with me - and consider that my weight lifting for the day (I mean, have you ever held my giant son?) Good enough.

There is nothing wrong with homemade mac 'n cheese, slaving away over a hot glue gun, or working out while pregnant. My point is to not let Perfect be your enemy. When I accepted my membership into the Perfect Mom Club, I started to feel the pressures of rising to the top in every category. It felt awful and stressful and ugly.  Wanting to be the Perfect Mom left me little time for anything else. Little time to love on my kid, connect with my husband and take care of myself. Mostly, it felt unsustainable. I was doing things over and over just to get to some version of perfection and really, what I needed to do was relax and press play. Go live with what I had. See what shook out and know that we'll recover.

Perfect is the enemy of Good Enough, guys. If you sit there and aim for perfection every time, you're never going to have time for anything else.

Like chemical cheese and belly kisses, paid-for-crafts, and every ounce of sleep you can get.

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