Not perfect but good enough

Boom! I’ve just had a light bulb moment. I’ve realised… wait for it…..

Being good enough is actually good enough!

Perfection is not necessary or achievable.

How did I reach this eureka moment? My therapist advised me to make a list of all my relationships – mother, partner, daughter, sister, friend, etc and write down what is perfection, what is good enough, and what is unacceptable in each of those relationships.  Within 2 minutes I chanced upon my state of enlightenment.

No longer will I be striving for perfection, castigating myself for anything less, then telling myself off for that too.  I will not be subjugating myself to others, enslaving myself to my children’s/family’s/friends’/ whims, then seething silently when my own needs are not recognised or met by me or others.

I know where this needing to be perfect thing comes from for me.   And now I am rejecting the concept. All my life I have stressed myself out with my need to be perfect. I became frazzled in most areas of my life. I wondered why. Yep, I really did not realise that I was frazzling myself!  I was the frazzeler, and the frazzelee.

When we were going through the adoption assessment process the notion of being a ‘good enough’ parent was raised.  I was aghast, then dismissive.  I cast this imperfect concept out of Perfectville. Good enough was, well, not good enough.  I had wanted children for so long, and our lives were going to be perfect.  I was going to be perfect.  My family was going to be perfect.  We were going to skip about in perfect harmony in our perfect house with perfect support. Frazzledom beckoned.

So now, my promise to myself is this: no more perfect! Lots less frazzled! Just a whole bunch of good enough.

So, if you’re a recovering perfectionist too, why not join me in a twitter hashtag thingy – #goodenough – and promise yourself one way you will accept being good enough this week. Think I will get Thelma to do if first, so it’s not quite so scary.



5 thoughts on “Not perfect but good enough”

  1. Great revelation!
    I vividly remember my dad telling me something similar shortly after the boys were placed with us. I argued him down and insisted that so many adults around the boys had mistakes already, there was no room left for me to make mistakes. I couldn’t just be good enough, I had to be a super-theraputic parent.
    After years of trying to get everything right, I’m finally realising that good enough really is good enough!
    Nobody needs perfect parents, perfect birthdays, perfect Christmasses, perfect diets etc. etc. Not even my children need perfect. They need good enough, and that’s quite hard enough to achieve without me setting the bar ever higher.
    We’re often advised to lower expectations when family life is stressful, but I think we can forget that applies to ourselves as well.
    I’ll definitely going to join you on the quest to accept and enjoy good enough!

  2. Thank you for following my memoir blog! I vacillate between thinking I’m a great mom and a horrible mom, though it seems to be the latter more often. I like the hashtag idea, think I’ll give it a whirl! 🙂

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