Saturday, 14 June 2008

Perfection or Good Enough?

I have had two little conversations this week with full time working Mum's. One was online, one was this morning on the phone. Both of these women have circumstances this week that have had them wishing they were able to be right where her mother-heart would have her be. My heart just ached for both of these ladies.

Whilst I don't know the online lady too well, the IRL friend has had a rather large impact in our family. She taught Miss Mischief in Year 3 and Year 4 ~ two straight years. This fellow Mum has journeyed with us in shaping Miss Mischief and one day, when Miss Mischief is all grown up, this friend will have the right to say "I helped do that".

However, these conversations have been on my mind and have had me pondering the perfect family myth. I mentioned that I'm facilitating a parenting course, targeted at families with 0-4yo's. One of the things we looked at was what our idea of the perfect family is, and then we talked about being 'good enough'. Being a 'good enough' Mum (and Dad!) means that we're providing a close and caring relationship with our kids. We recognise and respond to their needs. We protect our kids by setting limits and ensuring they are safe. We provide them opportunities to learn and develop and we help them learn to resolve conflict and to cooperate with others.

You know what I think? I think that God places men AND women to be in all kinds of places. He calls some of us to be SAHM's...but He calls others to workplaces that impact on the people around them in positive ways. To all you who are working Mum's and face this dilemma of priorities and all of us who feel like we're not doing a very good job as a Mum....I would say we are. Being Good Enough is indeed good enough!

Now you'll have to excuse me while I go and have myself a little cry for all the precious women who need to know they're doing a great job.


Anonymous said...

Thankyou for those lovely words.

I work part time and often wonder if what I am doing is good enough.

I love my children and family but the choices I sometimes have to make can make your head spin. You seriously start doubting yourself.

So thankyou again for those words of encouragement. I am off to enjoy the sunshine (unusual for the UK) with me little ones.

The Tin House said...

Tracy, those are lucky people doing this parenting course. How many parents are grappling with these issues, only to be bombarded with a one-size-fits-all approach that is rarely helpful? Lisa x p.s. the stitchery you sent Kate is divine. Her close up photo shows it beautifully.

Tracy said...

Lisa, the one regret I have about this parenting course is that it wasn't around when I was a new Mum. My BIL put it together and he didn't become a dad until two kids after us!!!

I actually have a new mum in the group with a 3mo. SHE is very blessed to be armed with all this information!!!!

Our Red House said...

I agree with you totally. We women constantly put ourselves under pressure to achieve the perfect home, the perfect family and so on, yet life is incredibly complex and not one answer suits everyone.


Terri said...

I absolutely agree with you! So many women are in circumstances that they cannot help and making them feel even more guilty is shameful. I think that the Lord works in our lives no matter what choice we make as far as staying at home or working.

Heather said...

Hi Tracey
My name is Heather and I have stumbled across your blog and have loved every minute of reading it. You are blessed with a wonderful gift to reach out to people in the simpliest of ways here. Your blog obviously brings a great deal of pleasure and support to many. Well done.
Now I am interested in your recipe for mousakka and would appreciate you posting it. I am still learning how to navigate this site so I apologise if it is already posted and I have overlooked it.
I have read your blogs back as far as May and look forward to reading back further a little each day. I especially love your menu planning process; you have given me so many ideas for home here.
Glad to meet you (smiles)and have a wonderful day

Tracy said...

Nice to 'meet' you Heather. Thank you for your encouragement :-)

I will post the moussaka recipe at some point this week. Thanks for the will end up on my menu plan this month. I have some gaps to fill in my menu!!!!

Ruth said...

Tracy, I've read your blog for a while, never commented though :-) But this post was one I couldn't go past without simply saying "Here Here"! Great writing.

Tracy said...

Thank you for coming out of 'hiding' Ruth. It's nice to 'meet' you!