“Half-Ass” is Good Enough for me….

I have been wanting to write this post for sometime….it is a post that I like to think of “Half-Ass is OK.” What does that mean?  “Half-Ass” is an expression that a good friend of mine who should remain nameless encourages me to subscribe to related to things that do not really matter in the whole scheme of life.  Take for example, making the beds.  Over the last year or so, I have been encouraging my boys to make their own beds in the morning, and then after they would leave their room….I would sneak into their room and remake the bed a little more neatly. GUILTY!  Not only is this a huge waste of my time, but really “Who cares?”  Certainly my boys do not care, and if you visit me – are you really going to inspect my boys’ room?

So – what to do?  I have trained myself over the last few months to just shut my boys’ doors in the morning and not to look!  Apparently, my boys sleep just the same in a bed made “Half-Ass” as my military-tight made bed.  My time is better spent cutting up fresh strawberries, answering emails, and talking to my boys in the morning rather than re-making beds, so I am learning to be “Half-Ass” in the mundane.

For someone who turns their nose up at mediocrity, this is an extremely difficult task. However, determining what can and cannot be “Half-Ass” is a very necessary pursuit to my success as a Mom and an Entrepreneur.  Recently, I have been reading an amazing book, Good Enough is the New Perfect , by Becky Beaupre Gillespie and Hollee Schwartz Temple.  Becky and Hollee, illustrate in a much more polite way my “Half-A**” theory.  The book, based on unique data, more than 100 interviews, the latest research, builds on the growing “anti-perfection parenting” movement.

Becky and Hollee discovered some surprising findings from the their survey, which included working mothers from a broad range of professions and from nearly every state in the nation:

  • Perfectionism emerged as the single greatest roadblock to juggling work and family; the “constant need to be the best at everything” far outweighed all other factors.
  • Women who reported a “strong need to be the best at everything” (the Never Enoughs) were less likely to feel their sacrifices reflected their priorities, and more likely to feel they’d sacrificed too much.
  • The Good Enoughs—those who said that “being the best isn’t important; I try to be good enough and happy”—felt better about their ability to connect with spouses, and were better able to find time for family, friends and themselves.
Interesting, right?  Being a major perfectionist, I am loving the book, and find the personal anecdotes from the individual interviewees both comforting and inspiring. There is a whole chapter devoted to Mom/Entrepreneurs and the challenges of Good Enough for them which I keep revisiting.  As Moms, whether we work, stay-at-home, or are an entrepreneur, we all STRUGGLE with work/life balance.  Good Enough is the New Perfect is amazing in the fact that it sheds light on real moms and their difficulty in navigating what is good enough (or in my friend’s words, what can be half-ass?).
***Get this book, Read it Cover to Cover, and Keep it Handy to Continue to Reference.  You will connect with many of the Moms in the book, and feel part of a larger group.  Feel free to share here what your biggest work/life balance struggle is?  Do you do anything Half-Ass?

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Nicole Fende April 28, 2011, 9:34 AM

    Thank you! I’m guilty of this too. Although we have “clean-up” before my daughter goes to bed, I often do it again once she’s asleep. No more!

    I’m adding this book to my list also.

    • Rachel Blaufeld May 3, 2011, 10:52 AM

      Nicole – the book is also available on kindle now if you electronically read! You will love the stats and stories in the book – please let me know what you think! Rachel

  • Fiona Stolze April 29, 2011, 10:53 AM

    I can so relate to this Rachel. The kids really don’t suffer when everything isn’t pristine and perfect. I reached the point where my 3 boys said to me: Mum, will you stop tidying my room and get out. I like it just the way it is.

    So for a long time now they have been living in their rooms just the way they like it. No-one asks to go up and inspect their rooms (except previously when we had house viewings of the rented house we were in – hahaha!). The viewers got to see things exactly the way they were and I just took a deep breath.

    I’m going to go and have a look at that book you’ve recommended. It’s good that we remind ourselves and each other of what’s really important if we want to get on with things. Thanks!

    Fiona Stolze
    Inspired Art and Living

    • Rachel Blaufeld May 3, 2011, 10:53 AM

      Fiona – I think my 2 boys are where your 3 boys were – they like their rooms the way that they are and they do not want me messing around! so – cest lavie! Rachel

  • Haralee April 29, 2011, 5:49 PM

    Good for you. Perfectionism is a slippery road to go down in a busy life.

    I think for your kids you can say ” Do the job once well”. If you keep saying it they will get it now or in the future. You will know when they repeat it to you!

    We all can have moments of greatness but a lifetime of being good, a good mother, wife, business owner, friend, employee/employer, daughter, or sister is an attainable goal.

  • Rachel Blaufeld May 3, 2011, 10:54 AM

    Haralee – I adore “Do the job once well” and I am implementing this! Thanks – I will update you on the progress! Rachel


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