Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a serious perfectionist streak. But I have to admit, this was a lesson that I learned a few years ago, and have totally embraced it – particularly the quote on the right. Decide when it matters to be a perfectionist, and when it doesn’t. In work quality? Yes. Do I make sure that everything that I attach my name to and my company name to has the highest level of quality I can give? Absolutely.
That birthday cake for our boys? Not so much. Put the time and effort in to make it the best you can in the time that you have, and call it good. Sometimes “done is better than perfect.” (a quote from a few pages later) No, the laundry isn’t all always done, the dinners sometimes run late, and yes, I discover stains on shirts as we’re about to walk out the door. But I have taken the time in my life to decide what’s important to me and my family, and sometimes we call it good. Give yourself permission to be less than perfect sometimes.
I haven’t finished Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg yet, but every time I pick it up it speaks so strongly to the things in my heart. It whispers to me, “It’s ok. This path you’ve chosen, it’s the right one for you and your family. This is who you are, and they love you for it, and even embrace who you are, too. So many of the things she addresses are things that I’ve noticed or learned myself over the years, and just to hear another woman say out loud that she sees the same things, and experiences the same things is reassuring.
In one chapter, she offers great advice on couples meeting each other halfway and supporting each other. A huge part of any man or woman’s successful juggling of life and careers is their ability to share the home side of responsibilities. Laundry, cleaning, meals, school projects and activities for children all need to be addressed together as a team. I’m so thankful that I have a partner in life that truly supports my efforts and cheers for my success. Even if it means he sometimes spends an hour+ late at night folding laundry that I’ve sorted, washed and dried during the day. Bottom line: it’s a team effort. And couples that face life as a team are stronger, closer, and happier. And guess what? Their children are often times happier, stronger, and more responsible as adults, too.
She will tell you right up front that there is no one right path for every woman. You need to decide in your heart what’s best for you and your family. It’s not your job to judge or decide for anyone else. But choosing a career path isn’t bad – it doesn’t make you a bad mom or wife – and let’s be honest, sometimes we need that note of reassurance.