Celebrating ‘good enough’ this summer

June 20, 20242 Min Read

Juggling kids and work during the summer 

As summer approaches, we envision days filled with relaxation, adventure, and quality family time. It’s a welcome break from the everyday routines that define the rest of the year.

But for many parents, summer break can feel more like a frantic juggling act. We’re balancing work responsibilities with having the kids at home or shuttling them to various summer camps with new schedules and different locations each week. 

The pressure mounts as we navigate societal and family expectations, striving to meet every demand perfectly. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed as we try to manage it all without support. The stress of this juggling act can lead to frustration, feelings of failure, and heavy doses of mom guilt.

The Perils of Perfectionism

As Dr. Brené Brown explains in Atlas of the Heart, perfectionism can manifest in various ways, and can lead to comparison and guilt. It can show up in a lot of different ways: from striving for a Pinterest-perfect home to using only organic baby products. In the summer months, we may take on more than we can manage to appear to have it all under control while not asking for help. Fear of judgment, blame and an aversion to criticism can be some of the driving forces behind perfectionist tendencies. 

This mindset can lead to procrastination, stress, and decreased satisfaction. Despite being a go-to “flaw” in job interviews, perfectionism is no one’s ally.  

What if it was ‘good enough’?

Instead of aiming for unattainable perfection, focus on ‘good enough’. Using absolutes like ‘only,’ ‘always,’ and ‘never‘ can set you up for failure. Reflect on why you have these strict rules and see if you can change them. Take some time to address any guilt or stress that comes up.  Bring your awareness to what is working and what you have been able to get done. 

Consider where you can introduce ‘flexible thinking’ in your approach or expectations. Create a plan for handling sudden changes in schedules or childcare cancellations by discussing with your manager or partner how they can support your schedule where needed. 

Remember that we are our own worst critic, and you may only get a few things done ‘perfectly’ but you can make things easier on yourself if you practice appreciating your accomplishments. Celebrate the ‘good enough’ and pave the way to a more enjoyable season with your family.