By Guest on September 3, 2012 15

Perfect Is the Enemy

This is a guest post from Amber. She is a married mother of two seeking a fulfilling and stylish life for her family. (You should totally click through to her blog to see more pictures of her cute kids!)

As a mostly Type A, typically overachieving eldest child, I can’t help but aim for perfection. As a student, my high strung, meticulous ways mostly served me well. But as an adult, married with children, I’ve discovered that it can be a character flaw. Perfection is indeed the enemy of “good enough.”

Perfect is the Enemy

  • I can accept help, whether or not a task is done my way (aka the right way).
  • Guests still enjoy our company when I haven’t cleaned the baseboards or they step on a toy.
  • Kids like being kids and I do not have to be teaching mine something profound every waking moment.
  • I can enjoy my life and feel good about myself even if I never look anything like 22-year-old me again.
  • I do not need to have a competitive mile time to make running worthwhile.
  • It’s still fun to share my outfits on my blog with pictures taken using self-timer and not my husband/friend/colleague with down-low photography talent.

Whenever I find myself feeling overwhelmed or disappointed, I try to take a step back and consider what the real problem is. Often, it’s my perspective. I hate feeling that I wasted time worrying, irritated and anxious over details that won’t matter in the big picture. That’s usually enough kick in the pants for me to re-evaluate a situation and change my attitude. I want to be happy and appreciating every moment of my blessed life.

Has the quest for perfection ever stood in your way? Do you have any tools that help you gain perspective?



  1. I’ve definitely had to learn (the hard way!) that good enough IS often good enough and that the time spent making something perfect may well be better spent. I think remembering our audience is a compassionate and praiseworthy God helps – it helps work out what is worthwhile spending time on ‘perfecting’ and allows us to give ourselves grace, knowing that God knows our hearts.

  2. i am a perfectinist and am pregnant at the moment and have found it so hard to lets things slide and accept that things don’t have to be perfect to be good enough.

    but i am trying really hard to be more relaxed and chilled out–hopefully i will be better at it by the time the baby arrives ;)

    • My experience is that pregnancy can be quite emotionally over-charged and we want everything to be *just perfect* when the baby gets here (and sometimes before! Perfect baby shower?!)! But if you can remember that when baby gets here, that’s all you’ll really care about, good enough seems, well, good enough!

  3. Well said! I needed to read this, today!

  4. This is great! You put it very well: perfectionism can actually be a character flaw! I also find that when others get wind of my “thorough” way of doing this, I get volunteered for many tasks…

  5. Also, Amber, I’m loving this blog of fellow Christian Iowans. Thanks for leading me here!

  6. I follow your blog, but have not commented until now because this guest post was just perfect timing for me.

    I just finished reading the book Bringing Up Bebe. An American mother living in Paris writes about the differences between French and American parenting. It’s really interesting, I think, whether you are a parent or not.

    One thing the book hit on, that I feel as a new mother and as a teacher, is that parenting and raising children (especially in America) is almost competitive…..and that I should feel guilty about things I do or don’t do because this is all just a big competition on who can be the best, most perfect parent and who can have the perfect child. The author writes about how that doesn’t seem to be the case at all in France….anyway, it’s an interesting and funny book and gave me some perspective on what being a great parent really means to me.

    I HATE feeling like I have to compete with others! For instance, my son is only ten weeks old, and already I’ve been made to feel bad that we aren’t signed up for swimming lessons this winter. Yikes!

    My initial thoughts on the book here: but I’ll have to update now that I’ve finished the book.

    Also….Kelsey……your aunt led me to your blogs…..I teach with her!

    • I’m not sure if it was the book you’re referencing but a while ago I read an article spurred by a book about the difference between American parenting and French parenting (and another about “Tiger” mom’s parenting). It’s hard to strike a balance and feel confident that you’re doing “enough” when there’s always so much pressure to being doing more.

    • Hi Sally! Thanks for reading. I SO want to read Bringing Up Bebe! So many people have recommended it to me – I just need to go get it. I hope going back to school has been a smooth transition for you!

      P.S. Who do you teach with? My aunt Suzi?

      • The Voelkers…..are they your aunt & uncle or did I mess that up? Now I am at the new 8-9 school in Grimes, so I don’t see Cheryl every day like I used to!

        I haven’t gone back to school yet… week! We’ll see how it goes! :))

        • Oh, the Voelkers! We are not related, but we know them from church – their daughter Gail was in my small group. Actually, all their girls hold a special place in my heart :) Good luck next week!

Leave a Reply


Text formatting is available via select .

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>