WVU law professor urges ‘Good Enough is the New Perfect’
Published: Monday, April 25, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 09:04
Hollee Schwartz Temple, professor and director of Legal Reasoning, Research and Writing at the West Virginia University College of Law, recently published "Good Enough is the New Perfect," a book dedicated to "Finding happiness and success in modern motherhood."
Temple and co-author Becky Beaupre Gillespie, an award-winning journalist, conducted a 900-woman survey of mothers across the country and personally interviewed 100 working moms to get an accurate study of what it's like to balance a career and parenthood.
"Our goal in writing this book was to provide inspiration to moms who are struggling to juggle their careers and families," Temple said.
She also said she and Gillespie worked hard to provide readers with a thorough, well researched study on the topic.
The authors followed a group of mothers mentioned throughout the book, chosen upon diverse aspects such as geography, race and profession.
"We wanted to be very journalistic. It's all research driven and very dependent on the moms we interviewed," Temple said. "So it's not just ‘Here's what we discovered.' It's ‘Here's what we've collected, analyzed and learned from these women, and this is how they feel about succeeding in their work-life balance.'"
As a hard-working mother of two, Temple said she learned a lot about balancing motherhood and her career from the research she conducted.
"Our most surprising result was that unrelenting perfectionism was the women's biggest roadblock when it came to juggling these priorities," Temple said.
This "unrelenting perfectionism" is something Temple believes that not only mothers struggle with – but college students in particular can understand.
"College students experience the same struggles and pressures that are recognized in our book. As a culture, we're accustomed to pressuring ourselves, and that's not healthy. It's not leading to happiness," Temple said.
She went on to say she wants young people to understand that success doesn't necessarily equal happiness.
"One of the most important lessons you can learn from this book is that in order to be happy, you have to live by your own priorities," Temple said. "You have to look inside yourself and craft a life that meets those priorities. Professional success doesn't always lead to real happiness."
Though Temple realizes the benefits of working hard toward your own professional goals, she said writing the book has made her realize it has its drawbacks.
"Being competitive and driven can get you a lot of places, but it can also be a negative – and that's what we found," Temple said. "These women had been pushing themselves so hard professionally that when they tried to apply that same standard to motherhood, they really hit a wall."
WV LIVING magazine will host a launch party open to the public for "Good Enough is the New Perfect" at the Seneca Center May 5 at 6:30 p.m.
The book is currently available on www.Amazon.com for $10.33.