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The 'Good Enough' Holiday Season

Managing the to-dos of a modern-day mother can be challenging.

For many moms and their families the holiday season can be a mad dash. A dash to finish the shopping, send out the holiday cards, attend the dinner parties, wrap the presents, prep the dinner, the list goes on and on. In a nut shell, the holidays can be a time of high expectations leaving moms to feel burdened and overwhelmed.

I recently heard of the book Good Enough is the New Perfect: Finding Happiness and Success in Modern Motherhood. As a self-proclaimed perfectionist, the title immediately caught my attention and I found myself with an urge to add this book to my Christmas list. Although I have yet to read the book, I am already pondering the ways this “good enough” concept could help me better manage my day-to-day life as a busy working mom making it through the expectations of the holiday season.   

Whether you hold yourself to a “perfect” or a “good enough” standard, my question to the moms out there is:

Are your holiday expectations reasonable? 

Thanks to Moms Council member Dyan Chan for her Dec. 7 column dealing with children's sexist clothing and asking if we thought these supposedly cute garments are sassy or degrading.

Here are some great reader comments, including some from our Moms Council:

I get how parents like fun t-shirts with slogans for their little darlings (when he was a kinder Saxon had a Gap T that said, “Girls Love Me, Waves Fear me.”) But seriously? “Too Pretty to Do Homework?” JC Penny should check out the article on the front page of yesterday's Mercury News about 17-year-old Angela Zhang of Cupertino, a girl (shocker!) who won a best-of-the-best national science competition and a $100,000 scholarship for her design of a cancer-fighting technique that targets tumors and leaves healthy tissue intact.

I love your comment Kim about Angela Zhang. The T shirts definitely send the wrong message. I wouldn't buy one unless it was for my son because he doesn't do his homework. Maybe he's just too pretty.

It's great you brought up this topic Dyan. You're not alone as I imagine you know. Enter "sexist clothing for children/kids" into you're favorite search . You may be surprised. Stereotypes are so easy to ignore, or to even acknowledge and then choose to ignore! A few commentaries:

http://www.salon.com/2011/11/21/the_war_over_sexist_onesies/

http://www.parenting.com/blogs/show-and-tell/desiree-parentingcom/why-sexist-stereotypes-girls-clothes-matter

what about those great 1970's bumper stickers like "ass, grass, or gas..nobody rides for free." or, "watch my rearend not hers." or, "if this van is rockin, don't bother knockin." or, "honk if you're horny." what message were my parents friends telling me when i rode home from school in their cars with all these stickers on them?

You are right on here Dyan! The marketing ploys that tap into women's vanity are really sad, if women are buying, and their clueless kids are wearing them. Being a teacher of 5th grade kids, I am constantly struck by the ridiculous t-shirts kids wear to school about they'd rather be at home playing video games than learning.....The constant barrage of egocentric and "dumb me down please" slogans are supposed to be funny.....but, unfortunately, miss the mark terribly in my opinion. Furthermore, to what expense are they subconsciously brainwashing our kids? You have to be so aware in a culture of mindlessness as a parent these days and talk to your kids about what these messages do to one's psyche over time (obviously in kid friendly terms).....Moreover, I feel that sexy has become a benign term for kids these days. I mean for creeps sake it's in every pop song imaginable.....How do we spin the conversations with our kids around these seemingly unavoidable and potentially damaging messages?

Dyan, you are funny and so RIGHT! There is something to be said about being politically correct and something to be said about being socially correct, or dare I say ignorant. Have to admit that there is a place for trashy people in this world. Look at Toddlers in Tiaras! I do believe that parents can do as they choose, but that doest mean I won't judge under my breath (quietly). Also, there is NO way I am going to buy a shirt for my sweet (and cool) niece that says "too pretty to do homework". SHE would be offended. Remember waaaay back when when we wore t-shirts with LOVE ironed-on the front? Bring back the iron-ons. Thanks for your article. A great read.

Dyan Chan December 15, 2011 at 05:30 AM
I really try to be gentle with myself, and others, whenever possible. I love having people over but often find that I get overly stressed preparing ... I do think I'm learning how to do things more simply and just enjoy. The holidays are hard because I, like many people, want them to be special. Maybe the key is to make every day special and not overload our expectations during the holidays.
Brad Hayden December 15, 2011 at 09:29 PM
Why does everyone stress over the holidays? Me, I don't stress. My shopping is done by the end of summer and dinner is always prime rib so there is no reason to stress, unless Mom tries to help cook and turns my prime rib into shoe leather, again. I'm contemplating hiring someone to distract her somehow while I cook.
Melissa Pugh December 15, 2011 at 10:53 PM
I live by the motto, perfect is boring. Imperfections are what make us unique, fun and memorable. A flub at Christmas dinner is a laughing moment, not a reason to worry. The most important thing is that we are surrounded by family and friends, period.
Chigiy Binell December 16, 2011 at 07:44 AM
Christmas is my busy season. I delegate and try to do as little as possible. I keep it simple and now that my boys are a little older their presents tend to be fewer, smaller and purchased easily online, oh yeah and more expensive. I excepted the fact that I am far from perfect a long, long time ago.

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