It’s co-authored by West Virginia
University law professor, Hollee
and journalist Becky Beaupre Gillespie.
"For the baby boomers, it was very all or nothing when
it came to work," said Temple.
"There are so many different ways to work today, but it
results in women feeling very alone in their choices."
The book includes the authors' stories of struggling between
careers and motherhood. Temple and Gillespie also interviewed other mothers, and the book includes
many anecdotes from these moms.
"We've had people say to us, you reek of
privilege," Temple said.
"Just because we have some advantages doesn't mean that we don't deserve to
be heard. Many of the people we interviewed said that this is the most pressing
issue in their lives, and that deserves a voice."
In an effort to include the perspectives of more moms in
their book, Temple and Gillespie
teamed up with WVU Communications professor Keith Weber to administer an online
survey to moms across the country.
"We put the survey up and within 10 days we had more
than 1,000 women from 43 states who had answered our survey and we ended up
having to cut it off just so that we could keep a handle on the data," Temple
said. "It was clearly hitting a nerve and it showed us that women were
dying to talk about this topic."
After analyzing the survey results, the authors found that
most women fell into one of two categories: the "never enoughs," women who said they have to be the best
at work and at home and the "good enoughs," women who said it was OK
if they were doing a good enough job as
long as they felt satisfied in both areas of their lives.
the biggest roadblocks to finding happiness and success for these mothers would
be financial, work or marriage issues.
Instead, she says it was an unrelenting quest for perfectionism, and she
says that's a losing battle.
So this is where the title of the book comes in, "Good Enough is the New Perfect."
"There are women in the book who are uncomfortable with
it, because they lean toward the never enough side," Temple said. "They define themselves by trying to achieve
perfection at all times but for me it's sort of my motto, so I'll read to you
what we mean by "good enough is the new perfect."
"This is not a book
about settling or mediocrity or about anything other than getting exactly what
we want as mothers, professionals and women, not everything we sort of want,
but the things we want the most. This is
a book about refusing to live by other peoples' rules, it's about taking
control and accept that we're not going to have it all by working a little
harder. But it's also about choosing to
work hard, not because it's the next logical step or someone else's dream, but
because we love what we do. It's about
reaching stunning heights of success by pursing our passions at work and at
Temple writes in the book about what she faced as an attorney
who wanted to cut back her hours after her first son was born:
"I was shocked to learn
that my law firm didn't have an official policy on part-time work in 2003. In fact as far as I could tell I was only the
second woman in an office of more than 200 attorneys to negotiate a part-time
schedule. Am I really such a
revolutionary, I wondered. Is it
possible that only one other professional woman in this office is struggling
with the thought of full-time daycare?
Did I pick a career where balance is impossible? And why didn't anyone mention this little
problem to me when I was slogging my way through college, grad school and law
school, always jumping the hurdles that were supposed to give me choices."
eventually quit her law firm job to teach legal writing at WVU. She says
letting go of what was once her vision for her career opened up new, more
fulfilling opportunities, like writing this book.