The Art of Good Enough | Motherhood made easy!

9 Jan

Good enough? Just getting by? Feeling unsatisfied in the race to be the perfect mother? Dr. Ivy Ge has gone from an aspiring actress to working for airline executives to becoming a pharmacy professor and multi-genre author. She has transformed her life while balancing her role as a working mother and wife. She shares her secrets with us in the following essay excerpted from The Art of Good Enough by Ivy Ge, ©2020 by Ivy Ge, used with permission from the author. Learn more at:

The Art of Good Enough with Helicopter Mom and Just Plane Dad.

One chilly afternoon in early 2005, I sat in a small exam room at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Student Health Clinic and told the nurse practitioner I couldn’t handle it anymore. I was a second-year student in the best pharmacy school in the country. My son, Ethan, was almost six months old. He had asthma that required a nightly nebulizer treatment.

For the machine to work properly, I had to hold him in my arms at night to keep him at a reclining angle rather than lying flat in his crib. I did my homework at 3:00 a.m. and then went to school at 7:00 a.m. on weekdays. I worked on the weekends for money to buy cute outfits for Ethan.

My husband Chu and I had bought a house  the year before. He worked full time, paying for the mortgage, my tuition, and our living expenses. I had packed on twenty pounds from the pregnancy and couldn’t fit into any of my old clothes, so I continued wearing the baggy pregnancy garb, not wanting to spend any more money on myself.

I felt awful most of the time: I was sleep deprived, unable to concentrate, and worried about Ethan, my grades, and the endless housework at home. Chu helped me with the baby as much as he could. We bickered frequently, arguing about whose turn it was to do the chores.

The nurse practitioner listened to my problems patiently. He was a man in his fifties with gray hair and wise eyes. He advised me with all seriousness that I should replace my broken dishwasher with a new one. “Come back to see me again if you still have problems after getting a new dishwasher,” he said.

I was falling apart, and a dishwasher wasn’t going to fix me.

After the visit, I spent days considering my options. I could quit pharmacy school or consider postponing it until Ethan was older. Becoming a pharmacist was the career change I had been waiting for, after working for an airline with degrees in business and engineering. I could stop working and use precious weekend hours to catch up on studying. I could also give up on being a good mother.

I was ill-prepared for motherhood; I didn’t know what to do most of the time, so I constantly worried if I would ruin Ethan’s life. All of my options involved giving up something to regain control of my life. Which one of them would be my best bet? I didn’t want to be just a mother; I wanted an identity beyond mother- hood.

For all the ingenious women before me, there must be something out there that could guide me through the mess. I wanted to look good and feel good while having a happy family and a successful career.

Fast forward to 2015. I became one of the first 500 clinical pharmacists in the country with dual board certifications in pharmacotherapy and critical care. In 2018, Ethan was accepted into the best public high school in San Francisco. Chu and I are still married and living in the same house. We never replaced the broken dishwasher.

The Art of Good Enough on Helicopter Mom and Just Plane Dad
Author Dr. Ivy Ge

I discovered the key to being a happy, healthy, and confident working mother is to make choices based on my values and only strive for what is good enough for me.

Since 2005, I have continued my search for mind and body transformation methods that work for working moms who have little time and resources. I read hundreds of books, studied cutting edge research findings in neurobehavioral, psychological, and social science. I experimented with different techniques of self-improvement and developed easy and effective practices that keep me focused and efficient.

I tried out various workout routines, and I worked with personal trainers and sports professionals to find the one best suited for my body type and lifestyle. My beauty and fitness routines help me maintain a youthful look and an hourglass figure. Just last week, a guy in his twenties asked me out during my lunch hour walk. When I told him I’m happily married and my son is in high school, he didn’t believe me.

I condensed everything I’ve learned into my book, The Art of Good Enough. There are three sections in the book:

  • The Mind focuses on discovering your strengths and transforming the way you think and act.
  • The Body illustrates understanding and working with your body to improve your health and confidence.
  • The Path centers on pursuing a meaningful life beyond motherhood.

Throughout the book, I mention the importance of self-monitoring, from relieving emotional strains to understanding how your body changes to appreciating your growth in reaching the goals.

There are many ways to achieve a worthy goal in life. The most satisfying and long-lasting approach is to give a little effort every day. As with any great success in life, time is the most enduring witness of our journey to fulfillment.

Everything you need for your mind and body transformation is already in you. My job is to show you how to find it, enhance it, and use it to create your best life.

A huge thank you to Ivy for extending a copy of her latest book. Win yours today!

The Art of Good Enough
The Working Mom’s Guilt-Free Guide to Thriving While Being Perfectly Imperfect.

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The Art of Good Enough with Helicopter Mom and Just Plane Dad

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