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Happy Birthday Good Enough Mother! (VIDEO)

Wow, once again I’m asking, “Where did the time go?” You see, today marks the second anniversary of the relaunch of  And this last year has been incredible!

How did we get here exactly? Well, in December of 2005, I was on my way to a speech in New Jersey. Crossing the Hudson River, I had an epiphany borne of conversations with friends; new mothers who were grappling with the enormous task before them. I knew what they were going through, trying to figure out how to retain a part of themselves and not screw up a helpless infant in the process.

And just then, my own baby, Good Enough Mother, was conceived right there, in the back seat of a Lincoln Town car.

My book, Good Enough Mother, The Perfectly Imperfect Book Of Parenting, came out in 2007, followed by the first incarnation of the website, which looked drastically different from this one. So did I, come to think of it.

But it all started back in 2005. It’s now 2012. Do the math, then talk to me about overnight success. There have been many fits and spurts, starts and stops but through it all, one thing remained constant; my desire to tell the world you don’t have to be perfect to be a great parent.

We’ve accomplished a lot in that time but something crazy happened about this time last year. Traffic to the site increased exponentially and with it came endorsement deals, external writing commitments and a few, really exciting projects in the works that I can’t talk about just yet.

I say WE have accomplished a lot and that’s because there’s no way I could do this all on my own. To that end I have to give a big, sloppy Good Enough Mother kiss to the following:

**Our AWESOME regular contributors, Rachel, Will, Wendy, Dave, Hillery, Amy, Ella, Sarena. There are no words to describe how much you mean to me. I love your clear, strong voices and how you use them to add depth and dimension to GEM.

**Thanks to our inaugural crop of interns who I pray are learning as much as they are helping.

**Our advertisers past and present; thanks for believing in us enough to want to partner and spend money. We love you for that.

**Our newest employee, Casey (yeah, my daughter) who’s come on board, taking care of uploading content (for a “nominal fee”).

**I have to give a big, bear hug to Ella, my right hand. Thank you, thank you, thank you for not taking no for an answer. You inspire me daily!

**And last but certainly not least, you guys, the readers. We’re all busy so it means a lot to me that you take time out of your day to swing by, read, comment and support Good Enough Mother, the site and the woman. Guys, hang with us; by my calculation, overnight success is only seven more years away. But we’re gonna make it!

You all know how I got here, as I’ve been forthcoming and transparent about all that. What you don’t know is the moments, many within this last year, of self-doubt, worries over money, and other things not worth dredging up here. I wish I had a dime for every time I wanted to hop in the car and head north or just sat parked in the driveway, letting the tears stream down my cheeks..

I’d love to say that’s all in the past; alas I cannot as there’s still so much uncertainty. But what I can tell you is the only way I’ll lose is if I quit. And that is just not an option.

I want to leave you with this song I heard on the radio the other day. Listen to the words because they pretty much sum up me and the last several years. When people see GEM, I want them to say… “There goes a fighter.”

Until the referee rings the bell, until both your eyes start to swell, until the crowd goes home, what we gonna do y’all?  Give ‘em hell..




  1. Sarena James

    June 14, 2012 at 6:57 am

    Happy Anniversary GEM! Yes, these next seven years will be amazing!

  2. Ella

    June 14, 2012 at 7:09 am

    It is an honor and a pleasure and a DREAM COME TRUE to work with and for you! I’m so very happy for you! Happy Anniverary!

    Killer song. It is going on repeat today 🙂

  3. Gayle Mahoney

    June 14, 2012 at 7:30 am

    Happy birthday GEM! Despite the ups and downs, you keep moving forward! You deserve to sit back, put your feet up for a bit and celebrate how far you have come! So proud of you!!!

  4. Lashell

    June 14, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Happy Anniversary GEM!!!! You are a blessing to this 32 yrs young single lady, who has been learning that it’s okay not to be….perfect! A lesson I’m suppose to learn before becoming a wife and mother. I’ve learned very valuable lessons from you and the writers. So glad you made it out of all you endured just to get here…that’s the TRUTH! Love y’all

  5. Kathy

    June 14, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Happy Anniversary! This song is so perfect. For the record, I know you won’t stop after the referee rings there bell; neither would I! xo

  6. Debbie Mitchell

    June 14, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Happy Anniversary Rene! All the hard work is paying off.
    Continued success!!

  7. DawnKA

    June 14, 2012 at 9:42 am

    I’m loving it!!! Here’s to many, many, many more years of success (with my party horn blower and hat on) 🙂

  8. Jim Walker

    June 14, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Awesome Syler. Congrats! And thank-you so much with all the help and encouragement in starting my own blog! Shameless plug: Now everyone, go visit once you’ve read everything here 🙂

  9. Whitney

    June 14, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Happy Anniversary GEM, I love the writing, comments and overall support you all give women. I’m not a mom blogger, so this is where I come for mom support!

  10. Smarty P. Jones

    June 14, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Major congrats to you, GEM! You’re an inspiration!

  11. pattyrowland

    June 14, 2012 at 11:06 am

    congrats and thank you to you and buff (and casey and cole) for being so hospitable to us on our trip to ny last september…i will never forget it!!! xoxoxxo

  12. Rachel

    June 14, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Congrats Rene! One more down, 20 more to go!! 🙂 Hugs and love to you and all the people behind the scenes of the GEMpire!

  13. Manoucheri

    June 14, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Congrats and happy anniversary! It is a great Pleasure to say I am a part of such a great famIly.

  14. Vanzell

    June 14, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Milestones such as this should be noted and celebrated, especially when they exhibit live, compassion and good will toward all… Congratulations and may your keyboard and hard drive never fail you!!


  15. Will Jones

    June 15, 2012 at 8:02 am

    I guess if that song makes your eyes well up, then you’ve fought that fight before! LOL.

    Rene, you’ve been a blessing to me. I guess to most, I seem full of jokes (or full of something else) but you’re one of the few who’ve watched life knock me to me on my knees more than once, and you’re one of the ones who helped me to get back up and keep swinging. If I’m a fighter, it’s because I have some GREAT corner people putting me back together between rounds. I thank you for that and I LOVE you for that!

    Congratulations and happy burfday! 🙂

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Combing the aisles at Target in search of the best deal on Cheerios, it hit Rene Syler like the stench of a dirty diaper on a hot summer’s day. Not only is perfection overrated its utterly impossible! Suddenly empowered, she figuratively donned her cape, scooped up another taco kit for dinner and Good Enough Mother was born.

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