I have a confession: I don’t always know what I’m doing as a mom.
While riding in the car this morning, my son needed a tissue. We had no tissues in the car. So, in lieu of a tissue, I gave my son the spare pair of undies I keep in his bag. As I tried to explain why it’s OK to use said undies in this instance when I didn’t have any tissues, I had one of those Carrie Bradshaw thoughts about imposter syndrome:
When it comes to motherhood, are we all imposters at some point?
What is imposter syndrome? While it’s not considered an actual condition, it’s defined as “someone who feels they aren’t as capable as others think and fears they’ll be exposed as a fraud.” This term can apply to your personal or professional life. Taylor Swift even referenced overcoming imposter syndrome when it came to stepping behind the camera and directing her first music video.
With all the books, podcasts, articles, and invited/uninvited advice we parents receive, it’s easy to feel pressure to find what your individual mom style is going to be. To have all the right answers. To know what to do when those tricky parenting challenges arise.
As it turns out, it’s impossible to be fully prepared for motherhood — to always know what we’re doing as moms. There isn’t a chapter in “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” about making mom friends. There isn’t a guide for navigating a remote work environment without adequate childcare. There is no potty training manual written specifically for your child’s unique personality and temperament. There is no book that offers the perfect formula for navigating your toddler’s tantrums.
When I feel imposter syndrome setting in, I remind myself that there is no one “right” way to do things. Every mother is different, and so is every child. Every birth story is unique. Your baby might reach milestones ahead of or behind your friends’ little ones. Your child’s personality might be nothing like yours or your husband’s.
Next time you feel like an imposter, cut yourself some slack! Give yourself credit for the endless effort you put into your role as mother each day — and remind yourself that you’re doing it your way. You’ve got this!