At a work conference recently, I heard a fantastic speaker discuss, ‘The Imposter Syndrome‘. The ‘syndrome’ is basically a term for the psychological experience of feeling like you don’t deserve your success. Although it is mostly used to describe your experience relating to work it can be applied to any area of your life.
I realised while listening to this condition being discussed and her explanation of all the ways you effectively self-sabotage yourself within your career, that it is also incredibly reflective of being a mother.
As a mum or a parent of any ‘classification’ I don’t think there is ever a time where you think, “wow, I am the best mum/dad/insert classification term here. I always get everything right, I am doing a stand-up job.” More often than not you compare yourself to others and think what a wonderful job they are doing while you self-analyse your abilities and criticise them.
This is where ‘The Imposter Syndrome’ comes in.
The Imposter Syndrome has a collection of common sign/s. After looking into these I have realised that in regard to my ‘work’ as a mother, I am indeed displaying many of the signs and symptoms, I have come to the realisation that I am an ‘Imposter Mum’.
An expert on the subject, Valerie Young, has categorised ‘Imposter Syndrome’ into five subgroups, (I have tailored these to the parenting world in attempt to self-diagnose, self-treat and to share):
A ‘Perfectionist Mum’, doesn’t recognise success because they will always find flaws and concentrate on these instead. Often described as “control freaks”, ‘perfectionists’ feel if they want something done right they have to do it themselves.