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Ever felt like you were inadequate and not good enough as a mother? Or felt somewhat awkward in your new role as a mother and that people would consider you unfit or not made to be a mother? Well that feeling has a name: Motherhood Imposter Syndrome. Or as we like to call it “Momposter syndrome”.
What is Momposter Syndrome Exactly?
Momposter Syndrome is the feeling of not being good enough as a mother or that you aren’t as capable as other mothers. It’s an internalized fear that someone will think you’re a fraud or that you don’t belong in your role. It is most seen in high-achieving people or perfectionists, but this can still be seen in different types of personalities.
Signs of Momposter Syndrome
- Constantly comparing yourself to other mothers
- Feeling like a failure or inadequate in your role as a mother
- Feeling “small” & unworthy
- Negative self-talk
- Ignoring or brushing off compliments about your accomplishments in your motherhood role. Not believing them to be true.
- Feelings of guilt or worry that you’re not doing enough for your child or might be harming them in some way.
Why is it That We Feel This?
Society, whether wittingly or unwittingly, puts so much pressure on mothers by instilling unrealistic expectations; the expectation that a mother should seamlessly enter motherhood knowing exactly what she’s doing.
Truth be told though…most of us probably have no idea what we’re doing and we’re learning as we go. We make mistakes; we have our flaws; we learn; and we grow from it. The act of “mothering” isn’t linear; it’s a huge learning curve.
These unrealistic societal expectations of motherhood have a detrimental effect on mothers’ (parents in general) mental health. We are burning out. It’s unrealistic to meet these expectations. But here we are feeling like we aren’t good enough if we don’t meet them or if our way of mothering doesn’t look like what other mothers are doing.
Is Momposter Syndrome More Prevalent Now With the Use of Social Media?
In my opinion, Momposter syndrome is even more prevalent now with the use of social media. Mothers are constantly comparing themselves to the other mothers they see on the Internet.
A lot of the “perfection” of motherhood that we see online builds up so much self-doubt in us mamas. It’s hard to see the reality of it all; to see what a normal day-to-day life could actually look like with kids at home.
You can read our article about Motherhood & Social Media which explains this in a little more detail.
Ways to Overcome Momposter Syndrome
- Remind yourself that motherhood isn’t linear. We’re all learning and growing every day from it.
- Remember that all mamas have their own struggles. Not everything is as picture-perfect as depicted on Social Media.
- Practice a good self-care routine to ground yourself!
- Seek professional help or talk to a trusted friend about your feelings.
- Redirect your negative self-talk by creating a mantra such as “I am who I am. I am loved and worthy and my child loves me for the mother I am to them”.
Momposter Syndrome might be more common than we are lead to believe. With the presence of social media and the ever-so heightened societal pressures on us mamas, we are left with feelings of self-doubt, guilt, and feelings of being incapable compared to other mothers.
It’s important for us to remember that all mamas have their own struggles in motherhood; we all have our strengths and flaws. Motherhood is also not something that you can learn about in a textbook. There’s a huge learning curve and we’re all going through it in our own unique way. Remember…you’re mama of a kind (one a kind)!
What would your mantra be to redirect that negative self-talk of yours when you’re feeling insecure in your role as a mama? Comment below!