You are Enough, Mom
Hey mom, ever feel like you aren’t good enough?
Imposter syndrome is something that I’ve heard about a lot in grad school – the idea that creeps into your mind as you complete your degree that you aren’t good enough, that you aren’t as competent as everyone around you.
I felt it when I started university and my professors referenced books I hadn’t read and literary theorists I had never heard of (which was all of them).
I felt it when I did my teaching practicum and stood in front of a group of teenagers who were all looking at me like does she know what she’s doing? all the while wondering the same exact thing.
I felt it when I bounced around from job to job, trying to find one that treated me well and appreciated what I brought to the table (I’m still working on the one that compensates me fairly, but one step at a time, I suppose).
I felt it as I began my master’s, sitting in a room full of mostly older educators who really knew what the fuck they were talking about.
And I feel it now as a mom.
There is something innate about feelings of guilt and obligation, a sense that it’s all down to me that has accompanied my journey into motherhood. Although I have the most supportive partner anyone could ask for – already a lot better than some moms’ situations – it doesn’t alleviate those thoughts.
Throughout my time breastfeeding and pumping, I constantly worried if she was getting enough food, cried because she was hungry so frequently and was crushed when exclusive pumping didn’t work out for me. But if you are feeding your baby – whether that’s through exclusive pumping, formula, breastfeeding, or some combination of those – you are amazing! You are using your energy to give nourishment to your offspring like a majestic animal in nature!
I would hear what other moms had to say about their own experiences – read about moms who recovered super quick after delivery, women who found breastfeeding a cinch, Instagram models working their pregnancy glows– and wonder what was wrong with me. Stop it now! Moms should not compare themselves to other moms. Period. You can share in their journey as a friend or family member, you can support them through this big time in their life, you can like their photos and enjoy watching their lives, but we are our own mom and that’s okay!
I am still on my way to believing my own words. There are times when I do and I’m fired up and I love how hard I work and other times I think I’m lazy or not enough. But I constantly remind myself that I’ve made it this far. My baby is loved. My baby is safe. And sometimes I even let myself do a little happy because my kid has a pretty great mom.
The struggle is real and universal, but if no one has told you this before, or if you simply don’t believe it, you are doing great. You are doing your best and your best is amazing. You are not an imposter. You can do it.
You are enough, mom.