Imposter Syndrome for Working Parents

Bat girl

So as many of your know, my son and I walked out of his primary school on Tuesday, never to return. If you’ve read my previous post, you’ll know it wasn’t working out for us. #Understatement. Anyway, it all came to a head on Tuesday and we made a big decision to call it quits.
In positive moments we’ve been feeling deliciously-rebellious, heroic and liberated about our decision. ‘How brave.’ ‘How amazing,’ our supportive friends and family have been saying when they hear about our #NoSchoolNoPlan adventure. (Thank you so much, I’ve been clinging to your words in middle of the night during sleepless moments.)

BUT the only problem with being heroic and rebellious is that we now have no childcare. It’s just a temporary blip and luckily my work is flexible and my son has fab a daddy, grandparents, uncles, aunties and godparents to look after him so I’ve been able to continue working. But there’s nothing like small child climbing up your leg to make you feel like a Career Impostor.

Know the feeling? Apparently ‘Imposter Syndrome’ is a real thing and everyone worries they’re only just pulling it off and are about to be discovered a fraud every now and then. Even Kate Winslet has been quoted saying;’Sometimes I wake up in the morning before going off to a shoot, and I think, I can’t do this. I’m a fraud.’

One of my favourite authors of all time – Maya Angelou  – also suffered.

‘I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.’I can’t help suspecting it’s worse for working parents. It’s hard to feel professional when;

  • You reach into your bag for a pen and pull out a crayon.
  • You eat Pom Bears and party rings for lunch
  • Your phone rings a Cbeebies theme tune.
  • You can’t take off your suit jacket cos your top is covered in sticky fingers
  • You want to ‘work from home’ but still have flashbacks about that time your son answered the phone to your boss saying ‘Hi Dad! We’re still in our pyjamas.’ At 2pm.
  • You have to give a client a lift in your car and they have to squeeze in between 2 car seats.
  • You pretend you’re sick cos you can’t take time off for the kids again.
  • Your colleagues still tease you about the time you went in late with smudged mascara after the School Nativity.
  • Your only smart, clean jacket is covered in dinosaur stickers.

How do you conquer Impostor Syndrome? I’d love to know. Turns out good performance reports, great feedback and project success all mean nothing to me. I’ve still got Cheerios in my bra.

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