When Isis tells me to shut the hell up about my impostor syndrome, I need to listen.
This little idea cropped up in my brain during the comments from last week’s Mommy Track post. Dr. Lizzy Moore and I got into a discussion about using the mommy scientists we know in real life as our motivation to keep going. The problem is, I have a hard time believing that I’m anywhere in the same freakin’ atmosphere as those brilliant and capable women.
Several years ago, I told my grad mentor (also a mom) that I didn’t think I could ever do academic science the way she did – that there was no way I would ever measure up to her example. She looked at me shocked and asked “why?” I realized at that moment how much of a scared, silly little girl I was. I started working that day to exude some tiny shred of confidence in my abilities. After faking it for a while, I began to learn what my mentor already knew: her success was that she kept trying. She didn’t set out to be a superstar mom or scientist. She just did both jobs the best way she knew how, and it worked out just fine.
Since having Monkey, I’ve returned to that same scared little girl I was back in graduate school. I’ve started wondering again if I can *live up* to the women who came before me. I’m scared that I’ll fail, and in failure I’ll let down those women who went before me, as well as those following in my footsteps.
What a load of chicken shit.
Let me make this clear to myself, and anyone else reading. I will repeatedly fail at motherhood and science. I will make mistakes and be forced to correct my course. I will also succeed from time to time. I’ll spend too much time at work sometimes. Other times I’ll spend too much time at home. Every once in a while I’ll get the balance just right.
But I will never, never live up to the imaginary and impossibly high pedestal of scientific glory on which I’ve placed the wonderful mommy scientists I’ve been lucky enough to know.
Finally, I’m forgiving myself for the angst of this past year, and reserving additional forgiveness for my future crises in confidence. After all, rearranging your life around another human being should make you question your career, your goals, your life. However, much like my decision to question my faith years ago, examining my roles as a scientist and mother has strengthened my resolve to keep moving forward.
And, because I LUUUVVVZZZ Journey (much to Hubby’s distaste), here’s my newest theme song:____________________________________________ Like what you’re reading? Click the banner to vote for my blog!