Have you ever said you are “just a mom” or “just a _______” (fill in the blank with whatever you do for a living)?
I know I have.
I’ve heard stay at home moms say they are “just a SAHM.”
And I’ve heard career moms say that they wish they were “real moms” (meaning moms who stay at home with their kiddos).
I think we all do this – if not out loud, then at least in our heads.
I’ve written before about imposter syndrome – that odd feeling many of us get of not belonging or being worthy of our place in life.
Never have I seen a clearer example of it in action than recently during an appointment with our child’s neurologist.
The doctor was preparing to do a routine surgical procedure on Xage – a lumbar puncture – and we were chatting as he prepped. “Do you do other surgeries, too?” I asked.
“Oh no, just procedures like this one,” he said humbly. “I’m just a neurologist – not a surgeon.”
My eyes widened at this. “JUST a neurologist?” I chuckled. “I’d say that’s pretty darn cool in its own right!” And we all laughed.
But it instantly made me realize that no matter how much we achieve in life, there’s always someone who has done more. There’s always a reason to feel not quite enough. And that’s crazy!
Hearing an accomplished pediatric neurologist literally say he’s “just a neurologist” really opened my eyes. I guess there’s even a pecking order among doctors.
When do we stop feeling like we’re “just” something and start celebrating all that we are?
When are we enough – or when will we feel like we are enough?
I challenge you to look at how you view yourself and if you feel these imposter syndrome feelings creeping in, spend some time reminding yourself that you ARE enough, just as you are.
In your career, as a parent and as a human – you are enough. You are not “just” anything. You are marvelous and unique and exactly who you were meant to be!
This doctor’s words to me were like a gift, even if he didn’t intend them to be. Hearing a medical professional at the top of the food chain say he was “just a neurosurgeon” was unforgettable.
We go through our lives constantly trying to attain and achieve goals, when the most important one is simply to accept and love ourselves just as we are in the moment.
I have written before about some other ways to radically accept and love ourselves.
I’ll close with something the happened the other day that really stayed with me. I brought Xage to a local pet store for one of our favorite activities: holding the baby animals. We held some ferrets and small parrots, then moved over to the puppies.
Xage asked to hold one of the smallest puppies they had: a tiny, timid, shivering chihuahua. When we got into the little puppy room, Xage simply held the little creature and stroked it, cooing to her in a soft voice: “I know it’s hard right now, but it’s going to get better very soon. You’re in a horrible place right now and it’s scary, I know. But soon your life will be sooooo much better. You’re going to have so much fun. Just hold on, little one.”
I loved hearing those words. Who among us doesn’t need to hear positive messages like that from time to time? And even the tiniest puppy can grow up to be a confident, happy doggo. It just takes a little love.
This is your friendly reminder to love yourself, be your own best friend and know your worth going into the new year!