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Rini Frey is getting honest about "mom imposter syndrome."
The Canadian influencer shared a candid Instagram Reel on Tuesday, sharing her doubts and insecurities as a mom-of-two and admitting she doesn't always feel "qualified" for the job.
"Does anyone else get mom imposter syndrome? Like, I'm just a girl. I'm not a grown up. How am I capable of taking care of two small children?" The on-screen text read over footage of Frey feeding her youngest child. "Who gave me permission? Are all the other moms going to find out that I'm not qualified? I have zero credentials, I'm just out here completely winging it."
In her caption, Frey joked that in the face of parental responsibilities, she still feels like a teenager herself.
"No, because I still feel 19. Who let me be in charge of two small children?" she wrote.
Fans in the comments section found the Toronto-based mom's vulnerable post "heavily relatable," with many sharing words of reassurance and praise.
"I literally woke up in a full blown panic attack this morning, like I don't know what to do. He keeps growing and I have to keep him alive!?" one person wrote. "I can barely keep myself alive sometimes."
"Literally all the time. There are definitely days where I feel like I'm the help, or a nanny and she's not really mine,' someone shared. "Thank you for sharing these feelings."
"Definitely! I thought that being 35 years old would help me feel like I'm a mom but nope," someone else said. "Sitting here with my six-week-old baby wondering when I'll feel more capable."
While Frey's post was lighthearted, motherhood imposter syndrome is real — and it can be extremely harmful to maternal mental health.
What is imposter syndrome?
According to Psychology Today, imposter syndrome is a psychological phenomenon where individuals doubt their achievements and fear being exposed as a fraud. Despite external evidence of their competence, these individuals remain convinced they do not deserve the success they earned.
What is motherhood imposter syndrome?
Motherhood imposter syndrome refers to a person's lack of confidence in their ability to be a good mother. In a 2023 interview with Mindpath Health, Sabrina Romanoff said many women feel as though they are "inadequate" and "unworthy" of motherhood. Women experience "guilt" and doubt their mothering abilities "despite their skills, efforts and past experience with parenting."
Although it's common in first time mothers, it can develop at any stage of parenting.
What are the signs of motherhood imposter syndrome?
According to Choosing Therapy, symptoms of motherhood imposter can syndrome include:
comparing yourself to others
feeling like a failure
negative self talk
chronic stress or anxiety
anxiety about being judged by others
struggling to return to work after maternity leave
Motherhood imposter syndrome can lead to parental burnout. Negative self-talk can be modelled to children who will repeat these behaviours and beliefs.
How to treat motherhood imposter syndrome
Experts recommend speaking to a doctor, therapist or health care provider about your feelings of inadequacy and developing a plan to dismantle those beliefs.
Other helpful habits include:
unfollowing triggering social media accounts
celebrating your parenting wins and accomplishments
practicing self care
adjusting parenting expectations