A few times each year, I have the pleasure of speaking at Women in Banking Conferences throughout the country, usually joining a lineup of badass women sharing their wisdom and expertise. And while I’m sometimes there to teach attendees how to use social media to develop their personal brand, I’m more often there to provide a shot of reality, and relief, as I share my experiences being a working mom.
There are always a few moments, both leading up to the conference, and while I sit in awe of the other speakers, where I suffer from a touch of imposter syndrome. Because while they are sharing guidance about leadership, empowerment, and how to address bias and other issues, I’m sharing moments of expectations, failure, loneliness, missed friendships, or things coming out of, or getting stuck up, someone’s nose.
And yes, it’s funny when I tell it, and my ability to look back with laughter is hard fought, but it also can feel a bit trivial.
I know, from my years telling these stories on the podcast, and even from feedback at past conference, that the women in attendance need this perspective. They need someone who looks like they have it together to say, don’t judge this book by my cover. They need someone to pull back the curtain to show the chaos. The successes, yes, but also the failures. The wins, and the losses. The compromises.
As I put together this year’s version of the presentation, I reflected, not for the first time, at how much has changed. I am no longer in the thick of battle that is toddlerhood, but parenting teenagers is no easy task either. And even when the kids have left us behind to pursue their dreams, I will continue to be looking to find the right balance, sometimes successfully, sometimes not.
And, imposter syndrome be damned, I will continue to tell people how it’s going, as long as they are interested.