Are you one of the mothers who suffer from “Wendy syndrome”?

Are you one of the mothers who suffer from “Wendy syndrome”?

Do you feel the almost morbid need to take care of others? To sacrifice yourself for your family? All while constantly feeling guilty? You may be affected by a common syndrome called “Wendy Syndrome.”

If you know your classics, perhaps you read or saw Peter Pan in your youth. And perhaps you also know that the main character who refuses to grow up gave his name to a syndrome: Peter Pan syndrome, which characterizes people who do not assume their responsibilities, and live without taking into account the consequences of their actions. But if Peter allows himself to do so, it is because he can rely on a reliable character: that of Wendy. Also, two years after identifying Peter Pan syndrome, psychoanalyst Dan Kiley drew Wendy's syndrome in the 1980s.

When (too much) caring for others becomes the priority

Wendy syndrome is not a pathology recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, but a trait that affects many mothers. And which results in too much sense of sacrifice. Thus, women who suffer from it develop several symptoms:

  • An excessive need to take care of others, and anticipate them, even when this complicates their life and increases their mental load;
  • Too great a sense of responsibility, which pushes her to take charge of everything and not delegate anything, even if it means taking responsibility for others. In the end, she never leaves her children or her partner to fend for themselves;
  • An omnipresent guilt, when she realizes that she cannot manage everything;

In herself, the mother suffering from this syndrome is a perfectionist, obsessed by the image of the perfect mother, sometimes driven by a fear of not being loved which comes from her history. But she gradually falls into hyper-parenting, which can quickly exhaust her.

Good in his body, good in his head!

A way of expressing love that is not without problems

However, if there are as many ways of being a mother as there are mothers, those who opt despite themselves for this everyday sacrifice expose themselves to negative effects.

The mother affected by Wendy's syndrome thus equates love with sacrifice and self-sacrifice. Therefore, she often sacrifices herself for what she considers the well-being of her entire family. But this inclination has a downside: it reflects a lack of esteem that is difficult to fill. So when she does not receive the expected recognition (which is rarely the case, so much of it is), mother Wendy can go as far as depression.

On the child's side, this extreme attitude is also harmful. Like helicopter parents, mom Wendy is overprotective. Their children therefore do not really have the opportunity to develop lThe skills needed to face life. By taking everything on herself, ultimately the mother Wendy does not give her child the opportunity to assume his responsibilities or to become independent. A little Peter Pan, in short.