Are You a Mother with Wendy Syndrome?

As a mother and as a woman, it's important that you know what Wendy Syndrome is. Find out everything you need to know.
Are You a Mother with Wendy Syndrome?
Elena Sanz Martín

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Elena Sanz Martín.

Written by Okairy

Last update: 27 December, 2022

Have you ever felt that your role as a mother or partner is excessively focused on satisfying those around you?. You’re not the only one, as you may have what’s known as Wendy Syndrome.

This syndrome manifests itself in an absolute need to satisfy the other, mainly your partner and your children. Read on and find out more about this syndrome and how to overcome it.

What is Wendy syndrome

To understand what Wendy syndrome is all about, we must remember the story of Peter Pan. Wendy’s character was the one in charge of doing complex tasks.

Despite being just a girl, like the rest, she carries all the responsibilities on her shoulders. From making decisions to doing the tasks Peter doesn’t want, can’t, or doesn’t dare to do.

The same will happen to you if you’re living with Wendy syndrome. You’ll take care of all the complex tasks and feel bad about what you can’t do.

Characteristics of mothers with Wendy syndrome

An older woman whispering into a younder woman's ear.

Because a mother with Wendy syndrome will always want to satisfy her family, we can easily identify her. The most common characteristics are as follows:

  • You’ll be a perfectionist. You’ll think that if you’re not able to meet all the needs of your family, you’ll have failed. You’ll feel guilty when something goes wrong and most likely spend a lot of time organizing things.
  • You’ll believe that you’re essential. You’ll believe that no one can take care of things as well as you can. It won’t even occur to you to ask for help because you believe that doing so will make you less deserving of the love of your family.
  • You avoid conflict at all costs. What you fear most is being a victim of rejection. Therefore, you’ll do everything possible to avoid it. You’re always willing to do whatever it takes to receive tokens of love. Although you seem happy, deep down, you feel very sad and dissatisfied.
  • You maximize your guilt. Couldn’t you buy the toy that your son wanted so much? Your husband didn’t love the special meal your prepared? You’ll see these kinds of things as personal failures. You’ll blame yourself and be convinced that this makes you less valuable or loved.

What’s the origin of Wendy Syndrome?

Although we women have the idea that pleasing our family is one of our goals, there must always be a balance in life. Lack of this can lead to problems like Wendy’s syndrome.

This syndrome is due to two main causes :

  • Cultural influence. Many cultures and societies educate women to follow very specific gender roles. This means that this is a fairly common syndrome in sexist societies.
  • Fear of rejection: This is the psychological cause that governs Wendy’s syndrome. If you are a woman who has grown up with constant abandonment or an irrational fear of loneliness, you could find yourself in this situation. You may think that by satisfying others you get them to stay with you but you will always be afraid that one day they will move away.
A woman sitting on the edge of her bed looking frustrated and tired while her partner sleeps.

What is the problem with Wendy’s syndrome?

You will think that there is nothing wrong with worrying about the well-being of your partner and your children. This is so as long as you do not lose sight of your health and well-being. Warning signs should appear when you show the following symptoms:

  • Relationship problems. Within the couple relationship there are roles that each one plays. But if you have reached that point where you feel that he is more of a burden than a help, stop to analyze what happens. As a couple they must assume the same responsibilities in number and burden.
  • Depression or anxiety As time goes by, you feel overwhelmed and that you can’t do much more. In these moments, depression and anxiety destroy all your peace of mind. You will think that nothing is enough and that there is still much to do.
  • Sadness. Contrary to the general idea, giving your all for others does not make you any happier. A mother with Wendy’s syndrome will find that her efforts are not thankful and will end up feeling empty and sad.

As a mother and as a woman it is important that you stay alert with Wendy’s syndrome. Being a good mother does not mean leaving yourself aside as a person, as a woman and as a couple.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.