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Grateful for getting to know my inner critic

Quote by Thomas Kida

I spoke to my child in anger.

I won’t forget the look in her eyes – she was scared of me. I was scared of me.

Because this was not the ‘me’ either of us knew. I don’t do anger. When I’m tired I whinge with no real emotion behind it and my kids mostly ignore me or tell me I need to go to bed. Or, when I raise my voice at them, I usually feel powerlessness and frustration that I can’t come up with a better way to resolve a situation. Anger was something new.

I could have blamed it on the fatigue hat comes from looking after sick children. We were on round 3 at the time and they had started bulk-billing us at the doctor’s as regulars. But as I looked closer I found this dissatisfaction with myself.

My baby was 3 months old and it was time for me to return to the real world. I needed to spend more focused time with my children, take them to more places, cook more, clean more, put more effort into my relationship, work, write, build a business, volunteer at my son’s school, learn to drive, exercise and remember to iron my clothes and put make-up on in the morning so that I look just as fabulous as the other mums at school.

Ridiculous, right? Only I thought this was the voice of reason. I didn’t recognise it as my inner critic’s voice until I listened to a call with Amy Ahlers from the Succulent Business tele-summit*. It turns out that my Inner Mean Girl (this is what Amy calls the inner critic) has transformed. She used to criticise the way I was until I got skilled at ignoring her. Now she’s changed into this over-achiever who wants to do everything.

Once I made a mental list of everything she wanted me to do,  it became obvious that it wasn’t humanly possible. So I stopped pushing. I reclaimed my hour-long walk with my baby as my (almost) daily practice. I went back to my 9 pm bedtime. I bought Amy’s book Big Fat Lies Women Tell Themselves*. 

The world is looking a whole lot brighter again and I’m grateful for it.

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7 Responses to Grateful for getting to know my inner critic
  1. Lisa@RandomActsOfZen
    February 15, 2013 | 11:09 pm

    I’m glad your world is looking brighter, it’s too easy to buy into that whole “perfect” mum thing isn’t it? :)
    Lisa@RandomActsOfZen recently posted..Week 7 of Grateful

  2. Nat - Muddy Farmwife
    February 16, 2013 | 3:43 pm

    I have heard of this book and think I might just have to invest. So pleased you’ve made some changes and things are looking better.
    Nat – Muddy Farmwife recently posted..Grateful for bits and pieces of our holiday

    • Tat
      February 16, 2013 | 8:27 pm

      It’s more of a time investment these days, isn’t it, with so many books out there which one do I choose? If I love the book, I will most likely write about it again or we can exchange what we make of it :)

  3. Elisa {With Grace & Eve}
    February 16, 2013 | 4:07 pm

    It’s so easy to create that cycle. “Inner Mean Girl” makes sense – must be more wary of mine too. Glad your days are looking brighter Tat xx

  4. Vanessa
    February 19, 2013 | 2:23 am

    Congrats on your new baby. This is a great post and I am going to check out the books you mention. I have felt the pressure you mention almost daily… now I know it’s just my inner mean girl. :)
    Vanessa recently posted..Tuesday Reflection.

  5. Jodi @ Heal Now and Forever
    February 24, 2013 | 11:10 pm

    Tat,
    I am glad you refused That Mean Girl. She doesn’t now what is important. You do. Love to you, gentle love.
    xoJodi

    • mum in search
      February 25, 2013 | 2:16 pm

      Not sure why your comments end up in the spam folder, but I’m so glad that I checked and found it. Your encouragement warms up my heart. Thanks! xx

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Hi, I'm Tat. I believe that through motherhood we're given another chance to find ourselves, grow and shine. I have three beautiful children and I learn a lot from them every day. This year I'm searching for ease in everything I do.More about me and my blog »