Can my inner critics stop me from participating in a self-love blog carnival?

Welcome to the May 2013 Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival: Self Love

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival hosted by Authentic Parenting and Living Peacefully with Children. This month our participants have written about their thoughts concerning self-love. We hope you enjoy this month’s posts and consider joining us next month when we share about Babywearing.


Everyone has a shadow

As soon as I found out the topic for the Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival this month (self-love) I was gong to participate. I put it in my diary and I started writing a post well in advance. yet… I was drafting post after post and none of them was going the way I wanted. The deadline came and went. The extended deadline came and went, and I still hadn’t submitted anything. As I sat down to write a short note to Mandy from Living Peacefully with Children to let her know I wouldn’t be participating, I suddenly had a thought. What if this was my inner critics saying that my posts were not good enough and that I had nothing to offer. And what if it was those inner critics holding me back from spreading the word about self-love.

Here are just a couple of the stories that I drafted up for the carnival.


Where does healthy body image come from?

I’ve had my fair share of insecurities but body image has never been one of them. So I thought I’d have a look at the way I was brought up and where my beliefs about my body came from.

Healthy body image was certainly not modelled to me. My mum had a great healthy body, yet, she was always weighing herself, dieting and saying she was too fat. She would even tell me I’d gotten fat every time I’d put on a few kilos.

Yet, none of this seemed to have any negative effect on me.

My mum didn’t see her own beauty, but I did. I thought she was beautiful.

And because I looked very much like her – that made me beautiful, too. I carried that belief through life. Even today I look at myself in the mirror and beneath all the tiredness I still see beauty.

And it makes me wonder, what’s the lesson here for all of us?


Children have inner critics, too

“I’m such a bully.”

I was on my way out of the kids’ bedroom but my son’s words made me turn straight back.

“What makes you think you’re a bully?’

“I always hit my sister and I don’t want to hit her, but I just can’t help it.”

I sat on my son’s bed and we had this long conversation about how everyone made mistakes and everyone lost their temper every once in a while. It didn’t make them bad people or bullies. At that particular moment they did the best they knew how to do. And as long as we always tried to do our best and learned from our mistakes, and tried to do just a tiny bit better next time, it was ok.


You might ask what was wrong with these stories.

I didn’t have all the answers.

I didn’t know what the lesson would be in the first story. Surely it couldn’t be that modelling healthy body image didn’t matter. I picked up most of my mums other inner stories and it was just the luck of the draw that I left this one out.

And the second story… after we had that conversation with my son his inner critic made reappearance on the very next night. I have a lot of tricks that I can suggest to an adult in a similar situation, yet I can’t find the words that would make sense to a 6-year-old.

But you know what? It’s ok  not to be the expert and it’s ok not to have all the answers. It doesn’t make me a bad blogger and it certainly doesn’t make me a bad mum. So I’m publishing this post anyway. Because maybe you could relate and you could feel just a little bit less alone in whatever you’re facing. Maybe you have some suggestions on what to do with children’s inner critics and by starting this conversation I’ll help my son and I’ll help more people have access to your answers.

And if I let my inner critics talk me into doing nothing… well, nothing will happen.


APBC - Authentic Parenting

Visit Living Peacefully with Children and Authentic Parenting to find out how you can participate in next month’s Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival, when we discuss babywearing!


Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

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  1. says

    I can totally relate. I’ve definitely started posts and then just… stopped. The words weren’t there. The idea wasn’t totally formed.

    What I’ve found is that those half started posts tend to come back weeks or months (or years…) later as something thought out. I like to think that they needed a little longer to percolate through my brain before they were fully grown.
    jana recently posted..Staying Sane & Taking Care of Myself

    • Tat says

      That sometimes happens to me, too. More often though once I discard my ideas, I never go back to them. While if I put them out there even if they are not fully formed, they take on a life of their own. Other people jump in, I get new thoughts and motivation to follow the thread.

  2. says

    I can definitely relate to the hindering self-critic. That’s one of the things I appreciate about these carnivals; I write things that I might not do normally and maybe because we’re In a group just feel more motivated to hit publish.

    My takeaway from your stories, and my own experiences, would be that our beliefs are cultivated over many years and not from a singular experience.

    And regarding the self-perception, I read something yesterday that said: “I’m not what I think I am. I’m not what you think I am. I am what I think you think I am”. Another little bit to add to the mix!
    Mercedes recently posted..I Resented My Pregnant Body

    • Tat says

      That is an awesome takeaway, and realising that would make us kinder to ourselves s parents. While it’s important to try and do our best, we don’t have to be perfect and there is no need to beat ourselves up every time we stuff up, because it’s the overall experience that matters.

  3. says

    I think one of the most admirable qualities, dare I say, beautiful qualities, a human being can have is a willingness to publicly state that they don’t have all the answers. A willingness to, with an open hand, say “here is my story, can you help me figure it out?” Or, “I don’t know, let’s chew on this together for a while.” And, “This is what I know, tell me about what you know and let’s both be better for our shared understandings.”

    I want to spend my life and my time with people who do that! I want to be that! So, you have greatly inspired me with your beauty, today.

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