We all have this wonderful voice in the back of our heads we lovingly call our inner critic. Some of our inner critics are heard more loudly than others depending on the stress of each day.
What do you do when the voice of that inner critic becomes so loud that you can no longer hear what’s actually happening in your life?
Maybe you have already read Hands Free Mama, or maybe you are like me, who recently (finally) read the book- thanks to our Book Club schedule. And if you don’t fit in either category and haven’t read it yet- I am urging you to borrow it from a friend and read it ASAP!
It is within the pages of this book that I aligned with some of the stories and discovered that many rang true in my life. Towards the beginning of the book, when the author suggested that I throw out my to-do list, I knew I was in trouble!
SO many of the chapters are densely filled with nuggets of profound wisdom that you really need to take the suggested year to get through it. We rushed through this book in one month, and I will likely be going back a few times to re-read and soak up more of what’s speaking to me throughout the text. That being said, I want to focus on and highlight one particular topic:
Silencing your inner critic.
As the first born, I was blessed with “first born syndrome“. I am naturally more responsible, a bit controlling, and very type-A.
Type A individuals tend to be very competitive and self-critical. They strive toward goals without feeling a sense of joy in their efforts or accomplishments.
With those characteristics being present in parenting, you basically feel hugely unsuccessful during this period in life.
Do you ever wake up thinking about what else you can fail at today?
Do you ever have random messages of doubt and criticism pop up into your head at any given time of the day?
Or how about the need to constantly compare yourself to others?
Through the hands free journey the author, Rachel, encourages you in many ways, to grasp what really matters. We are all beautifully imperfect humans, and to me, the only people who I strive for acceptance from- are the people who already accept me. By admitting to myself that I am a perfectly imperfect mom, the low self-esteem has begun to (very slowly) melt away. My children love me, and are loved, and that’s the most important job I have in this season of life. I plan to take a lot of the reflections that Rachel laid out at the end of each chapter and implement them into my life moving forward.
So far- I have come to these simple conclusions:
Am I a failure?
Yes, everyday. But in my kids eyes, I am a delicious cookie making, shuttle driving, soccer coaching, homeschooling, craft making type of mom that is always there for them. I will take it.
Do I feel like I am not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, etc. on a daily basis?
Yes! Everyday. But I have my husband, people who call me “friend” and my little girls that accept me and love me regardless- which tells me that I am good enough.
Do I compare myself to others?
Yes! Everyday. I even compare myself to my own husband, because our girls call daddy “fun”, and that’s not one of the words they have for me. (This is the “three words” test in the book that you need to ask your children about!)
So- even though the answer to these questions is yes; reading this book made me really think about shutting down my inner critic. I waste too much time thinking and worrying, when I could be enjoying my life more if I stopped. Silencing my negative thoughts won’t happen overnight- but Hands Free Mama helped me jump on that boat right now!
Please read this book! It was a game changer for me in so many ways, and it can be for you too! If you have read it, share your thoughts with me in the comments below!