Big Fat Lies Moms Believe

I don’t know about you, but when I became a mom I also became more self-critical. It was as if when I gave birth to my daughter, I also gave birth to a new clan of Inner Critics whose mission was to create a swirl of negative thoughts in my head. I like to call these addictive negative thoughts Big Fat Lies. And Christine Arylo and I like to call that Inner Critic your Inner Mean Girl.

I’m also a life coach, so I’ve coached hundreds of moms and have witnessed firsthand how they become their own worst enemy. After more than a decade of coaching moms from every walk of life (from CEO moms to stay at home moms to mompreneurs) I finally got it: we are all hard on ourselves despite appearances. I am not alone (and neither are you!).

Our Inner Mean Girls beat us up for both the big things and for the tiniest imperfections. And all this punishment isn’t helping us be better moms or feel more fulfilled or even to get more done.

Who can blame us for being so hard on ourselves?  We have a lot on our plates: kids, careers, romance, health . . .  the list goes on and on. We’re supposed to bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, have incredible sex with our partners (never letting him forget he’s a man — that is, assuming he is a man), get the laundry and housework done, have healthy, accomplished kids, and a tight butt and perky boobs to boot. We feel like we’re supposed to enjoy being pulled in a million directions at the same time. And that we’re supposed to be as flexible as Gumby on muscle relaxers. But we’re only human.

What would happen if we gave ourselves a break?

To get started, see if any of these Top Three Big Fat Lies of your Inner Mean Girl sound familiar and then go easy on yourself by tapping into the truth:

  • I’m a failure (can also show us as I’m a terrible mother, I suck at motherhood.): This Big Fat Lie is pandemic among nearly every mom I’ve talked to. The truth is that we all have moments of failing as moms (ya know like when your kid spills milk and you completely lose it because you’ve had the worst day filled with traffic jams, a failed bake sale fundraiser and your mate just called to say he’s working late…again), but that does NOT make us a failure. Winston Churchill put it brilliantly when he said, “Success is leaping from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” I would add that to be a successful parent, success is leaping from mistake to mistake without loss of compassion. So, why not get your compassion on?!
  • ___________ is a way better mom than me (can also show up as I’m a way better mom than _________.): The comparison game amongst moms can be intense and grueling. We can feel like we never quite measure up and develop a serious inferiority complex or we can turn the tables and find our Inner Mean Girls telling us that we are a far better mom, creating a superiority complex. Either way, the comparison game is a losing one. The truth is that this isn’t a contest…and it’s time to put your focus on being the best mom you can be and leave others out of it.
  • Taking care of myself is selfish (can also show up as self-care just isn’t a priority.): This lie is one of the biggest traps moms fall into, leading to overwhelm, depression and downright resentment. When we put our own well-being first, we are more able to be there for others. I know how hard it can be to carve out personal time. . .boy, do I know! But it is vital to do so to be a present and caring mom. By deciding to take responsibility for your self-care, you are giving yourself the opportunity to be a good parent, friend, partner, sibling, and/or coworker. Why not get started with simply 1 hour/week of ME TIME and ease your way up?

The more you recognize your Inner Mean Girl and her Big Fat Lies and tap more into the compassionate truth, the more you’ll increase self-love, self-esteem and self-respect. And what better gift can we give our kids than to model that?

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Want to get started on transforming your Inner Mean Girl?

Join me and Christine Arylo on June 30th for the Inner Mean Girl Reform School free open house call called Stop the Critical Voice in Your Head from Being So Hard On You… & Start Feeling Truly Successful & Happy, Now! You’ll learn the three keys to reforming your Inner Mean Girl!

CLICK here to register for free:

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Amy Ahlers the Wake-Up Call Coach, is on a mission to wake up your Inner Superstar so you can shine bright. She is a celebrated International Certified Success Coach, the CEO of Wake-Up Call Coaching the co-creator of Inner Mean Girl Reform School. Amy has been a featured expert on lots of TV & radio shows, and for publications & blogs like The Washington Post and The Huffington Post. Her first book, Big Fat Lies Women Tell Themselves: Ditch your Inner Critic and Wake Up Your Inner Superstar (New World Library) shot up to #1 in tons of categories on Amazon, including Self-Help, Happiness and Self-Esteem. She resides in the SF Bay Area, is married to the love of her life, Rob, the proud mom of their 4-year old daughter, Annabella, and loves to hike in the hills with their relentlessly eager mutt, Dozer. You can visit her online at



Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson5 years ago

thank you. i love being a mom. we have our moments, but i love my little family

Dale Overall

While I have no children I would never consider those who have children as greedy, selfish or self absorbed. Janice M., what kind of attitude is this? Yes there are many children who need a home and can be adopted but given the human instinct to have one's own children this is nothing new.

It takes a special kind of love to adopt and this is necessary and needed but to condemn anyone having their own children is simply being miserable.

The 16 year old blind Tortie cat that owns me is a delight and purrfect company but people are people and many still want children, a natural and loving instinct. Some should not have children but for most who have them this brings many joys, sorrows and delights.

Terry Vanderbush
Terry V5 years ago

thank you

Janice McClellan
Janice McClellan5 years ago

Dale O: I must disagree with your notion that there is a human "instinct" to have one's own children. It is a notion fueled by advertising aimed at women via tv commercials by the likes of Procter & Gamble and other hawkers of baby products, toys, household products, etc. The products are glamorized in purely fictitious scenarios like a thin young woman dancing around her vacuum, surrounded by sweet, smiling, clean kids in a spotless, professionally decorated house. Even diaper commercials are ridiculously cheerful and sterile -- they don't even show the poop! Every soap opera's plots revolve around secret babies, hidden babies, disappearing babies, whose baby is it... never on adoption. Some women have babies because they think that will keep their man in the relationship.

There may be a natural instinct to nurture, but only one's own offspring? No. That is selfish. To watch Giuliana Racic or Celine Dion spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on fertility treatments while ignoring millions of children who needs homes is sickening.

Read more:

Lika S.
Lika P5 years ago

Well, my inner instincts usually don't fail me. It wasn't until I had every Jane, Tracy and Martha telling me what I should do better, and under critique... You see, my own mother criticized everything I did for as long as I can remember. And it was to the point that other people would even ask me about why I didn't try harder to do things right, especially the family members that would get together often...

If the "mean girl" affliction would have taken over, I would have given my baby up within the first year. He's now 12, I went by instinct, and thanks to me, he's a happy, well adjusted and smart kid who thrives.

Janice McClellan
Janice McClellan5 years ago

Anne O: I live in the good old U.S. of A. So, yes, please tell your offspring never to visit. There's another lie that moms believe, Anne, that offspring will automatically help you in your old age. That's an old wives tale. Every day I am grateful that I am self-sufficient and child-free, and at peace with my decision not to add to the overpopulation, consumer-suck, and abuse of the planet and its finite resources. Amen.

Mari Garcia
Mari Garcia5 years ago

I think the biggest lie a mother tells herself, are the ones that make her kid into a little angel and all other kids are bad, not hers. I believe in being realistic, I sometimes can get myself into this mindset but then I remember that I am not perfect and doing my best.

Debra Griffin
Missy G5 years ago

Sadly many people lie & many people try to manipulate other peoples thought process. We just need to check ourselves maybe daily if necessary & not fall into this mess

Carole N.
Carole Nixon5 years ago

wow, the comments are far more entertaining than the article! men compete in their world, women compete in theirs, big advertisers know this better than we do!

Brenda Towers
Brenda Towers5 years ago