Setting boundaries is a form of self care.
As mothers setting our boundaries helps us prevent negative situations before they arise. It enables us to prevent situations rather than treat the negative. We are also in a constant search for balance. What to say yes to and what to say no and walk away from.
Boundaries are necessary yet so many of us have given very little thought to them. This is because it’s not front of mind and because as mothers (and humans) we care so much about what people think, we don’t want to upset anyone and many of us want everyone to like us.
Boundaries are preventative behaviour.
Here’s what boundaries are not – they are not division, they are not separation and they are not fake walls.
The Motherhood Project loves Brene Brown’s definition of boundaries - ‘Boundaries is simply what’s okay and what’s not okay.’
Having and setting boundaries is not selfish, they are the key to self love and enabling us to have the ability to treat others with love and kindness, without resentful feelings.
We don’t need to ‘create’ boundaries because our boundaries are already inside us, generally in our sub conscious, (the part of our brain on autopilot,) if we don’t look inside ourselves to reassess what our subconscious autopilot is doing to us we will continue to produce the same behaviours, routines and habits.
To make sure we don’t continue to overstep our boundaries we need to bring them front of mind.
Getting clear on our boundaries is the first step, then we need to create healthy routines and habits so we keep within these boundaries.
When something is asked of you, try to look beyond the perceived pressure and look inside yourself. It’s often not necessary to answer straight away, take time and reflect so you can make informed decisions based on your boundaries. (Have replies such as ‘Great, I’ll get back to you once I’ve checked my calendar and checked with the family)
Here are a couple of self inquiry questions around setting certain boundaries when you’re in the moment.
1. Whose needs are being served? Is it a win win situation? Is it a chance to give and feel enriched by the experience OR will I end up feeling more depleted of energy and time?
2. How do I feel? Is this situation giving me a good feeling or an uneasy feeling?
3. Have I been in a similar situation before? What was the result of that?
AND WHEN WE DO OVERSTEP, DO TOO MUCH, BURN OUT AND FEEL DEPLETED AND BLAH…
(which we all do) here are a couple of questions to focus on and move forward instead of the guilt – which isn’t helpful to any of us.