Boundaries and being a parent should be a handbook we get when we first find out we are going to bring a child into this world.
“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything” – Warren Buffet.
Not only are boundaries good for us in every category of life, but it makes us a better parent and partner overall.
Why? Because it prevents our energy from leaking.
When our energies start to “leak,” we then start to feel inner rage. Which will eventually leads us to want to explode.
Knowing when to place boundaries is key to living a life with inner peace and with more harmony at home.
So what are boundaries?
Definition from the Miriam Webster dictionary:
“Something that indicates or fixes a limit or extent.”
“Only when we believe, deep down, that we are enough can we say, ‘Enough!'” – Brene Brown.
Not having any limits on what we can do, or want to do, will lead to so much resentment, anger, and burn out.
Especially as a parent. You are juggling so many things at once, that resentment, burn out and anger is bound to happen.
- Mental: freedom to have your own opinions
- Time: how much time you want to spend with someone or doing something
- Physical: body boundaries and personal space
- Conversational: what topics of conversation you are comfortable talking about or being a part of.
- Internal: time spent alone taking care of your own needs.
- Material: how you want to spend your money.
- Emotional: How emotionally available you are for others.
Here is how lack of boundaries can show up
As a stay-at-home parent: Not knowing when you are doing too much due to the guilt that you are not bringing in an income.
As a working parent (either at home or outside of the home): Not knowing when to say no because you do not want to disappoint anyone.
As a partner: saying yes to things to please your partner when you really want to say no.
Setting healthy boundaries will:
- Increase your mental health
- Increase your emotional health
- Develop your autonomy
- Avoid burnout
- Develop your identity
- Influence other’s behaviors
Setting boundaries and being a parent requires:
- Self-awareness: To catch it early on before you want to explode. What are your signs? Mine for example is inner rage and resentment.
- Clear communication skills: To address it calmly and respectfully.
- Confidence: Knowing that you are worth saying no or asking for what you need with no guilt attached.
“No thank you”
“I am not available”
“I know you want me to play with you, I need to go into the other room to breathe for a bit and then I will”
“I have done x, y and z, it is your turn to do….”
“Can you please do ……”
“I am going to do my self-care, as soon as I am done, you can have all of my attention”
“Thank you for the invite, I will not be able to make it”
“I am busy right now, I have space on my calendar on this date at this time, will that work for you?”
-Putting phone on do not disturb.
-Replying when you have the energy to reply.
Signs that you need to place a boundary (at home, at work, with your family or friends).
- Being the default parent
- You feel drained
- Burn out
- You feel joyless
Tell me – what is your favorite way to place a boundary?
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Thank you and so glad you are here!
Alejandra at Living Well Co.
Jo Nash, PHD, January 5th, 2018, Positive Psychology, accessed March 10th, 2023, <https://positivepsychology.com/great-self-care-setting-healthy-boundaries/>