For moms, establishing boundaries with our children is hard. These little people once lived inside our bodies and we were responsible for their very lives. It can be extra difficult to know where to draw the line between maternal nurturing and excessive personal sacrifice. Moms are amazing, but we don’t have to push ourselves past the limit of our capabilities and jeopardize our own physical and mental health in pursuit of being the perfect parent.
At first, it can feel uncomfortable and awkward to say “no,” especially to a beloved child. A mom might feel afraid of the possible unknown repercussions, either real or imagined, that they may experience after setting a boundary. The good news is that kids are reassured every time we set a boundary. A parent’s job is to protect and guide their children, and clear boundaries let kids know that Mom is in charge so they don’t have to be. They can just be kids and explore their limits, not establish them.
Setting boundaries can help save Mom’s sanity, too. I made a rule that all children’s toys must be removed from the kitchen counter before bedtime. This helps preserve my sense of calm, which is otherwise eroded by stray toys, socks, and crayons. And it reminds me that boundaries are for my own good, too.