Setting Boundaries

boundariesWhen trying to teach someone a boundary, they learn less from the enforcement of the boundary and more from the way the boundary was established.

 – Bryant H. McGill

I think that as a mom, a wife, and even as a business owner, you need to have boundaries. Boundaries are important for your kids, for your marriage, and honestly – for your sanity. Not having boundaries is like having a “always open” sign on your emotions. You never get a break, you are always on high alert, and you never can just be in your own skin – you let everyone else dictate your life.

I struggle a lot with boundaries. I usually step all over them, cross them and otherwise flagrantly ignore them. I am also horrible at enforcing my own. I let people bully me, I am afraid to draw lines and put my foot down, and I am horrific at telling people how I really feel. Even if I DO want the last piece of bruschetta. And YES, I AM MAD.

When I grew up, I was around people who didn’t respect boundaries. There was not a lot of privacy, truth or just plain respect. I really carried that with me into my adulthood. I was in relationships with people who didn’t respect me. I put up with a lot of things that I shouldn’t have, and basically, just lost a lot of myself.

As I have gotten older and now started my own family, my boundaries have gotten stronger. I have kids and a husband, and all three demand that I respect myself, and in turn my family.  I have learned that the truth is paramount, that you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do (obviously if you are contractually obligated, that is different) and at the end of the day, you have to look in the mirror and be ok with the person that is looking back at you.

I don’t think you realize how important boundaries are until you have kids. When it just you, or you and your significant other, things just don’t seem so critical. With kids, it is different. You need to protect them, you need to whack people into line when they threaten your kids or their happiness. When someone is doing something around my kids that I don’t like, the mama tiger I never knew I was comes roaring out.

I have also learned to have better boundaries for myself in being better for my kids. I am less apt to “put up” with bad behavior out of people. If you are drama, I don’t want you around. I have become a bit ruthless in the last few years about staying away from family members that are drama. It makes for pretty slim pickings at holidays, but my holidays no longer end in tears from the latest family fight.

I am obviously not the most popular person with this standpoint, but I think I am right in my feelings. Boundaries are all about how people make you feel which is a direct reflection of how you let people make you feel. Knowing that you don’t want to feel a certain way is the beginning, and creating an environment where you don’t actively let it happen is being the master of your world.




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