Real Talk

The Importance of Setting Boundaries

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Having boundaries in place helps parents, especially mothers, become mentally and emotionally healthier.

Many parents, especially moms, find it difficult to set boundaries. However, without boundaries, we find ourselves feeling burned out, resentful, and overwhelmed. This is why setting boundaries is so important. It honors our needs, protects us, and defines our roles in our relationships. Moreover, it prevents breakdowns and irritation and teaches people how to treat us.

Setting Boundaries

Becoming a parent changes your relationships with family and friends

Before kids, we often didn’t struggle with boundaries. But all that changes once there are children in the picture. Your relationships with family and friends start to evolve. Sometimes, you may grow apart from some while you become closer to others. You might also find instances where people, whether family members, in-laws, or acquaintances, suddenly feel the need to tell you how to parent. They might even feel entitled to spend a certain amount of time with your children or interject their own beliefs into how you do things. Although it often comes from a place of love, this can result in you feeling defeated, bitter, or exhausted.

Setting boundaries does not mean you’re being selfish

Having clear and consistent boundaries is healthy for the whole family. It doesn’t mean that you’re being selfish, rude, disrespectful, or ungrateful. You’re allowed to say no to certain things. Additionally, there are things you need to prioritize. It helps you assert your parenting preferences, too.

It can be tricky or difficult to set boundaries with people who are important to you because you don’t want to jeopardize your relationship with them or isolate your children from them. But it’s a good reminder that if people in your life are worth having around, they would want you to have boundaries, too! It tells them how to treat us and sets the rules for engagement. Those who love and understand you will actually appreciate and respect it.

Learning how to communicate boundaries effectively

Before anything, you’ll need to determine your own boundaries. Be clear and consistent on what your non-negotiables are and try to figure out where and when you can be flexible. Also, remember that boundaries are rooted in clear communication. There are different ways to draw the line politely. You can start by writing down your limits. Ask yourself what is causing you unnecessary stress and discomfort. What do you look forward to each day and what do you dread? Who and what gives you energy? What areas in your life do you feel exhausted by? Lastly, what makes you feel safe, supported, and valued?

Openly communicating your boundaries, especially with your partner, can help as well. This allows you both to be on the same page. When things get tough, reiterate and uphold these boundaries.

Having boundaries in place helps you become mentally and emotionally healthier. And we all know that a happy and healthy mother equals a happy and healthy child!

More on setting boundaries and becoming better parents to our children:

Sarah Weston: On Bringing Out Light Energy, Setting Boundaries, and Embracing Her Name

How Utang ng Loob Made Filipino Families Toxic

Gaslighting: What It is and How Parents Can Avoid It