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Boundaries for Moms: 20 Things

We shouldn’t have to have permission or be reminded, but we need a little nudge when it comes to saying “No More.”

Too often, we feel we “should” do events, games, volunteering…. and it gets us into trouble.  Every single time.

We want to be a “good” mom, wife, worker, and instead of standing in truth, building trust, or being appreciated,  others come to expect everything we offer and we feel drained.

So here are 20 things for which you (yes, you) have permission to say No More.

No Concept

1) When your soul/ intuition tells you. You know the sound of it… it’s a take it or leave it. But it’s always speaking. Don’t confuse this with the nagging voice, or the one that strikes fear “If you don’t then…” that’s not our soul.

2) When you know it doesn’t serve you or your family. This is almost an automatic response. It just doesn’t. We complicate it by trying to understand or give reasons. It just doesn’t.

3) Over scheduling yourself. It’s a choice. For this day, say no.

4) Over scheduling your kid(s). (see above)

5) The toxicity of others. Knowing when to keep trying and when to stop trying is an art. My bottom line is this: Have I done absolutely everything I know, including being face-to-face honest and has the situation changed over time for the better? If you’re still on the fence, you can read this article by Jen Hatmaker. Wish I wrote it. Glad she did.

6) Questions that don’t have actual answers. You know these. Usually your kids or your boss asks them. There is no good answer. Just say, “No More.” They will have to rephrase the question.

7) Guilt. Saying No to guilt is actually quite liberating and easy. Choose from the following statements to tell yourself instead: “I deserve this.”, “This helps me be a better mom”, and “For today, this is the best I can do.” Okay, it’s not easy, but it is liberating – give it a shot!

8) Perfection. Let the “dinner” be cereal tonight. Let the sheets stay on the bed for two weeks instead of one (okay, or three instead of two, but after that, it’s not perfection to clean them). Let them get B’s instead of A’s. Let the morning lunches not get made until the morning. It’s okay. It’s all okay.

9) Being a victim. This just means accepting responsibility for our life. If it’s happening, we chose it. If it’s not happening, let’s make it happen. If we want it to stop happening, let’s stop it. Easier said than done, but actually very empowering when we consider how much we really can change

10) When your boundaries are overstepped. Kindly state a boundary before getting upset. But after it’s set, kindly enforce it.

11) When you’re in a bad mood and someone starts conflict. Stepping away is the equivalent of saying, “Not right now.” You have the right to not go to every drama you’re invited to.

12) When your kids want a reward even though they didn’t do what you asked. “No More” is the best teacher and explanation.

13) Always making dinner. Trust me on this. I went YEARS only going out to eat one time a week. Not sure what I was thinking. Not worth our sanity.

14) Writing in a journal if you hate it. Also insert scrapbooking, working on Pinterest, or any other popular thing that you don’t love.

15) Overextending yourself during the holidays. So others can think, for 10 seconds you’re amazing, have it all together, generous, thoughtful and then go home and get on Facebook and forget about it? Or, better yet, you really do pull everything off flawlessly and get nominated to do it again next year. No.

16) No bedtime for you. Set the time you’re done. Set it. Stick to it. Brag about it on my page on Facebook. And refer to #8 on perfection.

17) Life without dessert. In fact, eat it first. It often clarifies what you REALLY want for dinner.

18) Fear. According to Gavin deBecker in The Gift of Fear, fear is described as a current, real threat happening right now, so that your entire being is shutting down and revving up to help you survive. I understand having a toddler, tween or teen at home may fit this category, but it does not.  Call fear out and say no.

19) Anxiety. According to Gavin deBecker in The Gift of Fear, anxiety is the worry that it might happen, but it’s not really happening. We can also say no to this by being very present in the moment. In some of my worst cases of anxiety, I say “Look! There’s the sky! There’s the floor! I’m here. I’m okay.” and slowly, truth prevails. Anxiety is never truth.

20) Disconnection with the kids. It’s not the responsibility of any dependent living under our roof to bridge a gap in connection. It’s always ours. We can always do something about it (refer to #9 Being a Victim above). We may have to learn strategies of reconnection, we may have to apologize, we may have to be vulnerable, but this is for us to do, not them.

Which of these might be most possible for you this week? Share below.


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