5 Types of Mama Boundaries and Why You Need Them
In motherhood, you add a layer of growth in your ability to set and maintain boundaries begins. After all, you are no longer just creating boundaries in adult relationships, you are developing a healthy path for your children to walk by creating containment, safety, and nurturance. This means your relationship with yourself, others, and your environment changes, and what didn't seem to matter to you before is now important. This is a natural development but it can be confusing, maddening, and difficult.
Boundaries are the parameters you set for yourself, others, and your environment. A common misconception is that boundaries are finite and immovable. In fact, boundaries are on a continuum. They can range from rigid to permeable, non-negotiable to preferred. You get to decide where you are on that continuum for each boundary.
Boundaries are based on your values and priorities, as well as influence, trust, and respect by developing safety within each relationship. Having boundaries creates a safe container for you to exist peacefully.
Boundaries come in many forms. There are five types of boundaries that are important to motherhood:
1. Physical Boundaries
This is literally the physical proximity of yourself to a person or object. If you feel comfortable and safe, you physically move closer or be in the environment as much as is fruitful. If you feel uncomfortable, you physically move yourself away or out. Listening to your body and its cues (of when something is okay or not okay) will give you an indication of where you need to set boundaries physically. You are in charge of your body and can assert yourself when you are uncomfortable.
2. Emotional Boundaries
Sometimes a field of protection is needed for emotions to feel free to be expressed, peaceful, and content. It is possible to feel at ease even amongst chaos by protecting and nurturing your emotions. You may need to limit certain types of conversations or discern what you express to certain people. One of the things that was a crucial turning point in my ability to set boundaries was to discern with whom and where I would share my feelings. I realized that not everyone can share emotional space when I need it so I decided to share only with a few people that I knew could be there in the way I needed. In doing this, some of my relationships have become more surface and that is okay because I set the boundary of protecting my emotions. The relationships whereby I share more freely have deepened significantly.
3. Energetic Boundaries
We all have people and environments where you just energetically feel better or worse. If you are a particularly sensitive person, you may need to really focus on this one and become aware when your energy is being zapped. Sometimes the emotional energy of being a parent is more taxing than physically running after your kiddos all day. You need to protect your energy expenditure by creating self-nourishment rituals that feel good for you. This means taking frequent breaks, eating well, resting, and hydrating properly, letting go of negative energy you have absorbed, and allowing for stillness so you can recharge.
4. Relationship Boundaries
Relationship boundaries are tested significantly in motherhood. You build boundaries with your children, partner, parents, in-laws, and friends. You are now responsible for another person (or people) and can decide what is in your family's environment. This means relationships change. You may find that relationships that were once distanced become closer, and ones that felt close now become distant. Being open to these adjustments and making empowered choices throughout motherhood means being aware of these relationships and how they are affecting you and your family.
5. Time Boundaries
Time becomes a hot commodity once you enter motherhood. Suddenly, things seem to be on a clock and there are never enough hours in the day. Setting boundaries on how much time you spend doing/not doing something is helpful, so you can feel balanced. Taking time to understand what is truly important to you now can help you develop time boundaries. You may find you need to delegate or lower high expectations for the less fundamental things in your life. Remembering that you and your needs are unique and your time boundaries will look different can help if you find yourself comparing to others.
Boundaries are crucial for your wellbeing and they are fundamental in healthy relationships. Without them, the line in which you end and another person begins may be blurry and confusing. You may notice that you feel others' feelings strongly or internalize others' actions. Conversely, you may exert rigid boundaries and feel disconnected and alone. Having a healthy relationship with boundaries can make life easier and free you to focus on your values and priorities. Additionally, knowing and asserting your boundaries can create feelings of peace and contentment, even if there is chaos around you. In terms of relationships, boundaries are the way in which we communicate how we want to be treated. Boundaries are not just reserved for adult relationships, they are needed in the relationship with your children and, most importantly, yourself.
You are worthy and deserve boundaries in your life, mama. They will help shape and create ease in your relationships. They will give some edges to work with and help you feel safe.
A one-to-one coaching experience can help you define, create, implement, and maintain the boundaries you crave.
Thank you for reading and please feel free to comment on your experiences.