Boundaries are a crucial component in any healthy relationship. Defining to ourselves and others what we are willing and not willing to allow in our lives makes it easier, and healthier to navigate through relationships. When we stick to our boundaries, others respect us, and more importantly, we respect ourselves. When it comes to our children defining and sticking with boundaries can be a very difficult thing to do. Our children pull at our heartstrings, and as parents, mothers, in particular, boundaries are a major challenge to keep as they almost seem conflicting with the nature of being a mom. I have raised 3 sons, and I have had plenty of sleepless, tearful nights feeling torn between doing what I know is right and what my instinct as a mother wants to do. We want to protect our children from pain, so we give in, we coddle, we help soften the blow of life's natural consequences..but in reality, we are protecting ourselves from the pain of watching them struggle and we are doing them a big disservice. Struggle is the only way we grow in life. We don't grow when everything is comfortable. Comfort is a nice place to rest, but then we must move on into the world to forge a way, our own way. Our kids find their own way, not the way we would have for them. They have to make their own mistakes and feel the pain of those mistakes so they can learn to do it differently. Life is hands-on learning, and that involves lots of bumps and bruises. I have had my heartstrings pulled many times. I have wanted to give in to my children thinking it would lessen their pain but in reality, I felt like giving in because it would lessen my pain of seeing them suffer. I tell you, every time I didn't compromise and stood my ground with them, they survived and thrived because of it, and they always thanked me later for not giving in to them and for staying strong. And guess what? We all end up respecting each other more for it. I know it's a struggle for a lot of moms. I hear it in my coaching sessions with clients often. If you are having trouble setting boundaries and letting go, maybe even dealing with mom guilt, I would love to talk to you.
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