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Motherhood Boundaries

A pregnant mother holding her daughter

Motherhood is often described as a beautiful and rewarding experience, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. One of the most significant challenges that mothers face is setting and maintaining boundaries. Boundaries are essential for protecting our physical, emotional, and mental well-being, but many mothers struggle to establish and enforce them. In this article, we will explore why mothers lack boundaries and how to overcome this challenge.

Why Mums Lack Boundaries

Mothers often prioritise their children's needs above their own, which can lead to neglecting their own self-care and boundaries. Society also reinforces the idea that a 'good mother' should always put her children's needs first, leaving little room for personal boundaries. Mothers may feel guilty or selfish for taking time for themselves or setting limits on their children's behaviour.

Furthermore, mothers may also struggle to establish boundaries due to the expectations placed on them by their partners, families, and friends. They may feel pressure to do everything perfectly, to be constantly available, and to prioritise their families above everything else.

Overcoming Struggles

  • Recognise - Recognise that it is okay to prioritise your own needs. Setting boundaries does not make you a bad mother; it makes you a healthy and well-adjusted one.

  • Identify Your Values - Knowing what is most important to you can help you set boundaries that align with your values and goals. Consider what you personally need to feel happy, fulfilled and balanced.

  • Practice Self-Care - Taking care of yourself is essential for maintaining boundaries. Make time for activities you enjoy, whether it's reading a book, taking a bath, or going for a walk.

  • Communicate Clearly - Be clear and direct when setting boundaries with your children, partner, and others. Use "I" statements and avoid blaming others.

  • Be Strong And Consistent - Follow through on your boundaries and do not back down when others push back. Be firm but kind in your communication. Consistency is key.

Struggling With Boundaries As A Mother?

If you are struggling with setting boundaries as a mother, seek support: Surround yourself with people who respect your boundaries and offer support and encouragement. Joining a support group or talking to a therapist can also be helpful. While it can be challenging, it is possible to establish boundaries that prioritise our needs and values, creating a healthy and balanced life as a mother.

A MUM'S STORY: Margie's Story

A little girl on the left side of the photo is happily facing her little brother in the middle while their mother kisses him on the cheek on the right.

"As a mother, I have seriously struggled with setting boundaries. I often found myself putting my children's needs above my own, neglecting my self-care and feeling guilty for taking time for myself. I also felt pressure to be the perfect mother, which made it challenging to establish beneficial boundaries for my kids and I.

One of my biggest struggles has been allowing myself time for self-care. Being a single mum, running my own business and having multiple clients across Australia means I constantly have a lot of different balls in the air, making self-care especially important. My children and my clients depend on me, so I need to be available and capable. I need to be organised and present. I need to listen intently and cater to the needs of those around me. I didn’t understand how I could find time for myself when there is so much I must do, and so many others to care for?

Cooking, cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, taking my daughter to gymnastics, attending dance eisteddfods, taking my smallest to soccer, teaching my oldest to drive... the list goes on. One day I literally crashed and burned... it was a full meltdown, tears and snot sobbing on my bedroom floor because of my never-ending to-do list. I was at the bottom of the list and at the end of the night there was certainly no energy left in me to do anything for myself. I realised that I could no longer function like this and I had to begin setting boundaries as a mother."

“When we try to juggle everything, we can’t enjoy anything” ~ Courtney Carver

If you need help with setting boundaries as a mother, you can book a Kinesiology and Coaching session with Katherine Anderson.


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