Some thoughts on the wobbly practice of setting boundaries. Give a listen and share your thoughts below!
Some thoughts on the wobbly practice of setting boundaries. Give a listen and share your thoughts below!
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Hi Andrea, Thanks for sharing. I too struggle with setting boundaries with my own kids and find myself getting frustrated and annoyed when they cross them, especially with my 4 year old. As much as I know I should be calm and even when setting a boundary it doesn’t always happen. And I know that being consistent is so important, but so hard when my 4 year old asks for the 20th time can he have that new Lego set and my answer is still the same, “No”. I try to remember that it can take many tries and practices (100 or more) to learn something, so I keep trying and practicing with every opportunity!
I have noticed this too and appreciate you bringing attention to it. I am Monster Mama most often when I am tired, sick, or I’m not getting something I need in my life in general and my child pushes that specific & messy button. Not having boundaries is almost always a messy place for me. Most recently I have noticed that I don’t have any patience left for repeating myself with my son but that this is bigger than repeating myself with him. It’s about a lifetime of feeling like my words & voice are not respected or valued – like I am not respected or valued. Because I have had to deal with many, many adults not listening to me over the past few months, this is a super huge topic for me at this time. The intensity of this topic comes and goes. I can see that I need to set some boundaries around voice & value in places that have nothing to do with my 13 year old.
Thank you for this. Disproportionate is a good word for this topic. I struggle with being triggered by my boundaries being pushed and crossed in my family. It didn’t occur to me that it may be my lack of comfort/knowledge/familiarity with setting my own boundaries that creates some of the murkiness there. Sometimes my reaction is so big, it is scary to me, and surely to my children. This is a good reminder to practice setting clearer boundaries, to communicate them with kindness and clarity, and to have compassion that it is a practice like any other, which takes time and awareness. Love hearing your voice. 🙂
I am happy to abe able to hear (and “hear”) your voice again. We/I missed you!
Oh boundaries! Such a big issue. So hard to keep the balance.
As I grow older, I understand that my problem with boundaries is in places/people/cases where I want to be loved. I want to be loved and thought of as a kind person, so I choose to shut up, to not express who I am and what I need, hoping that people will love me.
This might happen with my family, but usually it happens with co-workers or friends. Thankfully, it does not happen with my husband. With him I feel completely free and safe to be who I am.
I understand what you’re saying about becoming REALLY angry with your kids. I know the thoughts I have about other people,in cases such as the ones you describe. They are scary thoughts, which make me feel like “this is not me! This can not be me!” or “Am I really this monster?”.
It can be tricky, is what I am saying 🙂
Oh my!!! Great to hear your voice and thank you for providing framework to talk about this topic. My first thought was how I feed words to the 11 yo when he’s dealing with the 8 yo, “I need a little space” or “I’m really into this book right now” etc. it’s so much easier to see in them when their lines are being encroached upon. I, however like to toss and turn I that hot bed of emotion (kidding)!
The other comments are so ringing true — it’s practice and a balance and triggers come and go. I’m always thinking of how I was parented and how my parents were parented. Since I did not share the same language a lot of my childhood was based on (mis)interpretation of non verbal cues. Kids feel it tho…they know.
The first thing that came to mind was self evaluation. We are so busy trying to be the best mum, work colleague, etc, we forget to pause and self reflect. When I find myself getting angry with my 6 year old son if I can pause before the emotion takes over and the thinking part of my brain shuts down, I take a deep breath and ask in my mind why am I feeling like this, the answer comes; I am tied, or I did nothing for myself today, or it was a trigger to a past emotion not healed, etc. Then the emotion passes and my son notices and his behaviour changes, usually he hugs me and says he loves me – they pick up feelings so well.
Awesome! I love your new idea of voice memos.This really hit home with me. I am horrible in setting boundaries and really need to start. I am sure it would help cure some parts of my life that turn me into someone that I don’t even recognize or want to be when people have crossed those boundaries.
Hello Andrea. 🙂 Your voice is very soothing, calming to the soul. This is a great medium to share and I thank you. As for boundaries – wow – I need to think on, process this topic much more. My life is full of boundaries – with my family, my children, my work life, – I tend to just let it all overwhelm me and then I fold. I really need to set better ones for myself.
Yes, setting boundaries….a huge issue…but trust me, as you age and your little ones move onto college, YOU get better at setting boundaries. That people pleaser in us all grows up to finally realize WE are important and we CAN pick and choose, set our boundaries.
What I really want to comment on, though, is your “having trouble with writing lately.” I, and so many others of my writing/journaling friends, have expressed this same problem/ dilemma. I am wondering if there is just too much reading of blogs and news feeds. I often think, “Oh, I’ve already read someone with that thought, issue, creative idea. Mine isn’t so new.” And I don’t write my version. Maybe you have moved to sound bites and sound memos because we are on the tip of now needing some human voice connections because we are tiring of reading on a screen? Just a thought worth exploring. Maybe there is just too much out there on the web that we are reading, and we writers are on overload?
oh this. I am learning and roaring. Practicing the messy. And it feels like freedom. I felt validated when I took an online course with Pixie Campbell about Boundaries. You see, I have a very difficult, broken relationship with my brother who continues to make poor choices in his life, and no longer shows up to be in relationship with me. After two years of reaching out, being rejected, losing hope…I have drawn my boundary. My line in the sand. Oh man, does this feel so much better. Like a huge bowel movement. The shit is gone. I no longer carry the toxic desire inside my gut to mend the relationship. It has become his choice. OUCH. Of course it hurt like hell. But not anymore. I am proud to roar, to claim my space and call it all my own.
Yes, I can empathize SO MUCH. I have struggled for years to figure out boundaries with my mom. She is still sending me clothing through the mail (I am 40 years old), and she tells me to send it back if it doesn’t fit or I don’t like it. This is just one example. Boundaries or lack thereof have affected everything in my life: parenting, work, relationships. Please any more thoughts you can offer on this topic would be AWESOME. Thank you so much for letting me know I am not alone in this.
I love that your blog is one of the few places that I find an honest voice (I mean that figuratively, although now it is actually your voice, so….) about what it is like to be a mom. I feel horrible when I get disproportionately angry with my kids (one year and three years old). It makes me feel like a different person and starts a build up of yucky film all over my day. By the end of the day on a bad day I just see all of the film–all of the things I have done wrong, the ways I have been less than loving or impatient, all of the messes I have made by being impatient and it makes me cry and feel terrible. If I could just LET IT GO, my kids wouldn’t mind. They love me. They hug me. They don’t want me to feel bad. And it just makes it worse. How can I act that way towards these little innocent people you love so much? How can I model that type of behavior and lack of control for them when I am teaching them how to do it better? Why do I have such a short tether? It had never occured to me that it was really all that related to boundaries but your description and conclusion make sense. I also can think of several other factors, as some of your other blog readers point out. But it never makes me feel better. The list just gets bigger. I think self forgiveness for me is the key to reigning that all in and getting a fresh start. Because I rarely feel all that fresh or nurtured…. A bit of a long comment. Sorry about that. I always want to write about your posts but never do….
I have been a reader of yours for many years and dropped off for a bit, came back today and discovered your audio clips. I just wanted to let you know that I LOVE them. I work from home so it’s nice to have inspirational voices fill the house while I’m working. The content was right on for me and I will definitely listen to them again on days that I especially need them. I’d love it if they were longer with more stories or conversations with your friends on these topics. Thank you for creating and sharing these.
Very interesting info !Perfect just what I was looking for!