Monday, October 7, 2013

As I sit here in my living room, glasses on, no makeup, and still wearing my sweats, I think about this article and what it has meant for me the past two weeks. My little boy got the worst cold in the history, congestion so bad that sleeping and eating were luxuries, and my number one person of support – dear hubby – left for Peru and won’t be back for another three days. Sigh. Energy and patience have been taxed, so I had to think long and hard about what my boundaries are, and how I was to apply them to make my life – and family life – easier. This is important because it is precisely when things get hard that we need to know what our boundaries are.

What are boundaries? Boundaries are the invisible, yet tangible, lines that we place around what we can and cannot do under present circumstances. See if you have an overachieving personality like me, we want to do it all! Even those things which clearly we cannot do, but try to anyway; the results are often disastrous with an overtired momma and a stretched home.

Finding for myself what my boundaries are has been immensely freeing! It has allowed me to focus on what I can do, dedicate my best to those things, and still allow time to do nothing and relax…gasp…Did I just say do nothing? Isn’t that against all implicit motherhood rules? Well for me anything that does not require a great amount of energy and mental ability is doing nothing and relaxing (hello TV shows Castle and Star Trek marathons). Now, let me be clear doing nothing does not equal being lazy; many of us come to believe that unless we’re busy all the time and allow ourselves some boundaries to relax we’re lazy. I have decided to simply blot that word out of my internal dictionary, because there is no way someone can be lazy when they’re not only keeping another human being alive but also shaping their talents and trying to mold their weaknesses into good productive human beings.

So I encourage you to get to know your boundaries not only in an overall scheme of things but day by day. For example, last week was so challenging that my boundary was placed around preparing simple meals (sorry chicken cordon bleu you will have to wait), and getting rid of work and social commitments that were not a priority – just as we know when to say no to our kids we need to learn to say no to those things that are not a priority. Don’t expect to be perfect at doing this all the time, but do expect a good effort and consistency. As I finish my thoughts, I come back to my reality in realizing that the week is still not over, my little boy is still sick and my hubby is still out of town; I smile to myself realizing that this very post was a reminder for myself, a boundary well kept, that of self-care.

By: Denhi Chaney (SuperMom of 1)
Marriage and Family Therapy Associate


  1. And if you believe in the Good Book, loving your neighbor (your kids and hubby included) can happen more effectively if you are giving as much love to yourself! Place your air mask on first, ladies!!