As moms, as women, by nature (generally speaking) we are caregivers, people pleasers, and harmony seekers.

These are BEAUTIFUL gifts and a lovely thing to give as long as you are NOT paying the price by giving too much. ​​

Women tend to give, give, give until there’s nothing left. We set aside our feelings to make someone else happy, we do what other people want, or we bend over backwards to make someone comfortable.

Do you remember the story The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein? The tree loved the boy so much she gave him her apples, her branches, and her trunk. In the end she was nothing but a stump with nothing left to give.

If you are giving too much it can feel like…

  • ​people, your kids, are walking all over you
  • exhausted
  • dreading to do things
  • resentment
  • disrespect​​
  • overwhelmed
  • loss of self

​If this sounds familiar it’s time to start setting boundaries. 

Setting boundaries is a single act of self-love AND your a doing a great service to the people in your life.

The truth of the matter (an a-ha moment, at least for me) is that people can’t read your mind. They are not trying to disrespect you or overwhelm you, they just don’t know because you haven’t shared with them your boundaries.​​

Four-steps to creating powerful boundaries

Step 1

Love yourself and know that you deserve and are worthy of setting boundaries.

This is so important. When you don’t feel you are deserving or worthy of these boundaries you will fold and give into the other person if they resist or beg you.

Step 2

Identify what the issue or challenge is. How does this make you feel?

If you need to start off with purging about the issue, purge. Then come back and focus on the core issue and how it makes you feel.

Example: My husband has high expectations of how often he wants the house deep cleaned. I feel overwhelmed with those expectations.

Step 3

What are you willing to do or accept? Keep this short and specific.

Example: I am willing to deep clean the house on Monday’s and I will make sure my stuff is picked up before bed every night.

step 4

Share your boundaries in a loving and grounded manner.

Share your boundaries when both of you are in a neutral state.

If after sharing your boundaries the other person reacts in an unfavorable way STAY GROUNDED and reply with “I’m open to hearing your thoughts about this once you have had time to think it over and you can share with me in a calm manner.”

Example: I know you love having the house really clean. I’m feeling overwhelmed keeping the house to those standards. I’m willing to clean the house on Mondays and I will make sure my stuff is picked up before bed every night. If you would like the house cleaned more often than that then you’ll need to come up with a solution. If you would like help brainstorming I’d be happy to brainstorm with you.

Boundary worksheet

P.S. If setting boundaries is challenging for you, like they are for most women, you can do this. With practice it will come easier.

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Diedra Petrina

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