Are you giving til you fear you might give out…..Have the holidays sapped your strength?
To give your children a firm ‘No’ – assertive and without agression or threat…. You need to be able to say ‘yes’ to yourself ‘yes, I am worthy of working within limits’, ‘yes I am loved even when I keep boundaries’. If you are clear about what you want to offer your children (not what you desire to DO but who you want to BE to your children) then some things take priority and others less so – and that’s where the ‘no’ comes in. So if you value time to sit and chat, then you might have to say ‘no’ to keeping a perfect kitchen. If it is important to you to commit to conversation, you might need to say ‘no’ to over scheduling.
Devoted mum’s especially need to consider their level of ‘trying to be a good mum’ – because that often means trying to do it ALL. The answer is not always to put the maximum energy in every direction – it is to consider specific needs including your own. There simply isn’t the time and resources to give ALL that you have and even if you could it wouldn’t be good for your children to see you constantly stretch beyond yourself (and possibly, like elastic, snapping back now and again!). If success in your eyes is measured in how much you do for others to be useful – it is a flawed concept.
Life is not about ‘doing’ it is about ‘being’ and that simply being a parent is fundamentally important. You gave life to your child and you don't have to support every single minute of it too. They have a life to live that is theirs – and need opportunities to have moments where you are less available and they have to help themselves.
They also need to learn from what you do, not just what you say. So they need to see that it is ok to give a little less to the world sometimes and a little more to self. We are not talking self-indulgence here, but self acceptance…knowing when a little rest and relax might re-charge you for the day, and honoring it. Expressing the ways in which we support ourselves with breaks, with treats, with self care and self talk is a gift to our children that they can take with them into a life that includes healthy boudaries.
So have a think, quite deliberately, about what you want for your home and your children…..
Busyness versus time
Doing everything right versus good enough
Their getting accomplished in life or accomplishing a sense of balance
Focusing on rules or on relationship development
Keeping everything afloat so there is no fear, or swimming in some anxiety and developing some trust….