Why I Set Personal Boundaries

As the gatekeeper to what enters your life, how do you set boundaries?

I reflected on this after I read this Facebook post about the difference between boundaries and rules on the fantastic FASD advocacy page Our Sacred Breath.

As a busy working special needs parent, I’ve learned the importance of setting boundaries with family, friends and work.

My Online Therapy states that setting boundaries means creating limits with other people to help make your relationships healthier.

For me, setting boundaries is about valuing your wellbeing by not overextending the finite time and energy in your life.

A fairy tale-like entranceway at Guildwood Park, enjoyed on a recent family hike.

Viewing this as a parent, it is about maximizing what I have to give of myself to T by minimizing things that take away from my finite capacity.

I don’t say yes to everything asked by family, I avoid “toxic friendships” and I strive to maintain a work-life separation. These are some healthy boundaries I’ve set.

The aforementioned Facebook post also made me reflect about the boundaries I set with T.

I’ve written many times about how his behaviour can be challenging.

This post was a good reminder about the difference between boundaries and rules.

As stated on the above image, citing Dr Nicole Buerkens, boundaries are about what you will do, not what your child will do. A boundary is something that you have control over.

As noted on the image below, boundaries let kids know exactly what we will and won’t tolerate and how we will handle things.

This is solid advice that reinforces areas where we already do this and it reminds me of where the hubby and I can do better.

The hubby and I want to minimize our frustrating moments and maintain our capacity to do better for T. So it improves everyone’s wellbeing.

It’s easier in writing than in practice, of course, but it is important to keep trying!

A beautiful archway along a trail, and an entranceway in the distance, at Guildwood Park.

16 thoughts on “Why I Set Personal Boundaries

  1. Thanks for this post Ab. Very timely. Boundaries not only are important to our Children but also among Adults we have day to day relationships with from co-workers, friends to extended family. I believe if everyone was only mindful of boundaries, there would be more peace, love and joy. Happy Tuesday.

    1. Thank you! 😊 Boundaries are so so important to maintaining one’s balance and wellbeing. I know you can relate to this. 😊👍

    1. Thanks Gary! It’s a lesson I continue to learn for sure. But saying “No” is incredibly empowering for sure.

      And I see a lot of boundary setting that you do on behalf for Hawklad. So you are doing more than just fine! 👍👍👍

  2. It’s always good to set boundaries and manage expectations. This is something I need to do a better job with as I tend to always say “yes” to family. This is becoming especially problematic since we moved and are now closer to them all. It often means that our weekends are busy, we spread ourselves too thin, and we don’t have nearly as much down time to spend with each other. It’s kind of funny how I didn’t really realize what the difference was between boundaries and rules, but now that you mentioned it, it makes total sense.

    1. Thanks Linda! A lesson I continue to learn for sure.

      That’s nice that you are closer to your family again. But I can see how boundaries can be problematic when you are so close to each other. The word “No” is wonderfully empowering! 🙂

      Hope you enjoy some downtime this Halloween weekend!

      1. We had my family over for a Halloween party last night and are now hosting K’s family for a Halloween party this evening. I really do need to learn how to say “no”, ha.

        Hope you have a happy Halloween today! Thankfully the weather is looking pretty decent for trick-or-treating.

      2. While your weekend did sound packed and tiring, glad you got to spend time with family! Hope today is bit more restful!

      3. It was actually a lot of fun. It’s always a lot of work to have people over, but it’s nice to spend time with everyone. Yesterday we had gorgeous weather. It was perfect for trick-or-treating. Hope you and T had a good haul of goodies.

  3. I love all your pictures of boundaries! This is such an interesting topic and one that I need to think about and do better on. It seems like with my kids, it takes constant re-assessment. Like I pick up their clothes and put them in the laundry basket and clean their rooms when they are too young to do so but once they become old enough to handle that responsibly, do I draw that boundary? Is that a boundary?

    I heard a really interesting quote on boundaries recently, “Boundaries are the distance at which I can love both you and me simultaneously.” Prentice Hemphill

    Because it feels like parenting often makes me put myself second in order to get things done at times, this topic is a challenging one! Thank you for bringing light to it!

    1. Thanks Wynne!

      The Prentice Hemphill quote is a very nice one and is exactly how I view boundary setting – not just with kids but with other people in your life, like family and friends.

      The laundry scenario is totally a boundary for me, I think. And totally a relevant one!

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