If you don’t already know, I love Periscope. Being on Periscope has allowed me to connect to people and build a community in a way I hadn’t before. It also has allowed me to get clear on new content that is needed right here on this blog. Last night I shared a scope on 10 easy tips for moms to recharge, reconnect and FLY (First Love Yourself). Tips 8 & 9 were all about setting boundaries for yourself; first with your extended family and friends, and then with your children.
Also related: The Power to FLY Begins With You – First Love Yourself
You can’t possibly find time for self-care, if you don’t learn how to set boundaries in every area of your life. When you sit down for dinner, do you prefer a full, fresh hot plate of food, or a cold plate with leftovers? When we don’t make the choice to take care of ourselves, we’re making the choice to serve our families the leftovers.
Also related: Do you serve from your cup or your overflow?
When I went through postpartum depression, I didn’t understand what it meant to make myself a priority. I didn’t understand that not allowing myself to recharge and regroup meant that I was taking all of my frustrations out on my family. Self-care is definitely not selfish, it is necessary and it is critical to our responsibilities as moms.
In the Periscope replay below, you can tune into the 10 tips I shared. But I wanted to zoom in on these tips on how to set boundaries for your kids TODAY, so that you can then make time and room for your own self-care.
Communicate with them on their level
My kids are 4, 6 & 8. I can’t explain things to my 8 year-old in the same way I do with my 4-year-old. And even with the 6-year-old, I have to tweak things for her comprehension level. I have to use shorter sentences, and more story telling with the younger ones. But my son can understand longer sentences and less stories. In order for children to understand, you have to speak to them in their language.
Consistency and Repetition is key
Don’t think that just because you say something once or sometimes even four times that it will stick. New habits take time to form. And with kids especially, it takes them longer to adjust to new schedules or new routines. Don’t get frustrated when it doesn’t go smooth sailing. Keep repeating it until they get it, and repeating means being consistent.
Teach them manners
No, it’s not okay for your kids to walk into your room or bathroom unannounced. It’s not okay that they interrupt you mid-sentence with their “emergency”. It’s never too early to start teaching them simple manners because it’s our responsibility to prepare them for adulthood and the real world. My kids know when the door is closed, they are supposed to knock first AND wait for permission to enter. They also know when grown-ups are talking, and they need to speak, they need to say “excuse me”. Nothing pains me more than to see a child being disrespectful, because those disrespectful children will grow up to be disrespectful adults.
No is a complete sentence
This is true even for our children. No doesn’t mean yes. No doesn’t mean, we’ll see. No doesn’t mean ask me again in five minutes. No doesn’t mean later. No means no. So when we use it, it’s our responsibility to stick with it so that they understand that we actually mean what we say. If your kids know that you’ll change your mind to a yes if they just keep asking, then they will do it. Stand firm in your decisions. But when the situation calls for it, you can explain to them your reasoning.
We all have responsibilities, but we have to make it a choice that we want to “feel good without feeling guilty”. Please understand that learning to love yourself more does not mean you love your kids any less. Watch the replay below to see why mom guilt is a myth and we all need to do like Elsa, and let it go (sorry, had to go there, but it’s true).
Let me know in the comments: What will you begin doing today to start putting your own self-care at the top of your list of priorities?