Boundaries define one’s personal space both physically and mentally. Without them, parents can over or undereat, skip showers constantly and disregard some basic needs as human beings. With a lack of boundaries, I personally can attest to feeling drained and my mood and mental state suffer. This isn’t good for anybody.
It is hard to set boundaries, especially with people we care about but we can’t ‘pour from an empty cup,’ right? In fact, our relationship with people around us depends on us setting boundaries; defining what is ok and what is not. This keeps us healthy in mind and body and allows us to support those that depend upon us.
The kids have so many needs and we do need to put them first, right? Well, usually. Not to the point of ignoring your basic needs as a human. You need to eat and drink water. Its also vital that you sleep, nevermind have a few minutes a day to gather your thoughts.
4 SIMPLE BOUNDARIES EVERY PARENT NEEDS TO SET
The joke about a parent’s food being completely cold by the time he or she sits down to eat is all too true around our home. Cold food isn’t going to ruin you.. although it’s annoying. However, many parents don’t eat enough or eat poorly because they are too busy tending to the limitless needs of their children. You need to eat. You only get one body so fuel it well. Even if you have start dinner prep earlier or train the kids to get their own water refills, you need to eat for your health. Somedays, it may be best to eat at a different time, I do that often. This works for us sometimes but ultimately, I want my children to see me place importance on sitting down at a meal time and eating a balanced meal together. If we don’t set the boundary, how can we hope they’ll do it?
Did you know that dehydration can lead to irritability? Did you know it can lead to food cravings, especially sweets? Most people think of dehydration symptoms like headaches and yellow urine but it can really take its toll on our minds and bodies. Add fruit to your water, buy a new bottle that makes you want to drink. Do what you need to to make sure you are getting enough water. When I need to reset myself, because this is one of my biggest issues, is to splurge and buy a gallon of water to challenge myself to drink in one day. Evidently, Tom Brady can drink 2 gallons so lord knows I should be able to drink 1, right? I also sear by finding a tumbler you love. It doesn’t need to be expensive, just find a good one, fill it up and carry it with you. Oh, on that note, one more thing. Small children WILL steal your cool cup so buy 2.
Check out the Atlin Tumbler [30 oz. Double Wall Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulation] Travel Mug [Crystal Clear Lid] Water Coffee Cup [Straw Included]For Home, Office, School – Works Great for Ice Drink, Hot Beverage
This is almost comical to write as I am going on 13.5 months of waking up at 4:30 am with tiny people. But sleep is important. It may require a nap when you can orchestrate one. Family nap anyone? Now, let’s be real here. With young kids, we aren’t talking about needing 10 hours of sleep at night. However, if you have had some sleepless nights on end, it will be very hard for you to function and take care of yourself or your littles. If you have a support network, get a 90-minute nap in and trade off with a friend. Take your kids to the park for a post-dinner hour of running and then get them to bed early. It may not be easy or convenient but you can only be a good parent if you get, at least SOME, sleep. I’ve learned to take it when I can get it to mentally build up some reserves. It doesn’t actually work that way, I realize, but I deal with 3 sleepless nights better after a week of decent sleep. During the stage of tiny little ones, I don’t stay up late often unless its worth it. Let’s face it, we never know when they will boycott their beds and climb all over us at 2 am.
This is, by far, the least prioritized boundary set by many parents. We need time to reflect on our day, reflect on our goals, both personal goals and those for our family. So many friends of mine tell me they feel like they are drowning and can’t even think further than the next meal nevermind set fitness, career or nutritional goals. I certainly have been there many times. I have recently started reading for pleasure again and make time for it when I can. It relaxes me and distracts me from all the things that overwhelm me on a daily basis. I also take a bath once every other week or so and just sit. Sometimes it is at 9 pm and sometimes it takes me strategically aligning all the naps and snacks just so for me to squeeze in 30 minutes to sit and do absolutely nothing. Yoga is another one. I always leave the amt feeling recharged when I make time for it. For my incredible sister, fitness is her thing that fills her up and helps her feel balanced and ready to conquer the world. (check her out for motivation here).
I always have Dr. Teals Epsom Salt Soaking Solution Bundle on hand!
Our kids look up to us for guidance on how we should act. If nothing else, remember that they are watching. Take care of yourself, even during this selfless & exhausting phases of life, to show them how you hope they will be. It won’t be every day that we are rested, well fed, hydrated and given a few minutes to ourselves but we need to prioritize our health with clear boundaries. Our family and our well-being depend on it.