Self Care = Honoring Boundaries and Wishes!

Self Care = Honoring Boundaries & Wishes

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Self Care is a word that’s being thrown around a lot, especially within mom-media. I think it’s great! You can’t take care of others if your own cup empty. If you can, it’s only because you’re doing it on the surface and eventually it will catch up to you and you’ll explode, or implode. You probably know exactly what I’m talking about, I know I have had exploded and imploded in my past!

Self Care = Honoring Boundaries and Wishes!

Self Care is more than pedicures!

With the December holidays around the corner, I want to mention how important I believe it is to practice one particularly challenging part of self care: honoring your boundaries and your wishes. This can be easier said than done, but I think it is so super important. 

If it makes you anxious or stressed to travel: don’t.
If it is your wish to have a quiet Christmas morning: have one.
If you do not like to share your space: don’t.
If you can only take certain family members in small doses: don’t overdo it.

It seems that some of us are such people pleasers that we sacrifice our own wishes and our own boundaries for the sake of others’ wishes and boundaries. Maybe that relative likes to visit but they are adamant about staying in your home, and it makes you cringe. Maybe you feel obligated to travel to multiple family factions on Thanksgiving but it is stressful. Maybe you enjoy seeing your extended family but you feel like it comes at the cost of sacrificing intimate immediate family time.

Let me just say something that might sound harsh:
The most important thing is to Honor Your Boundaries and Oblige Your Wishes. 

Struggling to figure out where your boundaries are and what your wishes are?
Look at which scenario fills your heart with joy.

Let JOY guide you.

That’s not to say you don’t visit your family that lives four hours away! They want to see you and you want to see them. But decide in advance what will fill your heart with joy. Maybe you want to spend ample time with them- that DOES brings you joy- but you want Christmas morning in your own house. Let’s be real here- anyone who has a problem with that -ANYONE- needs to get a grip and stop being selfish, and YOU need to stop placating with that type unreasonable demand. 

But anyway, back to the scenario of having time with your family but maintaining Christmas at home: this is not an impossible feat. Make plans for the weekend before or after and be all in. Or make plans for a hectic Christmas Eve in order to honor your wish for a peaceful Christmas morning at home. Offer what you can offer that will bring you joy, and be all in. That sure beats offering more than you want, and no one is really enjoying themselves. Four really great hours together will beat an overnight of stress and frustration any day.

You can love your family and Honor Your Boundaries, it is possible! It might take you being creative, or having a conversation about alternatives (a.k.a. compromises!), but we need to stop giving to the point of sacrificing ourselves! Assuming you are a typical mom, you already sacrifice generously. Likely, many (not all, but many) of the sacrifices bring you joy. The sacrificing that we need to give up are the ones that don’t really benefit anyone. It’s wrapped up in “shoulds” and expectations. It makes you feel yucky just thinking about it.

What’s I’m saying is, if a ritual brings you joy, it’s worth it. If it doesn’t, it’s not.

Personally, I’m fortunate where I have a good thing going. Most of my family lives very close by. Both sets of grandparents were happy to honor our wishes to have Christmas Eve and Christmas morning at our home, just the 5 of us. We have curated the holidays where we have lots of quality time with extended family and sufficient intimate time with only our children and each other. 

By the way, that doesn’t mean that that’s the “right” way- that’s just the way that brings us joy. You may prefer extended family all staying together in one vacation house 12 hours away and waking up all together! If it brings you joy, go for it! 

Don’t sacrifice your boundaries and your wishes. Let JOY guide you.