As an on-the-go mom and a lover of projects, it is easy to neglect myself. I spend most of my day taking care of our four kids, Sonny, and our home. In the past, I would forget to give back to myself – to feed my own soul.
I had to examine times I felt exhaustion and resentment. What was the root cause of that? I needed to make choices between some of my competing passions. As the kids grow and change, my schedule needs to compensate. Some of my habits weren’t serving me or my family. In this post, I share the 3 most beneficial limits I’ve set for myself.
The 3 Most Beneficial Limits I’ve Set for Myself
As a more seasoned mother, woman, and wife, what I’ve realized is that I need some personal boundaries to take better care of myself. Self-prescribed limits keep me healthy and regulate my self care. If I can’t flourish as a person, I won’t be any good to my family either. It’s like what the flight attendants tell us, we need to put the mask on ourselves first before we help others.
1. I limit the number of nights I stay up late.
Even before kids, I was a night owl. After kids, late nights gave me a chance to finally get things done. Left unchecked, I found normalcy in a 2am bedtime. Despite the thrill of productivity, I knew it wasn’t good for me.
I came to realize I need to limit my late nights. Late nights are now a reward or an exception. Most nights I try to be in bed with my hubby by 11pm. I’ve learned to make it a habit. There’s connection in winding down together. It’s nice to end the day with a little late night TV and pillow talk.
2. I limit the number suppers we eat at restaurants.
As I’ve said before, for many years I didn’t cook… I reheated. As an adult, I’ve easily eaten at least half of my meals in restaurants. That’s not a badge of honor. I wish I would have learned how to cook a long, long, long time ago. The truth is I didn’t like the how I felt about myself as a cook. I felt inept and mystified.
Two years ago, I went to my first cooking class and I started teaching myself how to cook. Initially, my goal was to make just one meal at home each week. Today, we generally eat only one supper out each week. And, we’ve made going out to eat as a family something special we do after church on Sundays.
3. I limit the number of days I go without showering.
It’s crazy to think about not showering for more than three days. But if you’re a mom, I think you can relate. There’s really no such thing as a lazy morning around here. A planner needs signing, homework is missing, there’s no bread for toast, the favorite shirt is in the wash, the dog needs to go out… it seldom goes according to plan. With kids, mornings are nuts and showers get skipped.
Still, I have to be gentle, yet firm, with myself; I deserve to shower at least every three days. I won’t let myself slip into the ol’ marathon grunge fest of my early years as a mom. Showering is just like every other aspect of self-care. It’s easy to sacrifice, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important.
Limits are a form self respect. Setting limits for myself has been a way to gain control. I’ve learned that limits address imbalance. When I honor my limits, I am healthy. If I don’t honor them, I am not healthy.
Here’s a challenge to consider. What do you need to limit right now? What does a wise (not extreme) limit look like for you? Come up with a limit today that would benefit you. If you’re having trouble defining an personal area that needs a limit, reflect on your health, your energy, and your relationships.