Setting Firm Boundaries

January 29, 2021

A few years ago we redid our backyard and put up a new fence line. We live in a woodsy area and I was disappointed that our fence would now be further out from our back door because I loved watching the deer get close. I went as far as to ask the project manager if he could build a “deer bridge” to allow them in!

Why do people use fences? Mainly to keep people and animals in and out. They are malleable. Personal boundaries work similarly to a fence; they set the limits on what we allow in and out. Having boundaries is a form of self-care and is essential for empowerment and keeping yourself happy and healthy. It’s important to have a firm understanding of what you want so you can set up appropriate boundaries. 

Many times along this journey someone may do and/or say something that triggered a feeling of anger, resentfulness and frustration. Your needs were not being met at that moment. Perhaps your decision was being judged (Why wouldn’t you “just do” IVF?), a piece of unwarranted advice was being offered (Just relax!) a crude comment was made (The clock is ticking!) or someone made an ignorant comment about your struggle (Maybe having kids isn’t right for you.

Dig deep and ask yourself these two questions:

  1. What need were you denied?
  2. What did you really want?

It’s imperative to set up personal boundaries. What will you tolerate and what is absolutely off limits? Using positive affirmations is helpful in setting up clear boundaries. Here are some prompts:

  • I have a right to ask for _______ because I need _______.
  • I will not allow others to ______ because I need _______.
  • I have to ask ______ because I need ______.

You must create boundaries so you can live a happier and healthier life. Here’s how:

*Be confident in saying NO and meaning it.  No, I cannot come with you to set up your registry. No, I cannot go to the happy hour. No, I cannot be around so and so. No, No, NO!

*Say no to baby showers. Politely say you cannot attend and send a gift. There is no reason to put yourself through that torture. 

*Say no to any other party/event where you may be triggered. This includes gender reveals, first birthday parties and perhaps even a gathering where there will be a lot of children. This is not selfish; this is you advocating for and taking care of yourself.

*Stay off or limit your social media use (because pregnancy announcements, gender reveals and birth announcements, oh my!)

*Have a scripted response in place when you do get put into an uncomfortable conversation when asked about your family-building. (It’s something we are considering. Thank you for your concern.)

*Don’t answer any questions you don’t want to answer. (I’m really not comfortable answering that, but thank you for your concern.)

*Ask questions during your medical consultations. If there is something you do not understand or with which you are uncomfortable, advocate for yourself.

Putting personal boundaries in place is necessary for you to lead a happier and healthier life mentally and emotionally which ultimately connects to the physical body. You know that you need all three to be strong in order to build your family.

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