Empowering Moms: A Guide to Setting Boundaries and Overcoming Obstacles

mom setting boundaries with her teenager

Navigating the demands of motherhood can be overwhelming, and many moms find themselves struggling to set personal boundaries effectively. Let’s talk about practical steps
to empower moms in establishing healthy boundaries. By becoming observers in their own
lives, understanding the emotions behind boundary-setting challenges, and seeking support,
moms can create a more balanced and fulfilling parenting experience.

Step One

Becoming an Observer in Your Life. Setting boundaries begins with self-awareness. Moms are often well aware they often experience a range of negative emotions– disappointment, annoyance, overwhelm, and resentment on the motherhood journey– but identifying where these feelings stem from is crucial. Becoming an observer in one’s life involves a reflective process.
Pay attention to what situations trigger these emotions. How do these triggering moments manifest physically in your body? When you can identify the physical response to triggers you can hone in on how to redirect and circumvent the moment so you are becoming triggered less often. Then you can figure out where boundaries need to be established to preserve mental and emotional well-being.
Many of my coaching clients report they feel sensation in their chest, up their back and neck, or tingling in their hands. The next time you know you’re getting irritated with your kids, check in, where do you feel that in your body?

Step Two

Where do boundaries need to be set? Setting boundaries begins by pinpointing the specific areas of life where they are needed most. It could be within relationships, work commitments, personal time, or parenting dynamics. Moms must assess which aspects of their lives are causing
emotional turmoil and where establishing clear boundaries could bring relief.

Step 3

Understanding Obstacles to Boundary Setting:
Once the areas for boundary setting are identified, it’s essential to examine the obstacles
preventing moms from taking this step. Emotions such as guilt, unworthiness, or fear may
have played a role in hindering boundary-setting in the past. Understanding these emotional
barriers are crucial for effective boundary implementation.
Addressing the emotional hurdles associated with setting boundaries is the next critical step.
Moms may feel guilty about prioritizing their needs or unworthy of asserting their limits. To
overcome these emotions, a mindful approach is required. Self-compassion and self-
reflection become powerful tools in navigating the emotional landscape associated with
boundary setting. Taking care of your physical and emotional well-being allows you to be emotionally attuned and available to your kids. Honestly, you can’t afford not to put in place a daily self-care routine. These are things you will not negotiate with yourself on. Maybe it’s a 10 -minute walk during your lunch break at work, maybe it’s getting up 15 minutes earlier in the morning to journal and meditate because you know this ritual helps you start the day well. Self-care routines don’t have to take a lot of time, they do have to be meaningful to you.


Setting boundaries is a journey, and sometimes self-accountability may not be enough.
Seeking external support, whether through friends, family, or professional guidance, can
provide the necessary accountability. Having someone to share experiences, challenges, and
successes with can make the process more manageable and sustainable.
Collaborating with someone, such as a coach or a supportive friend, can be instrumental in
maintaining accountability. External guidance offers fresh perspectives, practical strategies,
and encouragement. It provides moms with a structured approach to setting and
maintaining boundaries, ensuring consistency and growth.

Step 4

Define Your Boundaries Clearly: Clearly articulate what your boundaries are in specific
situations. Be direct and assertive about what you need. Express your boundaries in a calm and respectful manner. Effective communication is key to ensuring others understand your needs.

Recognize that setting boundaries is an act of self-love. Prioritize self-
care and understand that taking care of yourself allows you to be a better parent and
partner. Most moms need to learn to say No: Saying no is a powerful boundary-setting tool. It’s okay to decline additional responsibilities or commitments if they interfere with your well-being. Saying something like, “I’m glad you thought of me and my plate is full at the moment so I’m going to pass.”

Step Five

Reassess and Readjust as Needed. Take the time to evaluate and adjust your boundaries to be careful not to get back into overwhelm thus raising the potential for triggering moments. Life circumstances change, and so do our needs. Flexibility in boundary setting is key to long-term success.
Empowering moms to set boundaries involves a multifaceted approach that begins with self-awareness and sometimes extends to seeking external support. By becoming an observer of your life, identifying areas that require boundaries, understanding emotional obstacles, and proactively dealing with these emotions, moms can foster healthier relationships and reclaim control over their lives. The journey towards effective boundary setting is not only an act of self-preservation but also a vital step towards creating a more balanced and fulfilling life. So, moms, take the first step – become observers in your own lives, pinpoint where you need boundaries, and don’t hesitate to seek support on this empowering journey.