I’m Sorry I Have To Say No: Creating Personal Boundaries in Motherhood

Recently I have been abruptly reminded that I have not been fully released from the grips of postnatal depression.

It still has a hold on me, like a firm hand on my shoulder that grips a little tighter every now and then, as a subtle reminder that it’s still there, in the shadows, just watching.

I’m not naive to think that such an illness is here one minute and gone the next. I know it takes time. It takes an IMMENSE amount of time and support. SO much support.

I need to keep reminding myself, that it takes a lot of self-love. It takes time to really *feel* in to the deepest and darkest of thoughts and emotions. To allow myself to be vulnerable, to be me, as I am. So that I can uncover the courage that I know I have to step out of the darkness, the fog and the relentlessness. Oh god, it is relentless.

I have to remind myself to keep going. To keep showing up. To keep parenting, the only way I know how. And to allow those around me to *truly* see me at my most vulnerable. So that they can *see* me, and I can ask for what I need.

I have also learned that vulnerability is authentic. Being open to the wounds of life is not a weakness. Vulnerability is our greatest strength.

Building resilience and creating boundaries during motherhood and career/biz life seems to be a familiar theme that is cropping up. It’s sneaking through in my coaching clients, my circle of friends, in the media, everywhere really.

I’m talking about creating the boundaries and the strategies that allow us to settle into the comfort of saying No. Perhaps even when it goes against every fibre of our being. Saying No to the people and the things that we really want to say Yes too, but know we don’t have the mental space for. Can you relate to this?

I recently went to a workshop with two of the most incredibly influential women Kemi Nekvapil and Julie Parker. These women are 100% wholeheartedly unapologetic about the boundaries that they have built for themselves, personally and professionally. What stood out the most to me, was this… “Curate Your Community”. Just hearing these words was almost deafening to me (in a good way). I repeated it a few times, and just let it wash over me like a warm soothing shower.

You know what? We are the captain of this ship. We control who and what we allow into our space. By curating our community, we help to set the expectations of our own personal boundaries. And those people will respect you enough, to respect those boundaries. You will feel empowered, you won’t feel the need to apologise before saying No.

Did you read that last part? Notice how when we begin to say No, or “politely decline” we always begin with an apology? Why do you think that is? The fear of letting people down, fear of being percieved as incapable, it is endemic in female society, and more importantly, mothers!

I want to encourage women/Mothers to be unapologetic for preserving their self-care and to prioritise themselves without guilt. To sit comfortably with saying No, even if it offends!