Of all the challenges we’ve experienced after becoming new mom’s, one that has been the most complicated is dealing with extended family. Of course, our families mean the best, but that doesn’t always mean its what’s best. So, we set boundaries – we knew it would be difficult to convey, but we also knew that it could be done and be handled gracefully.
Boundaries aren’t made as selfish acts, or controlling. Boundaries are created to allow others to understand what you will or will not tolerate in your life, of course we can’t control what others do or how others act, but we can control what we allow in our lives.
Some of our boundaries included;
- Respecting our birth and bringing baby home wishes.
- Respecting our family’s privacy, not sharing photos or personal information without our knowledge and blessing.
- Respecting our child’s diagnosis and not playing doctor.
- Respecting our decisions and choices we make for our child and our family.
The overall goal is to convey our desires to keep our environment as peaceful and healthy. If we are upset, McKenzie will feel the negative energy. If we are fighting with someone, McKenzie is losing valuable time. If we are allowing disrespect or dishonesty in our lives, we are teaching McKenzie that its okay to behave in such a way.
Unfortunately, once a boundary is broken the only thing we can do is decide how we can move forward and ensure the peace. So, for us, we decide to put a distance between us and those who break boundaries, the distance doesn’t necessarily have to be long-term but until the chaos stops or until there is a set plan on ensuring it doesn’t occur again.
Boundaries are important when you have children, but when you have a child with special needs, boundaries provide a foundation for stability and calmness.