While writing this post I could hear the sounds of birds chirping outside my window as the cycling laundry nearly lulled me to sleep. I can’t remember the last time my home was this quite or I was feeling so calm. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I had a couple of days at home by myself.
What made this moment even sweeter was knowing if I’d had this time to myself several weeks earlier, I would have spent the entire time rushing around my house in a frenzy trying to clean and organize.
Instead, my mind is at peace and I’m getting to spend time doing life-giving activities that feed my soul.
Two weeks ago, I shared about hitting a breaking point and asking a dear friend for help (click here to read the post). She dropped everything to come to my home to help me simplify, get organized, and set clear and healthy boundaries for my family.
She also took the time to help me think through the best way to communicate the new boundaries to my 7-year-old daughter, Ellie, in order to set the tone moving forward. She showed me what it looks like to be loving, clear, firm, and consistent. In my eyes, she’s a miracle worker.
Today I want to share what’s really working for us to help create less stress and give me more time and freedom back. Not surprisingly, consistency has been the key to making all her recommendations work.
Consistency has never been my cup of tea. I’m more interested in variety, however, the proof is in the pudding and consistency seems to be the key ingredient in becoming successful at anything. I think what’s keeping me consistent is there are only four boundaries, so Ellie and I don’t feel overwhelmed.
Here’s what’s been working for us:
- Whatever you get out you put away as soon as you’re finished playing
- Help me keep the car cleaned by unloading groceries and taking whatever was brought into the car back into the house and put away as soon as we get home
- No food in bedrooms, no snacks in bed (She gets the nighttime munchies from her dad ☺)
- Designated art space at the table in the new art room. Paint is OK inside, but making slime is now an outdoor activity (Everyone has their breaking point and the slime finally pushed me over the edge.)
One of Ellie’s favorite things we do now before bed is a dance party pickup. We turn on two to three songs, which I let her pick (typically Taylor Swift, of course!), and go room to room to pick up together.
I’ve honestly been taken aback by her response to this whole new movement in our family. I expected my life to be hell for the next three weeks with her pushing back.
Though there has been some resistance, which is to be expected, she’s adjusting so well and seems to be thriving in our new way of doing things. I’m feeling so proud as I watch her make more independent choices and grow in her self-confidence. She really understood my vision for creating these family boundaries and she saw my heart.
The one thing we both want is more quality time together. She’s connected the dots to see that setting these boundaries and following through with them helps us achieve that goal.
I’m so grateful for the help and support my friend gave me. Raising a child isn’t easy and Lord knows it’s so important. I say this all the time, but each one of us is in a continual state of growth and as we learn we make adjustments and improvements along the way. It’s a life-long process and my favorite part of being human.
I share all of this today with a heart of curiosity, not of judgement. We’re all doing the best we can and we’re all figuring out what works best for our own family. It’s all going to look different because we are all unique and different.
With that being said, I would really love to hear from you: What are some boundaries you’ve set up for yourself or your family that are working well for you right now?
I love hearing from you because I learn so much from your sharing! Thank you for taking time out of your day to be with me. I’m so grateful! Love and blessing my friend.
Nice progress Bailey. ?
I am so proud to have you and Ellie in our family,
I am also trying to declutter my life and my daughter in law, Catherine, has encouraged me in this direction. Love you and Ellie.
Hi Bailey. A couple of things Val and I did over the years included boundaries around family time. We always had dinner as a family and did not let the kids eat in front of the TV. There is a great book by Devi Titus around the importance of the dinner table.
A fun tradition over the years was a hug before the kids left for school that had to last 10 seconds. I would count to 10 and stretch it out (sometimes drive them crazy) but it was nice to spend a moment, say a blessing and start their day with confidence that they are loved. Was fun to do as a family too. Lastly, another tradition (which Chloé now does too) was to wake the kids up each morning with a song and a reminder that today will be a great day because they are in it. Kids need to know they bring value to each and every day and they have the power to bring blessing to each and every day. The kids helped develop an acronym for our name BUDD. B- be a blessing to others every day. I – understand and appreciate each other’s uniqueness. D – discover Gods gifts in your life daily. D – do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.
You are doing a great job Bailey. Stand strong. You’ve got this. ?. So proud of you. Prayers your way always.
Proud of you, Bay! I want to incorporate the taking stuff out of the car step!! Love you and El and this sweet pic??