This past year has been filled with many unexpected events that have brought immense struggle in many aspects of our lives. It has also caused us to learn to adapt and become creative in the ways in which we conduct our business and personal lives. We have come accustom to working from our laptops, spending even more time (often too much time) with our families at home. We have gone out less and discovered new ways of making connections. 2020 has caused massive shifts in everyone’s lives that at some level has taken its toll on us. We have had to play more roles, wear more hats within our homes and many have felt the need to become even stronger pillars for our families. All of this change calls for new boundaries to be created and held in the new year. Boundaries are here to not only protect you but to reinforce and deepen your self-love.

Your well-being, your happiness and your self-satisfaction are the most important things. You have a right to feel safe within yourself. You have a right to sanity. You have a right to put yourself first. If that feels a bit “off” to you, it’s not your fault. Society runs off gender roles. While I’m not going to say they’re all bad and terrible and you shouldn’t gender yourself or your kids, I am going to say that there are some gender roles and expectations that you don’t need to follow.

Being a woman, you have been expected to take care of everyone and everything, even to the point where you shouldn’t consider yourself before others. This might have looked like staying inside and doing the dishes while your brothers were sent to play outside. It could be the expectation of keeping a clean home, raising the children and making fantastic dinners every day. When were you ever taught that the expectation should be to care for yourself first? Chances are you weren’t. Changes are you saw your mother or other women of influence in your life making sure everything was set for everyone else before she took time for herself. Even if you were never told that this was expected of you, it is a part of our society that we do embody as it becomes a part of our personal subject positions, in order words, how we see the world from our place in it.

Here are the 5 boundaries you need in 2021:

Spend time with you & make it a priority

First, set time aside for you. Your cup needs to be filled before it can fill others. This might look like getting yourself a gift, investing in yourself by taking an online course, reading a book, taking a warm bath or zoning out to Netflix. Whatever it is, set a time for you. If it means getting up 15 minutes early so you can take time to meditate before the house wakes up, do it! Make spending time with yourself a priority.

Decide what you can manage & don’t do more

Women have taken on massive roles in prepping and preparing for the many events and activities that our families take part in. Know what your limits are. Perhaps you are working from home, have kids to wake up, make breakfast for and get ready for school, get yourself showered and dressed, getting the kids to be quiet so you can join your meeting, making lunch for the family, back to work and then have to prepare dinner; you’re probably feeling like you are spreading yourself a little thin and that’s okay. As a mum, you have so many jobs to do. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking you need to do everything or else it will all fall apart. If you do everything, constantly, then you will be the one to fall apart. Take a good look at your responsibilities, make a list with 3 columns. In column A write what needs to get done right away, the really important stuff. In column B write out what can be delegated – you don’t have to do every single thing. In column C write what can be done later or tomorrow – it doesn’t have to be finished today. You’ll survive. If you are tired after work, order some dinner on Uber Eats so you have more time to focus on what you want to do, not what you think you need to do. Do the things that bring you joy. Do the things that you can manage.

Make a budget & stick to it

If there is one key thing that we learned over 2020, it was that our jobs and finances can be more unpredictable than we ever imagined. As a mum, you want to give your kids the world. The food, the outings, the mortgage, the bills, the technology, the clothes and everything else your family needs can all add up fast. Get real with yourself and set a budget for the year. Get clear about what you are going to spend on food, drinks, gifts, rent, bills, clothes, outings… you name it. Make sure you don’t allow yourself to spend more than what you can handle. Honouring your finances is an amazing way to honour yourself and create self-discipline. I’m not saying don’t ever spend on luxury or on loving your kids, but don’t put yourself in debt over it. There are many other ways to love yourself and your family. Set boundaries with your spending – this literally means, do not go over what you have agreed with yourself that you will spend. Set a budget and stick to it. Furthermore, set financial goals. Talk to your kids about finances, don’t keep it secret from them. Teach your kids about spending and saving. Your financial boundaries don’t need to be shameful. Boundaries are here to ensure your safety. That includes financial as well.

Know when to speak up & when to walk away

Being in such close quarters with the family this year has shown us that at times this can result in conflicting opinions that turn into fights. I know this reality first hand. The hardest part about this is when you know you are right and you know they are wrong. You need to ask yourself “does this really matter?”. In the grand scheme of things, is this argument going to be worth it? If someone isn’t going to respect your opinion or try and see things from your perspective, there is no point in sharing it. The next boundary is to know when to speak up and when to internally roll your eyes and walk away. Your peace is more important than arguing with someone who in the moment, is not going to attempt to see your side of things. Holding this boundary isn’t about appeasing them, it’s about having peace within yourself. It’s about choosing you. This also goes for work environments as well.

Communicate your expectations

You get to decide how you are treated in your home and in the office. You teach people how to treat you. In order to receive the love, respect and adoration that you do deserve, you must first know what your needs are. Maybe you need a little more help at home. Perhaps you would love for your partner to wake up early and wake you up with coffee. Maybe you need your mum to stop calling you three times a day. Whatever it is, figure out what makes you happy, what makes you upset, what are the things you can change, what are things you can’t. Once you know what you need, it can be expressed to others. This is about communicating your boundaries with the people in your life so they can know what is expected of them. Sometimes this can be a difficult conversation, but it doesn’t have to be a rude one. A simple, “hey (insert name here), I want you to know that I do love you and care for you, our relationship is important to me. This is why I would like to ask you to do (or not do) x, y, z. This is a boundary I am asking you to hold with me in order for me to feel loved, respected and protected.  I know you love me too and this is very important for me”. Chances are, they would appreciate you coming to them and look at them with adoration. You are loved, you deserve to feel it from others too.
Choose you in 2021. Remember to put yourself first. Your emotional, financial and personal needs are important because you are important. You are more than capable. Find what you need, ask yourself what makes you happy and do those things first. Knowing that your emotional well being is essential for you to show up as a mother, a partner, a wife and a leader. You deserve to love yourself.


Self Love Expert and Women’s Empowerment Coach at Life With Libbie. Her mission is to show women how they can fully love themselves, embody power and strength, and uplevel their lives through self-love magic. Going through almost a decade of eating disorders, major depressive disorder and generalised anxiety disorder, I found that traditional therapies weren’t working for me. My problem was that I had deep subconscious beliefs that I was unworthy and unlovable. Instead of healing, I was symptom treating.  I found freedom in loving and accepting myself. I now teach women how to heal trauma, reprogram their subconscious minds and transform their lives.

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