I know I’ve told you that being a parent is a lifetime commitment. But, knowing your limits is also essential to parenting. Realizing my limits has helped me become a better parent. When our structures and routines in life are changed from our normal schedule, we can feel very out of sorts. In previous blogs, I have mentioned my daughter’s hospital stay. If you have ever had a child who had a significant health condition, an accident, or an unexpected change in life circumstances, you know that these times can really rock your world.
During her hospital stay, our lives were turned upside down. My daughter was fearful of the testing process and worried about the findings. She was missing her space, her privacy, and her dog, Luci. Luci brings her comfort and security. Luci is her fur baby. She had taken time off from work, which made her feel as if she was losing her purpose. She was missing her co-workers, which made her feel a loss of joy and connection.
My husband and I took off work and rotated our days at the hospital. Our time together had changed too. Our morning coffee time had been eliminated. Meals together were no more. Our sleep schedules and daily habits had been completely modified. We were missing us!
It was a hard week for everyone. Knowing your limits is not a sign of weakness. It is actually a sign of strength. A strong person is in tune with their mind and body and knows their limitations. Knowing when to stop before hitting your breaking point is crucial. Everyone has their own boundaries and limits. Everyone has their own breaking point. We are all unique and handle life differently. It takes a confident person to admit they have reached a point that makes them feel uncomfortable.
This was hard for me to learn. It takes time and practice to know when something is too much for you. I now know that I can tell people what I can and cannot do without worrying about what they think. While we were going through this tough spot, my husband and I communicated with each other about how we were feeling and what we could handle. He was feeling far more confident with the duties than I was. In this situation, his tolerance was higher. So I leaned on him. I think that because I am the mom I feel like I should be the caretaker ALL the time. This is not true. I am not the only caretaker in my daughter’s life. Many people want to help, including her father. Men are nurturing too. Sharing the duties helped all of us cope. We took care of one another's needs while also tending to our daughter.
What I have learned: It is STRONG to say, “I have reached my limit.” This requires you to know yourself. Practice establishing and maintaining your boundaries. It is okay to stop before you hit your breaking point.