Sometimes at the final stages of your pregnancy and immediately postpartum, the hardest part is managing the expectations of others when it comes to your needs. For many women, setting boundaries makes them feel like they’re being the bad guy, when in reality, it’s a healthy and important thing to do for their mental health and their life.
A mom who is pregnant for the second time went viral on Instagram for a video she posted about just that. Boundaries.
Rachel Renea posted on Instagram her “selfish” choices as a second-time mom. Some found her choices so “offensive” that she had to turn the comments off in the Instagram post.
But I think we all could learn a lot from Renea’s boundary setting.
In the post, she states, “I do not and will not share my baby if I don’t want to. I owe others nothing and neither does my child.”
When it comes to her other daughter, she said, “I don’t want to hand off my first child for a break. This is our life. Our journey. We do it together as a family.”
As far as family coming to visit, she stands up for her bonding time with her new baby. “I won’t feel guilty if family visits and they don’t get to hold her or feed her. This is our time. Not theirs.”
Finally, she says, “I won’t hesitate to take my baby back when she cries. Even if you think you can soothe her or have done this before.”
After people going off in the comments, Renea added an update:
“As a new mom remember this: boundaries aren’t a punishment to others. They should be respected no matter what relation they are to you. Speak up. It’s your life. Your baby.”
She makes the point that this is the most important time for you and the baby, and that new moms shouldn’t feel obligated to have to share it with others.
“Don’t let them guilt you into doing anything you’re uncomfortable with allowing,” she said.
To be fair, every mom is different. Some new moms want all the help they can get and need a break. Moms of multiple children may want her first child to get a break from the new baby and have some one-on-one attention from another family member. And that’s OK.
Renea is simply making the point that having boundaries should be the norm for new mothers—and women, really—and whatever boundaries they feel like setting for themselves, there’s no right or wrong choice for their own life and situation.