It can be tough to admit that you need firmer boundaries with your mom, especially if she's really important to you. But it's not only OK to create a few new rules for your relationship, it can actually be a good thing. And keeping that in mind might make things easier.
"Having boundaries is the key to self-care, self worth, and identity," Samantha Smalls, LCSW, a licensed clinical social worker who specializes in maternal mental health, tells Bustle. "Those who don't practice boundaries usually are empathetic and aren't able to exercise their right to autonomy." It might even be something you learned from your mom, so it's important to be patient with yourself, as you figure out how to be assertive, as well as how to navigate her reaction.
"[Saying 'no'] is your simple and powerful defense but it's hard to implement boundaries with your mom," Smalls says. "Setting boundaries may come with guilt and pushback. However, it's necessary in order to create a healthy relationship and to gain respect as an adult child. Sometimes moms only see you as a child or feel they have certain privileges because they are mom. Boundaries remind them that they need to respect you and can't take liberties in your life." Read on below for a few signs firmer boundaries may be necessary, according to experts, as well as how to set them.