As you may have read in some of my older posts, I struggled a lot with jealousy. I also talked a lot about how I dealt with my jealousy. I’d like to say that I am over the whole jealousy aspect, but that wouldn’t be the truth. However, it is not the same as it used to be. I have grown and matured as a person a lot, as I learned that I needed to start letting things go to move forward.
I’m not comparing myself anymore.
I don’t look at her and wish I was similar anymore. I don’t wallow in the fact that she is Little Boy’s mom and I’m not. I’m over all that now. I dropped the anger towards her (mostly).
I’m happy with where I am. I’m getting an education, my summer job (that hopefully transitions into a permanent position) pays amazing with benefits. My boyfriend and I are saving up to move out when I’m done college. I see a bright future for us.
I still struggle with balancing our life and the life that Little Boy has when he’s with her. Sometimes I feel like we have to walk on eggshells and hold our breath just so we don’t set her off. It was getting to the point where I wanted to be careful with what I was posting on my very privet social media with fear she will somehow see it.
So, my best friend and distant cousin (I brought her up briefly here) explained a little something to me that I will call The House Model.
The House Model.
You’re looking at a home from the road. What do you see? You see a curb, a small patch of grass, the side walk, the front lawn, driveway, and the house.
The Side Walk.
The side walk is the Bio Mom. The side walk is owned by the city. You do not own the side walk. You do not need to maintain the side walk, except when you have to (like shoveling snow).
I’m going to repeat that again. You only need to do minimal maintenance to the side walk, when needed. Otherwise, you do not need to worry about the side walk. It is there. It is in front of your home. It is always right there, but you do not need to give it much attention.
The minimal attention you give your side walk, like to Bio Mom, is only during the exchanges. What did the kids have for dinner tonight? How did they do on their test? What did the doctor say? Nothing else.
The lawn are your Step Children when they are not with you. Your lawn is part of your property (okay, but children aren’t property… it’s just a metaphor). Your lawn needs regular maintenance to look it’s best. It’s in front of your home, but not in it.
You take care of your lawn. You mow it, water it, fertilize it. You look after it more than the odd time. However, the lawn is not in the home. We take care of it more than the side walk, but less than the interior of our home. For the most of us, we do not have our Step Children all the time (as much as we would love to), so it does not need to take up all of our energy.
You give you Step Children the attention and love that they need when they are in your care. But, unless they are with you, you cannot stress over what is going on when they are not. You cannot control what is happening when they are not with you. You communicate with their biological parent when they are not in your care, but only when it is necessary.
You don’t mow your lawn every day.
The house is your home. In your home is you, your significant other, your (step) children, your pets, etc. You own your home and all it’s contents. You are always preforming some sort of task to keep up with your home. You dust, clean, vacuum, renovate, pay bills. Your time, energy and focus goes into keeping a healthy home.
You give your significant other all your attention when you are together. You constantly maintain that relationship, clean it up, and fix what needs to be fixed. You give the children in home all your attention when they are there. You feed them, fix relationships, and ensure they are clean and cared for.
Focus on your home.
Your home needs to be healthy. Take care of what is in your home, as that is what needs the most attention.
Mow the lawn regularly, but do not do it every day.
Shovel the side walk, but do not do repairs on it. That is not your job.