Creating Independent Time and Space at Home
by childless stepparent
It’s Saturday, and my husband’s daughter is with us. My husband is meeting a friend for lunch, and I’m in our bedroom, getting some much-needed down time after a very busy work week.
I asked my husband to let his daughter know that I’m writing and enjoying a quiet morning, but that if she needs anything, I’m here. My husband wants to encourage his daughter to be more independent (co-dependence is a direct consequence of narcissistic parenting). So this is a good opportunity for her.
Trouble is, she is reluctant to spend time with herself. My being in another room while her dad is gone for an hour will be challenging for her. I have this sinking feeling she will tell her mom that we forced her to spend the day alone (she’s done that before) and then my husband will have to deal with his former wife.
But no matter. These are not my relationships to manage.
My husband’s daughter is given no time alone when she’s with her mom. So she experiences it in a negative way. I believe it’s normal and healthy for a family to enjoy a relaxing weekend day, each doing their own thing. Especially when the children are older like my husband’s daughter (she’s almost 10).
Maybe the more she practices this with us, the more comfortable she will be. I can model this kind of independence for her; I enjoy my own company, and she can learn to do the same.
I will step back, breathe, and let go.
Manifesto #2 | I am a wife first and a stepparent second. I will enjoy being childfree. I will create time and space for myself.
Try this: Carve out space and time for yourself, even when your spouse and his children are home. You can be present and at the same create healthy boundaries.