An admission of jealousy

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I’ve heard about step parents being jealous of their spouse’s children, but I never thought it would happen to me.

I’m not talking about the so-called “expected” stuff, like when Mykl takes the girls on a Daddy/Daughter date. Those are awesome, and I frequently encourage him to make more time for those dates. While he’s connecting one-on-one, I usually take our other kids out to the park to play or something else fun so he can focus his time without feeling guilty that someone is left out.

Their regular bedtime routine excludes me and Levi, and that’s totally fine, too. Mykl brings the girls downstairs and spends time tucking them in and reading to them each night. I don’t mind that at all. Usually Levi is already in bed and after I say goodnight to the girls, I take advantage of the time he’s down there with them for a little bit of quiet “me” time, either reading a book or watching a show on TV.

No, I’m talking about the jealously that creeps up on you after a while, the kind that you don’t even realize you’re feeling until it’s already under your skin.

This week has been tough for me. Mykl & I have been getting on each other’s nerves daily, and we’ve really been struggling to get back in sync. I think I’ve finally pinpointed part of the reason why, and it’s something I’m totally ashamed to admit.

I’m jealous of the girls.

Life is busy for us right now. We have some big changes going on in our family. The girls are moving farther away from us with their mom, and Mykl is starting a new job. We’re wrapping up the summer at warp speed trying to prepare for these changes. The result is that we’re both busy and not making enough time for each other.

Here’s the thing about jealousy. I don’t think anyone TRIES to let that emotion sneak in. I don’t think anyone wants to feel that way, especially about people they love. I know I certainly don’t.

The best explanation I can put into words is that I feel left out. I know it’s temporary, and I know once all these changes are in place, we’ll figure out a new routine and settle into it and all will be well. Mykl and I are really good about communicating openly about our feelings, and responding to each other’s needs, so I’m sure this is just a natural part of the process.

It still sucks.

There are only so many hours in the day and so many days in the week. Giving the upcoming move, I’ve been encouraging Mykl to spend even more quality time with the girls than usual. That time has to come from somewhere. He still has client deadlines to meet and work to get done. We still have a household to run. It’s inevitable that something is going to take a hit, and lately, that’s been our time together.

As we get through this transition, I know some of that struggle will continue. You can’t always balance work and life and family and kids and significant others equally. There will always be give and take.

Right now our focus is on the girls, which is where it SHOULD be. I think we’re doing that right. We’re spending time with them individually and as a family. We’re making the most of the time we have left before they move.

Next we’ll be focusing on Mykl’s transition into his new job. We’ll be adjusting our routines and getting everything for that in place.

Throughout all of this, we’re continuing to work with Levi on some issues he’s been having at school. We’re also focusing on co-parenting with Jason (Levi’s dad) and continuing to be consistent between both households.

Somewhere in all of this, Mykl and I will find each other again and make our connection more solid. It’s weird to feel disconnected, but I know it won’t last forever.

I guess I just needed to put my feelings out there so I could examine them on paper and remind myself that jealousy is normal and temporary and I’m dealing with it in all the right ways. And maybe if anyone else has experienced this, they’ll know they’re not alone.

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Comments

  1. I wish I could say that I don’t know what that’s like. BF and I have finally gotten into a new routine with me going back to work, him working nights, and him only having his girls on his days off. What this means is that we can’t do anything just the two of us on his days off because it’s his only time with the girls.
    I love them dearly, I wouldn’t miss a moment with either of them, even when they are getting on my nerves. but in the end I miss being able to plan a date night out. I miss dinners out without little hands and making sure food isn’t too spicy or hot.
    Jealousy is natural. One thing to remember is to admit it is there, why it’s there and what needs to happen to get rid of it. Even if all it is is 10 minutes extra at night with him and reminding him and you that you are there for each other. And it’s not wrong to ask for some time for you. Yes your focus should be on the kids as everything changes, but you can’t focus on them if you haven’t taken care of you too. Family is EVERYONE.
    Thank you for blogging this. I hope it helps you to get it off your chest and to know you are still an amazing person who is just having a hiccup.

  2. I love reading your posts. It’s great that you can be so honest with your family, yourself, and your readers. You have an awesome thing going for you, Jen!
    christine k recently posted..Savoury Whole Crockpot Chicken

  3. Hang in there! It seems like you have a lot going on and sharing with other can sometimes be the best. Will be thinking about you!

  4. I think what you are feeling is a normal human reaction. ((HUGS))
    Mellisa recently posted..Back to School, Smartphones and the Lowest Priced Unlimited Plans at Walmart

  5. First, big cyber hug to you.
    Second, I recognize this feeling and am very familiar with it, but in a totally different way. I felt the jealously quite a bit when my half-brother was born, and although it wasn’t warranted I was stressed and anxious because I thought I would be forgotten. The point is, it is a horrible and lonely feeling, but you’ll make it through and be that much stronger for it.
    Nina Say recently posted..First Day of Kingergarten

  6. Every relationship goes through this. There are seasons when you feel disconnected and even jealous. I know I feel that way sometimes because of my husband’s job. Like the job takes priority over me. Talking about it is the one thing that can help!
    Rachel recently posted..Evenflo ProComfort Symphony DLX car seat Review

  7. you are absolutely right, emotions have a way of creeping in whenever we least expect them to. the good thing is you’re taking ownership of those feelings, trying to understand them and work through them so that ‘s a great thing. I would disagree with you slightly on one thing, however, and that is your focus. Yes it’s important to focus on your kids but not at your expenses. There is room and time for YOU in all of this and the more grounded you feel, the more your own needs are taken care of the easier everyone else will handle the transition.
    You’re doing great and will come out of this much stronger. Keeping it all in prayer :-)
    Valerie Remy-Milora recently posted..Orange Avocado Sherbet

  8. the saying is “something’s gotta give”. It sounds like that something is you and the relationship. You’re being selfless but it takes a toll, that’s ok. it’ll come full circle again and things will fall into place
    melinda recently posted..Back to School Shopping with Schoola 20% off

  9. You all have a lot going on. TImes like that are stressful for anyone. I’m sure you’ll find your way soon :-)
    Sarah @ Must Have Mom recently posted..Throw The Ultimate Back To School Party For Kids: After School Snacks, Free Printables, DIY’s & More!

  10. Hugs! I’m sorry you’re having to deal with all of this at once. Completely understandable to feel this way. You’ll all find your new groove soon.
    Cyndi @ MrsWrightWrites recently posted..Growing Wings: Motivational Monday

  11. Hugs to you. Change is always difficult.
    Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting recently posted..GORGEOUS Apple Rose Tarts for Snacks and School Lunches #HorizonB2S

  12. The balance is hard! Understanding what is off in the balance is what really helps! Glad to hear that you know what is off balance and the reasons. I hope your new routines help everything fill more settled!
    Beth recently posted..#ad Help Fight Hunger with Hunger Heroes

  13. Finding the balance with a blended family and dealing with change can’t be easy. I’m glad that you can open up and discuss how you feel.
    Shell Feis recently posted..It’s August Audio Fest at Best Buy! {JBL Speakers and Headphones Review}

  14. The fact that you were able to recognize the jealousy is huge. Feelings of jealousy are normal, it’s what you do after recognizing it that matters. Blended families can be challenging at times.

  15. That is so difficult. I have dealt with jealousy over my husband’s work. He travels a lot for lengthy periods and I feel like a single mom with a paycheck sometimes. It’s always great when he comes home though :) Hopefully this rough patch will pass by quickly!
    Cindy recently posted..Supp School & Curriculum We’re Keeping: Handwriting

  16. You are human (I hope! ;) ) and we all have feelers we wish we didn’t. It’s ok. Keep doing what you are doing, it’ll get back to normal soon! {HUG}
    Sara P. (@SensiblySara) recently posted..Juicy Fruit makes summer activities more fun! #shop #JuicyFruitFunSide

  17. ((hugs)). At least you figured out what was going on in your head. Now, you can figure out how to deal with it so it doesn’t affect everything.

  18. I think it’s really brave of you to admit that to yourself and to others in such a public forum. Being honest with ourselves about our feelings is an important step. Family is stressful, regardless of the arrangement. But your love for all of the members of your family, including the girls, resounds.
    Crystal recently posted..RSVP for the #AddCoolWhip Twitter Party

  19. I’m sure things will fall back into place. What you’re feeling seems like just a normal hiccup of life and being with someone.
    Crystal recently posted..Boost Your EQ with Q’s Race to the Top #Qsracetothetop #pmedia #ad

  20. The fact that you can verbalize your feelings and accept responsibility for them is a huge step where relationships are concerned. I’m sure once the new routine is more firmly in place you will find more time for each other.
    Kimberly Grabinski recently posted..Healthy, Quick Meals are Possible with Massel Bouillon – #MasselBTS Twitter Party 8/12/14

  21. I know having a blended family can be a challenge at times. I experience this on a daily basis, but it’s actually my firstborn (son) that’s jealous of my husband and his half-sister. Wishing you the best!
    HilLesha recently posted..Microsoft Surface Pro 2 for Work, Travel and Play #Intel2in1 #2in1

  22. Transitions are always challenging and it sounds like you have several you all are going through. I hope things settle quickly and you can get back to each other.
    Liz Mays recently posted..7 No Fuss Travel-Friendly Snacks

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