The Joyful Stepmom
Boundaries: Drawing the Lot Lines
Posted on April 2nd, 2019

Yesterday we had a survey done of the yard. Two men came out to the house on a blustery, cold day and took the measurements. They stuck little pink flags at the corners of the lot. The pink flags let us know where our lot ends and the neighbors' property begins.

Most of us have a general idea where the line is between you and your neighbor. Maybe there is a clear division with a fence or sidewalk! Or the two of you can just work it out based on who mows the lawn and how previous owners kind of left things.

We moved into a home that had been empty for awhile. Our neighbors are amazing! But we have a pie shaped, hexagon lot. It's weird! There's no straight line to walk down and know your boundary. And one back corner of the backyard really had us stumped! We just could not figure out where the yard ended and our neighbor's began. So it felt worth the investment to define that boundary line. 

 We just could not figure out where the yard ended
and our neighbor's began.
So it felt worth the investment to define that boundary line.

Now these are our neighbors. And like I mentioned, they are amazing! We aren't staking out the yard and drawing lines to put up a barbed wire fence! We're finding the line to be good stewards of what we have.  We want to be friendly and take ownership. Not overstep where we are not intended to be.
Boundaries are just as important in blended family life. There is a LOT of togetherness. Sure, it's two different homes. But you share children. The spill over will surprise you. I know it surprised me!

You will need to find a boundary line for your self, your marriage and your home. So many of the posts we receive on The Joyful Stepmom from hurting women could be helped by a few boundaries. I admit, it's really hard! It takes discipline to put in place. But the rewards of peace are worth the patience and practice.

The pink stakes in my backyard are points. They show a boundary. Neighbors wave, children run through the yards. But at the end of the day, you tend to your own space. You respect the boundary that has been set.

So where do you need to set a boundary today? Maybe your husband sends a lot of messages to the other house and really struggles on how to balance that communication. Take it on together. Group text or reply together, and set a time for that to happen so it doesn't take over your home life.

Maybe you feel social media is taking over your phone. You feel the need to keep tabs but it also is raising your anxiety levels! The block button is your best friend, use it.

And let's talk about communication. Possibly one of the highest ranked complaints or requests we receive. Text, email and FaceTime have made communication between homes 24/7. That does not mean you have to reply to each message. PAUSE. Make your boundary the Pause. You will not respond until you pause, pray and consider if it requires your attention. Or you will respond when you have a well thought out and calm reply. I cannot emphasize the amount of strife you will save your family by slowing down in your communication. 

We're finding the line to be good stewards of what we have. 

Am I glad we staked the backyard? Was it worth paying a couple guys to come out and put some pink flags in the ground? Yes! That back corner that was so confusing is a different shape than I thought it was. I was about to plant a whole little garden in a space that was not mine.



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