mmh does this mean all your element are not part of a window???
tab and tabpages and many other controls can be found inside of the window (is also a Container element)
the normal way is
use Application from white
get window from application (Application.GetWindow) => you have a Window element
tab bla = window.Get<Tab>(SearchCriteria(ContolType.Tab).AndByAutomationId("theid"))
you can replace "Tab" with other controls like ComboBox, TabPage and so on
AndById can be replaced with AndByText for example