Co-parenting can have its challenges in normal times. Now with Covid-19 along with shelter-in-place restrictions, co-parenting can get even harder unless both parents work together for the best outcomes.
Currently, we have a week on, week off schedule while co-parenting. Usually, on Friday mornings we have “Donut Friday” where we all meet up for donuts and coffee. Afterward, we move any kid’s bags from one car to the other and the person who has the kids that week will pick them up after school, etc. It is a system that took a little time at first for everyone to get comfortable with but over time has become very efficient and easy to follow. But now with Covid-19 in our lives, things start to get a little more complicated.
First, when this virus started coming into view the week before school was closed I had my kids. Seeing that something was about to progress across the country, I talked with my Ex and we decided that of course, our kid’s safety was first and foremost. I am extremely fortunate to have a second home up in the mountains about 3 hours out of the SF Bay area. Knowing that it would be quiet and minimal people, gave us the ability to get outside along with not freaking out my oldest who deals with high anxiety issues. We had the ability to “seal” them into a safe area without any crazy worries of getting the virus. The following two weeks my kids did distance learning, played games, took hikes and walks trying to make things as normal as possible. One big key to the shelter-in-place has been routine for my kids. Waking up at the same time each morning, getting up and dressed before school, taking breaks and having dinner around the same time every night. We easily fell into a routine, although a little stale, that worked at keeping everyone sane and functional.
Today I am writing this blog because on Friday afternoon my kids headed back to Mom’s. It became a game-time decision about sending them back because of the daily Covid-19 information changes. Mom was missing them, of course, and making a hard decision we decided for the kids to head back to her house for the next week. We discussed everything possible about keeping things clean, washing hands, having food already bought yada, yada…. So today I am alone and as it seems like it should be a treat to have some time to myself, I honestly wish I had them back.
Working with your Ex, follow some simple tips during these trying times:
*Get them up and dressed every day.
*Work with the other parent, without arguing of course, and figure out what is best for your kids.
*Keep a schedule. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. Believe it or not, schedules do work and keep kids from falling into watching TV or playing games for long hours at a time.
*Get exercise. Take walks around the neighborhood, keeping social distancing in mind, and get some fresh air. Also, yoga is another thing that can be done in the house.
*Eat healthily. Don’t go buy all the frozen crap in the grocery store…since you have time, make actual dinners. I cook and my daughter is into too. If your not a cook, guess what, great time to try since you have time!
*Keep the phone/TV/news to a minimum. It only causes stress and the misinformation just makes it more frustrating.Make sure everyone, including you, take some time for yourself. Take a walk, meditate, read a book. Just let everyone know you are taking an hour to recharge. Kids should need this too.
*Last, work together. Both parents HAVE to be on the same page or things will just get out of hand.
Good luck on figuring out what works best for you and your Ex-spouse. The most important thing to remember is to do what’s best for the kids. If you both discuss this and show actual concern and thought for the other parent, things can be less stressful for you AND your kids.