Co-parenting during a pandemic:
For the past eight years, I have successfully been co-parenting two children, with my ex-spouse. My ex-husband and I have been able to make co-parenting positive, not only for our children, but for ourselves as well. We knew when we made the decision to end our marriage, that we both needed to take the high road, put aside any antagonism and resentments we had towards one another and approach our divorce on an emotional mature level and make our top priority our daughter and son. It was a MUST that we’d work together for the benefit of our kids, above all else.
But co-parenting as we’d known for the past eight years, came to an abrupt halt by the end of February, early March 2020. COVID-19 came onto the scene; and when the children left their father in early January 2020, after spending their Christmas holiday break with him, they nor us knew that they would not be seeing their father in person again, until GOD knows when.
Yes, they Facetime their father and speak with him regularly on the telephone, however, it doesn’t replace that one-on-one interaction that they were so accustomed to receiving on a regular basis. Co-parenting amid a pandemic has thrown out all schedules we had in place, making us have to re-evaluate how we parent, with me as the primary caregiver of the children, really taking on the job of two parents. Boundaries and territories have had to be redrawn; and unfortunately, the “new norm” has been a little painful for the children involved, as well as their father, because now we are in a situation where they cannot see one another until the CDC says it’s okay.
For nearly six years of the separation, my children were used to spending every other weekend with their father; and any school events he was present to support.However, most recently he relocated back to Philadelphia, PA, but, was still very active in the children’s lives, getting them on major holidays, spring and fall breaks; and making trips back to the Metro Atlanta area to support their school events.But, in the midst of this quarantine, things aren’t so certain any longer; and he is missing major life events, such as our daughter starting her first year of high school this year.
As a mother, I am trying to keep my children as safe as possible during this pandemic, which is not allowing them to travel out of state or have their father travel to them; and remain prayerful that they will have the opportunity to be back with their father and extended family on his side very soon; and hopefully everyone’s in good health.
Thankfully my ex-husband and I are on the same page; and through our discussions and planning, we are getting through this pandemic as well as we can, considering the current state of our world.
Co-parenting is already difficult enough, without having the stress of a world pandemic; and adjusting to this “new norm” can be uncomfortable. COVID-19 has disrupted all aspects of our lives, from work to school, childcare to travel, our entire lives have been shifted unexpectedly. But if you and your ex-spouse are mature individuals who are able to have conversations; and some may be quite difficult to speak upon, it is imperative that these conversations are had and are at the forefront of the co-parenting relationship, in order to reassure your children that we will get through this; and that these changes in our lives are only temporary. It is the only way to keep a safe situation for you, your children and your loved ones.