Navigation during joint custody during quarantine
I'm lucky my ex-husband and I divorced before our resentment and differences learned that we could not stand against each other. We have always eaten well together, but divorce always brings new challenges children's schedules as well as the rules that you each allow in your own home, and we have fought, albeit on our part.
When the schools closed for a few weeks in March, I had no idea that we would be where we are today: there are no schools for the rest of the year, no camps, no food, no movies or no children allow me to see their friends.
While my ex and I are certainly not perfect, we decided on the same page to find out how we will deal with this pandemic, whether we wanted to or not for one reason: our children.
The state of the world today is fragile, and it certainly does not care about us and our differences; it's so much bigger than that. In order to use parents effectively, we had to set them aside. How can we expect our children to get it if we fight for it?
First, things look bleak enough, and if there is something a parent needs to deal with because they feel their former children are in danger, it can be handled by a lawyer, as many of them are currently taking virtual lessons.
But for me and my children's father, we wanted their lives to remain as normal as possible because there were so many unknowns and so many things that were taken away from them.
We have maintained the same custody schedule because we believe that the daily lives of our children are important. But we have also agreed to be flexible with each other – he works more from home and has asked if he can spend extra time with the children during those days.
Since it's not something he can do normally, and I have to look at them as a whole, I agreed. Of course, I miss her, but again, it's not for me. Our children have liked it a little more than there, because they literally can't go anywhere else, and the change of scenery is good for their mental health.
It’s all been incredibly stressful, so instead of being sad that my kids are gone, I’ve spent extra time alone to relax, unwind, and talk on the phone with friends – things I’ve never had it seems.
It's not always fun or easy, but take it from me – communication in such a situation goes very far. If it's too hard to talk face-to-face or on the phone, texting is a great option. It has helped us to develop kindergartens, for example, when I think that the children in his house are exposed to too much news, or when he thought that I take them too fast.
These are normal things that we would have communicated with each other, but this situation is sensitive and different, and we both put our egos aside and realized that (even if it takes time).
Under normal circumstances, it is difficult to be a single parent. Parental co-sale is also not easy. Navigating this path is new to us all, and there are no instructions. Emotions are high and things can definitely heat up.
I understand that this is easier said than done, but come from someone who has been there, believe me when I say that if you can remember that you are both parents and the health of your family is most important, it can help Overcome the drama and help you both stick to your work: do what your children do best.
You are no longer married, and you certainly do not intend to raise older children in the same way, but when we deal with a pandemic that sustains us and our children feel the consequences just like us, it is so important to talk to each other.
The last thing we need right now is to make life more complicated, and if you can work as a team, you will have less clutter in your head, and your children will definitely notice and behave better.
That in itself is reason enough to try to involve parents as much as possible.