The Covid-19 virus has made life incredibly stressful for everybody. However, co-parenting in the time of Covid can add an entirely new layer of stress to parents. Having children going back and forth between two different households can be confusing. Especially since everybody should socially distance right now. Parents hopefully have a crisis plan in place for children. There are several considerations to think about when deciding how to split time. Open communication and modern technology can help you manage this crisis. Hopefully, the pandemic will lessen soon and everybody, including co-parents, can get back to life as normal.
Co-Parenting in the Time of Covid: Put the Kids First
Navigating a Crisis
Co-parenting in the time of Covid is like co-parenting in a crisis. Most co-parents have a plan in place if there were ever to be some sort of crisis. While you and your ex might disagree about a lot of things, hopefully, you can work together to navigate these tough times. Perhaps the stress of dealing with Covid can help you put aside more petty disagreements. If you don’t already have a plan like this in place, now is the time to make one. If ever we face another time like this, you’ll be more prepared. You can choose to continue the current parenting plan you have in place, or temporarily change things.
Things to Consider
There are many things to consider when co-parenting in the time of Covid. Since families are meant to be distancing, you might decide that your children should stay with one parent. Rather than being exposed to germs from separate households, you’ll keep your germs contained. When trying to decide which home the children should live at more, try to put aside your desire to “win”, and instead, focus on what is best for the kids. For example, maybe one parent is more set up for virtual schooling. Or perhaps one parent is an essential worker and comes into contact with more potential exposures. You might keep the children more at one parent’s house if the other has high-risk family members. And finally, consider the outdoor space at each parent’s home. Children need outdoor activities and room to run around now more than ever.
How to Manage
Co-parenting in the time of Covid relies on open communication between parents. Try to take your feelings out of consideration and think of what’s best for your children. And let your ex know if anything changes with your schedule or job. Dealing with a national pandemic requires flexibility from everybody to best adapt to a changing environment. Don’t forget that you can set up Zoom meetings or Facetime with your children when you aren’t with them. If both parents feel that they need to see the children equally, consider yourselves as a “bubble.” Each of you should take the same precautions at home and should be incredibly open and honest about any potential exposure.
Covid is hard for everybody, but co-parenting in the age of Covid can be a huge source of stress. You both want what’s best for your children, so sit down and have an honest conversation about how to handle the pandemic safely. Try to remember that you can use Zoom or outside drive-way hangouts to get some face-to-face time with your kids. There may be one parent who is better equipped to handle the ever-changing school plan or other social matters. In the future, it’s always best to have a plan in place for any sort of crisis. Hopefully, we won’t ever face another pandemic like this, but you’ll be prepared just in case. By communicating with your partner, you can help one another navigate this extremely stressful situation in a way that is best for your children.