There is no doubt, COVID19 has turned our world upside-down. As if co-parenting wasn’t difficult enough on its own, now parents have to face an entire year of virtual learning while juggling work and ensuring that your child is getting the right oversight for their education at two different households. This can be overwhelming enough to make you want to stick your head in a deep, dark hole. But don’t! There are ways that you can plan for the upcoming year. Here are a few ways our clients have used to navigate turbulent calendars.
Plan Ahead as Much As Possible
Sit down with the other parent (or virtually) to create a shared online calendar you both can access. Discuss your work schedules, the current parenting plan, and how learning remotely may impact it. While you can’t account for every possibility, try your best to plan for the unexpected. For instance, what if you or the other parent is exposed to COVID19, how would you handle your child’s care? If your child has to be in quarantine, how will parenting time be impacted? How will you handle teacher meetings in two different households? How will you ensure a stable learning environment?
You May Not Always Agree
As you probably are already aware, you and the other parent may not always see eye-to-eye. That is ok! If things get heated, it is ok to take some time to step back and think about things. Ask the other parent if you can hit “pause” and come back once you both have had some time to cool-off. If you can’t discuss constructively, it may be time to make an appointment with a neutral third-party, like a mediator, to work through the aspects that are more prone to conflict.
Be Extra Patient with Each Other
This is a really, really, really challenging time for everyone. People have lost their lives, their jobs, their families, their livelihood. Stress is rampant. If the other parent is not having the best day, give them a bit of grace, and hopefully, they will return the favor. We are all in this together.
Do you need help navigating the new parenting plan for this new school year? Contact West Coast Family Mediation Center.