3 Ways To Cope Better As A Co-Parent During Pandemic
I think we are all feeling the stress of the quarantine. Our routines have changed, our work life, if it still exists, has shifted. In many cases, parents of young children are asked to manage their full-time jobs and take care of their kids with little to no help at all. If you are divorced, you are doing all this alone or even if you have a partner now, you may be juggling their needs as well as their kids’ needs too. So how do you cope better as a Co-parent During this pandemic?
It may seem unmanageable especially since we don’t have a date it will end, and we may experience a similar situation again. So, what can we do, each day, not to just survive, but to thrive now and going forward? There is no magic bullet, for sure, and there are some sure-fire ways to improve your operational capacity and mood too, even with all of the responsibility and stress you are experiencing in this moment too.
1. Let it Go
The clients I support now are struggling with getting all of their work and take care of their kids too. Sometimes they make the mistake of adding in the burden of micro-managing their child’s other parent too. It never works. It’s not going to work. They may keep trying, and the result is their stress level skyrockets further without any light at the end of the tunnel. I recommend this: LET IT GO!
Take care of your kids when you have them and let your co-parent do it when they do. It seems simple, of course, but can be hard to implement if you have always been able to “do things your way.” In my experience, too many co-parents seek this sense of control in another parent’s home. Now is the time to practice a skill which will serve you better than at any other time. Unless you have a valid reason to worry about your children’s health and welfare, do your best to acknowledge their co-parent will take good care of them too. Use the time you don’t have the kids to catch up on work and find ways to have fun too.
2. Keep It Simple
This is not the time to re-visit old wounds with a co-parent or to try and negotiate new norms. Allow yourself to survive in the space of what is rather than what you want it to be. Take this time of quarantine as a valid reason not to negotiate with your co-parent about difficult issues. Wait. Just wait. This will end, and some semblance of new normal will occur. That’s the time to return to necessary negotiations about summer, etc. Right now, it’s just too much.
3. Acknowledge When It’s Working
Let your co-parent know if your child tells you something good that happened in their home. This will help you remember what’s going well too and help you cope better as a co-parent in this pandemic. Recognize your co-parent if you see something good arise from their time with the other parent. This is a tricky one as you may never get the compliment in return. You still benefit and lose nothing at all. If nothing else, it may allow you to feel better about who you are as a co-parent and recognize you have supported your children in the best possible way.
It is possible to create small changes to your co-parenting that allow you, and your children to feel and do better right now. Try these tips and let me know what works and what doesn’t. I want to hear from you.