Co-parenting has many challenges, but even more so during a pandemic. In my case, as my children’s primary caregiver and under recommendation from my attorney, I felt it was in the best interest of my children during the pandemic to keep them at home and halt the exchanges until the pandemic is over.
I would be lying if everyone was completely happy to include the kids and the ex-husband, but there is nothing normal about joint custody. My children's relationship with their Dad is just as important as mine, but my main goal is to keep everyone safe and healthy. If you are in a similar circumstance here is how I recommend you navigate co-parenting during these unusual times:
Communicate with the kids that the decision to stop the routine visitation with the other parent is for everyone’s safety to include the other parent and those in their home.
Encourage even more calls and video chat with the other parent/siblings/relatives.
Come up with an activity the children can do with the parent remotely whether it is online chess, video, or taboo on video chat.
Keep a record of the visitation days missed, and come up with a plan to allow the other parent to get those days back once the pandemic is over.
If you are like me, I enjoy the breaks I get when my children go to their other parent, so during this time make sure you have taking time for your self care.
Let go of the guilt of halting visitation because let us face it, there would be more guilt if your children or their parent became ill.
If you are continuing the child swap, then please ensure everyone is communicating and setting expectations to prevent exposure and if the case of exposure or symptoms arise what is the plan. Co-parenting is never easy, but always keep at the forefront the best interest of the child especially when their safety and health are in question!