Co-Parenting during Covid-19 Pandemic.
This has been a bit of a tough post to plan and write if I’m being completely honest. I know there will be a fair few other fathers/mothers throughout the nation in a similar boat to myself. Myself and my Ex partner have been Co-parenting our Daughter for the last 6 years since we seperated. It is not a full 50/50 shared parenting.
The arrangement we have and that has worked for us over the years since our seperation. Our daughter lives with her mum throughout the week and comes to us at the weekends. We share time equally throughout school holidays so that I get some extra time with my daughter and her mum has a slight break. It isn’t quite Co-parenting, which is usually shared 50/50 custody between the two parents.
This may not work for some but this works for us.
The lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is a strange time we are in at the moment. The outbreak of such a devastating illness which is now classed as a pandemic. For the last 3 weeks. Also just been updated and recommended to continue for a minimum of 3 weeks more is a lockdown. Not to leave your homes unless for 1hr of daily excercise or to go shopping for essentials or medical treatment.
How does the lockdown affect parents who are Co-parenting you may ask? Well it is advised that Co-parenting can continue and should have no affect on any arrangements. This is down to the parents to decide what is best for them at the end of the day.
Travel to collect a child/children is allowed. Travelling directly from one property to another. Directly returning to the other retaining adequate social distancing with members of the other household. Obviously other than the child or children in question.
Here you can find more information regarding Co-parenting during the Covid-19 Lockdown period.
How is the Lockdown period affecting contact with your child.
Now this is the difficult part to write and share with you all. It has now been 4 weeks, 30 days since I last saw my eldest daughter. 4 weeks 30 days since I had a cuddle from her or a kiss. 4 weeks/30 days since I last tucked her into bed and told her that I loved her and to have sweet dreams. 4 weeks/30 days since I heard her laugh. 4 weeks/30 days since I woke up to her smiling happy face to see her father.
My eldest daughter is 9 years old. It was a very tough decision, but a clear decision. My partner is classed under the extremely vulnerable category. This due to her health issues with severe asthma, previous hospital treatments and her medication for her asthma. My daughters younger half sister at her mum’s house is also at risk with being young, under 2yrs.
It was a decision made between myself and my ex partner. During covid-19 and the lockdown period that it would be for the best. Best for the health and well being of my partner and my daughters half sister. She would stay at her mum’s and we would not continue our weekend contact/visits that is agreed through our Co-parenting arrangement.
Co-parenting during a pandemic is an extremely difficult situation.
The situation for me is ever becoming more difficult. I am missing my daughter massively. Understandable that for the last 6 years we have seen each other every weekend and extra time through school holidays.
It has left me feeling like a failure. Like I am failing her as a father. Even though it was a joint decision between me and her mother. I feel overwhelmed with guilt for not being able to see her and be her father.
One positive though is technology, she has her own smartphone at her mum’s house. Thanks to the likes of Apps like Whatsapp. Me and my daughter are able to keep contact via text messaging and also Video Calling regularly throughout the covid-19 pandemic. I would love to say daily but with a busy household. Home schooling 3 other children and running round after a toddler. This is very difficult to maintain a daily amount of contact.
Similar situation with my two Step Daughters.
Another difficult situation is the relationship and contact my 2 step daughters have with their father. It is a very similar scenario as with my eldest daughter. The last 6 years since their mother and fathers separation/divorce they have maintained a relationship and contact with their Dad. Visiting for a weekend every fortnight and extra time also throughout school holidays.
They are in the same situation with the relationship I have with my daughter. The only difference is we are having to comfort them and reassure them when they are upset. It is natural that they will miss their father, and ask questions regarding why they cannot see him. It is very difficult and emotional.
I had my eldest step daughter Mouse just the other day after a video call with her Dad become upset and vocally informing me how much she missed him. Another form of guilt and failing because you feel you are keeping them from him. Sort of putting a stop to their relationship like a doorman denying access to a certain individual to a night club/event.
When will this be over and our relationship can resume.
The question of ‘When will this be Over?’ is one that I am uncertain of. I’m not sure when I may be able to Physically see my daughter again. The feeling of Guilt and Failure will stick with me like a knife to the heart. It is completely natural for parents to feel this way. It is a sign that they care.
For the moment until the day comes when we see each other once again. When I can finally hold my daughter in my arms once more. Give her the sort of hug that you never want to let go. We shall keep up with our regular messaging and video calls. Try to maintain a form of relationship throughout this lockdown period.
I have to admit this was a rather emotional post to write. I will be honest in saying tears were shed. The emotion and thoughts of my daughter and being unable to hold her and reassure her all is ok.
I’m certain it will be a difficult time for other parents who are Co-parenting through these times. I would like to hear how other parents are coping. Ones that are Co-parenting and are maintaining a relationship with their children that live with another parent.
Has it made you think what Life maybe like after lockdown? Have a read of my thoughts here.
My anxiety and depression has been hit and miss. Up and down during the lockdown and ongoing pandemic. I shared 5 tips of mine to help with self care during lockdown which you can find here.
Let me know how your all holding up and coping in the comments below.