This has been a challenging year for most people. The Covid-19 pandemic has affected the economy, our personal health and relationships, how we relate to others in public and so much more. The isolation and stay at home orders have created a lot of challenges in marriages and caused increased divorce rates in some states.
The pandemic has created a unique set of challenges for unmarried and divorced parents who share custody. Following advice about only being around “people in your household” becomes a real challenge when children move between two households. There have also been a number of issues with support payments due to the volatile economic situation many parents are facing.
More Bad News: Nothing is going to Magically Change at the Beginning of 2021
Regardless of all the memes and funny t-shirts about 2020, very little is going to change because of the new year. While there is a lot of hope around the Covid-19 vaccine, we will be facing production bottlenecks and limited available for the foreseeable future. Most students will still be distance learning, people will still be working from home, and we will likely see the economy continue to struggle.
So what are some steps we can take to try to help our situation get a little better? Here are a few basic suggestions:
- Embrace Opportunities
We are all facing difficulties. There are times we can find opportunities in them. There has never been a better opportunity to get involved in your child’s education. With extra time you can learn a new craft or pursue a new hobby. We can choose to be bored or we can look at it as if we have been given the gift of time.
- Work on Boundaries
Setting and defending boundaries is something a lot of people struggle with, especially with their co-parents. The safety of your children is obviously of the utmost importance, and this pandemic has created a lot of awareness as well as a good opportunity to work with your co-parent on how to keep your children safe during this challenging time and communicate clear expectations.
- Explore New Financial Options
While many are struggling financially, there are certain industries that are booming and creating a lot of opportunity. Delivery drivers and personal shopping services are quickly growing and provide a lot of schedule flexibility. There are also countless home classes where you can learn a new skill that could lead to a new post-Covid career.
- Review Family Law Documents
This is also a good time to review family law documents or your divorce agreement. If you have lost your job and your spouse’s income has been unchanged, you may be eligible for a review of your support payments. If your children’s home schooling has become a challenge for one parent this is a good time to review how you can share that responsibility and work towards what’s best for your child and their education.
We Can Work to Make 2021 Better
While nothing magical is going to happen on Jan 1st, we can all take some steps towards bettering ourselves and making our children’s’ lives better as well. Most of us find more time on our hands, and that is truly a rare and valuable thing. I think we’re all caught up on Hulu and Netflix at this point, so let’s try to work towards making 2021 a great year.