I’ve been divorced for eight years but today is the first day I feel like a single mom. I wrote a piece in 2012 titled “Don’t Call Me A Single Mom” because my kids have a dad. They have an involved, hard working, helpful and loving dad. We agreed upon a schedule that works with plenty of nights and every other weekend at his apartment. I have child support and a free babysitter when I travel for work or fun.
We have worked incredibly hard to be the best co-parents around. I think we have finally achieved that. It’s not perfect. There are a lot of disagreements and impulsive nasty texts but we always come around and are able to get on the same page. In fact, we are a better team today than we ever were (and so grateful to not be married to each other). When we got divorced we shared with our kids that two happy parents who could be friends and parent from different homes, but together, would be better for everyone.
Today we decided going back and forth to different NYC apartment buildings is not in the best interest of anyone’s health. Today we decided my home will be Corona-Quarantine headquarters. Today we sadly decided together that one home is better than two.
It goes against everything we tried to do as parenting partners the last few years. Wednesday nights were my night off. Wednesday nights were boy time. Some Thursdays were boy dinners or sometimes more time for the boys to blend with their new step-sisters who they love.
Now our great happily divorced blended family is separated. Now our perfectly imperfect parenting schedule is broken. Now I will be the solo ‘shelter in place’ mom.
We are five days into our self-imposed seclusion. We created a schedule together that has us on 30 minute to one hour increments of working out, eating, stretching, art work, reading (while I work), walking outside mixed with tech time and facetime with friends.
So, while we have all been trying to get our kids off of their devices,the devices will be a life saver. Dad will continue his role remotely. Dad will facetime as much as he wants (as long as it doesn’t interrupt our schedule 🙂 and have scheduled social distance walks each day.
We are texting and communicating more than ever. We are supporting each other. We are taking deep breaths before responding to each other. We are throwing around ideas and texting pictures and videos to make each other laugh. We are helping each other to take one day at a time. We are supporting the others’ concerns and fears and listening and hearing each other. It was through all of this that we were able to decide together what is best. It was one of the hardest decisions of our lives. We don’t know how long it will last. We don’t know how long we will feel this way. We don’t know anything. But we do know that being these kinds of parents is the best for our entire family. During Coronavirus and always. So I may be solo at home, I may feel like a single mom now, but I’m grateful for their now distant dad and all we have achieved and hope others divorced or separated parents will find ways to connect over Corona.