Remember the days when you used to whine about not having any downtime after work because you had to rush to pick up your kids? The thought of picking up the kids from a day at school or daycare feels like a distant dream. My best advice for parenting solo during a pandemic lockdown is to lose your perfectionism and find your humour.
My city is under complete lockdown
Here in Toronto, we are under complete lockdown. The rule is: stay home and only go out for essential reasons. Does escaping from my moody 19 year old for wine with the girls qualify as a valid reason? What about my complete disdain for cooking another family dinner? Parenting solo during a pandemic lockdown is starting to make me hostile – and that may be as dangerous as COVID-19.
Find the humour
For those of you who are attempting to work from home while homeschooling a child, you deserve the Purple Heart for bravery. I am not sure how the lawyers that I work with can navigate Zoom court with their 6 year old running in and out of the home office.
Almost every client on my roster is affected – juggling between doing their job and facilitating online learning for their children. Add in a high-conflict ex who can’t wait to pounce on any parenting mistakes you make. What a circus. If you can’t laugh about it, you are going to cry.
Ditch the perfectionism
This is not the time for complicated dinner recipes and a spotless home. It is a time to embrace B minus work . That means prioritizing what needs to get done, and completing those tasks without needing anything to be perfect.
Maybe your child attends online school in his pyjamas. No worries, he can change during lunch hour. I bet there are a few other classmates who haven’t brushed their teeth yet.
This might mean feeding your daughter a bowl of cereal for dinner. Totally fine. Just get the job done, and leave some time to relax and refill your cup before bed.
Find your posse
There is power in the pack. Surround yourself with other warrior single parents navigating divorce and the pandemic. Get the kids to bed and meet for a glass of wine over Zoom. If you don’t keep your cup full you will have nothing to pour into the children’s cups. This is a very unique curriculum you have on your plate and you can find relief in sharing the experience with others.