Needless to say, we are living in an unprecedented time. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has caused havoc in what feels like the majority of households, especially for mothers. The overall welfare of our children is our top priority. We are taking directions from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The San Diego County and California Public Health Official has adopted the CDC directions.
While our governor and mayor are doing their best to maintain our safety and "flatten the curve," there is very little valuable guidance on how to navigate 24/7 parenting during a lockdown. How do we function during a crisis within confined space?
Here are three tips:
1) Be open to the input of your co-parent or anyone assisting you with childcare.
As an attorney, one might not like to admit that opposing counsel has better ideas than us. If you are anything like me, then you'll understand that I love to be in control of every aspect of my life, and weigh the pros and cons for any situation. Often times, I find myself arguing my point until there is a majority vote in my favor. During quarantine, I learned that I need to let go of that control, and simply be open-minded. Perhaps this new idea offered by your co-parent can become a new routine. You must trust that your co-parent also has the best interest of your child in mind. Give yourself a break, and be inspired. Worst case, you can lawyer your co-parent later on how you are always right. Ha ha, just kidding.
2) Engage in parenting support groups.
Technology has allowed us to connect with folks all over the world. From Facebook to TikTok, you can literally find any type of support group. Personally, I enjoy spending at least 45 minutes a day engaging with other adults online – reading contrasting perspectives, (especially lawyers who believe COVID-19 is a conspiracy theory), reading comments about life-hacks. I enjoy offering my own wisdom and words of encouragement to those who seem to be struggling during quarantine. The sole purpose is to keep me engaged with others, even if it is to complain about my boring day.
3) Incorporate "me-time" in your schedule.
If you are like me, you still feel that there is not enough time in the day to accomplish all of the things on your to-do list. One time, I decided to wake up at 4:00 a.m. so I can get a head start while there was peace and quiet from the family and contractors around the house. I won't say that this was a mistake. But, I probably
won't do it again anytime soon. So, what does "me-time" look like for you? For me, I recently purchased roller blades, and have been re-learning how to use them in my neighborhood. If you try this, you may get some bruises, but it’s definitely a fun activity to explore with or without your children.
What makes the aforementioned my top three? They emphasize tolerance of contrasting viewpoints, engagement with others, and investing energy in yourself. If you actually follow all three tips, then you will be more mentally, emotionally, and physically ready to be there for your children.
Jylan Megahed owns the family law practice, Megahed, Esq., Inc. “My Legal Warrior” (Trademark pending) and is Co-Chair of the Lawyers Club of San Diego’s Membership Development Committee.