The Coronavirus has great potential to destroy blended families if we let it. Blended families are hard without any outward instability in the world. Let us help you not become a blended statistic!
Issues We Are Seeing Now
- Stepmoms don’t want the stepkids to come for visitation. A pregnant stepmom definitely adds another level of concern.
- Bio parents dont’ want to send their kids to the other parents for visitation.
- Many stepparents (and bio parents) are now required to work from home and are around the stepkids/kids a lot more than normal.
- Bio parents are afraid they may lose their job and how that will affect their ability to pay child support, as well as the impact it will have if they are the one that provides medical coverage on the child.
- Stress from the uncertainties of what may or may not happen cause the bio and stepparent to be on edge more so than normal.
- The bio parent and the stepparent don’t agree on the severity of this pandemic.
- Those that work in the medical field – nurses, doctors, firefighters, police, etc. are getting more push back from the other bio parent not wanting to send their child for visitation because of the potential exposure these in the medical field are exposed to.
- Fears of not having enough food or money to have the stepkids for longer than normal.
- The court order says 2020 is one parent’s Sprink Break and since some schools have considered the temporary shutdown as an extended Spring Break, the bio parents are arguing about who should have the kids during this time because the court order doesn’t address extended “Spring Breaks”.
- The current court/visitation orders obviously don’t have contingency plans for national disasters, pandemics, etc.
- Parents and stepparents are feeling pressure to homeschool the kids/stepkids.
It’s Different In The Blend!
In a nuclear family you have two people that both, normally, love their kid. In a blended family, you have a situation where the parent has a biological tie with, and more than likely a very deep emotional tie to, their kid. The stepparent doesn’t have those things. That doesn’t mean the stepparent doesn’t care about or love their stepkid, it means they don’t have that biological tie. The stepparent instinctively wants to protect themselves and their kids, but their request can easily be looked at as being selfish if they don’t want the stepkids to come for visitation.
During the pandemic, please do not tell your significant other their kids are not allowed to come for visitation. Instead, talk to them calmly to address your concerns. Figure out what will work best for all involved. But whatever you do, please do not make your significant other feel as if they have to choose between you (the stepparent) or their kids.
Time To Practice Three Important Things
All of us are experiencing things we have never dealt with before. Practice patience, compassion, and grace. We all need these three things to be given to us as much as everyone else does.
Things You Can Do
When you are cooped up, it can get stressful for most, so here are some “activities” you can do to help yourself, your kids, your stepkids, and your blend:
- Listen to music. Music can heal the soul!
- Watch comedic TV shows or YouTube videos – Laughter is still the best medicine!
- Plan activities everyone can participate in – I may plant a garden with my son if we can figure out how to keep the deer out.
- Have a game night – We love playing Taboo!
- Go for a walk around the house just to take a moment for yourself.
- Take time to spend with your kids. Even if you have to work from home, take a ten-minute break to talk to your kid.
- And don’t forget about your significant other either, make time to spend with them too. Even if it’s just cooking a meal together.
- Pile up and read a book that you haven’t had time to read.
- Call or Facetime friends and family! – This is also a great option for parents that aren’t able to have visitation with their kids right now for whatever reason.
- A lot of museums, zoos, parks all over the world now offer free video tours due to the pandemic! I think we may visit the Louvre tomorrow night! Here are a few links: Historic sites offer virtual tours, Six virtual tours to take if you are stuck at home, and Virtual tours to help you pass time.
- Take an online course you’ve been interested in but haven’t had the time. You can always join the Nacho Kids Academy and learn more about how to Nacho properly and get tools to help you lower your stress!
- Reach out to neighbors by phone to see if they need help, especially if they are elderly. Maybe you could grab something they need from the store and leave it on their porch for them.
- Remember a lot of kids only get meals at school and with school being out, they aren’t getting these meals. Look for opportunities through schools or churches to see if you can help them in any way.
- Don’t stress about the kids and schoolwork. Many schools are allowing extra time for the work to be completed and many teachers are available by email should you have questions.
- Start a gratitude journal and each day, write down five things you are grateful for.