Springing Ahead— and Summer, Too!
March 26, 2021
BY: Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O'Cathain & O'Cathain
By Madeline Marzano-Lesnevich, Esq.
It’s spring! Warmer weather, flowers blossoming and daylight savings time— spring is here. We made it through this difficult, stormy, COVID-centric winter.
Maybe you’ve been vaccinated; maybe you know someone who has been. Major League Baseball’s Opening Day is coming up, and then, the month after, the unofficial start of summer— Memorial Day weekend, 2021. Longer, brighter, warmer days are around the corner!
So, what does the approaching better weather mean for co-parenting? Certain parents may want to expand their pods. Families may want to relocate the center of their family life outside. Other families may feel comfortable eating indoors, socializing with larger groups, or visiting with relatives they haven’t seen in a while.
And other parents may not want to change a thing.
While we don’t know exactly what spring and summer 2021 will bring, we hold out concrete hope that it certainly will be better than 2020. So, with that in mind, let’s look at three ways to prepare for the upcoming warmer months:
- Communicate. If there’s one thing we’ve been preaching to co-parents, blended families, ex-spouses and the like during this pandemic, it’s the urgent need to communicate. These are times of heightened anxiety and unsure rules, and staying on the same page as your co-parent(s), and the parenting units providing your children with a consistent message (what’s allowed what’s not) is key. Even if it feels like overkill, send a text; compose an e-mail; pick up the telephone— communicate.
- Now. Deal with this now! It may feel too early to talk about spring vacation or summer plans, but rentals are already being snatched up, and camps and spots at the pool are already being booked. Have an honest discussion with your co-parent: how do you want to handle warmer weather engagements in 2021? What do we feel is safe? What can we afford? What do the children want? Ask them: what are their friends doing? Even seek out (from a social distance) parents of their classmates. Now’s the time to talk about inching back to normal this spring and summer— delaying helps no one, least of all you and your family.
- Respect. No matter what, be respectful of everyone’s comfort level as the country and your town starts to open more, with an eye towards long, sunny days. Some co-parents may be ready to see how close to normal, if a safe way, they can structure their summer; others may not be ready to do anything differently until there is widespread herd immunity. The point is, it’s important to be respectful of everyone’s comfort level. If you and your co-parent don’t agree with a level of safety, try to see it from your co-parent’s point of view— and be respectful, no matter what.
More vaccines, light spring breezes, long summer days— a more manageable pandemic, for parents and co-parents, children and families— is approaching, and that’s good news for all. Use these tips to get a jump on making the most of the warmer weather!