Parenting during COVID: How to Cope With Working, Teaching Kids & Maintaining a Healthy Relationship
Updated: Oct 22, 2020
When you have kids, it isn’t easy to balance your home life and your work life while still finding time to strengthen the bond with your partner or spouse. The COVID-19 pandemic certainly hasn’t made things easier. Now, you’ve got to juggle teaching your kids (or, at least, making sure that they attend their o
nline classes), or you have just sent them back to school and are trying to stay calm about all the changes the school has made while coping with all of your own exhausting changes and limitations that have come about in your own day-to-day.
How do you cope without losing your mind or your relationship? Here are some tips that may help:
Validate (and Seek Validation) for Feelings
We’re living in highly anxious times, and frustration and disappointments seem like they’re around every corner. It’s okay to have feelings about canceled events and broken plans. It’s okay to be upset about problems with the computer during meetings. It’s okay for the kids to admit that they’re lonely and miss being able to hug their friends and teachers.
Encourage expression of these feelings. When your child or partner expresses sentiments about something that’s going on, let them know that their response makes total sense and you understand why they feel this way. Then, take the time to share your own feelings and seek validation, as well. By doing this you are modeling healthy emotional expression while also self-caring.
Create More Opportunities for Intimacy
Your time alone with your partner may be in short supply right now, so concentrate on finding creative ways to make intimate connections. That may mean something as simple as touching each other’s hands or backs as you pass in the kitchen or giving each other 20 minutes of undivided attention before bed.
All of the external stressors may fuel conflicts between you and your partner or dampen your sex life, so take the time to work on your communication skills. Your emotional bonds (and your physical ones) are more likely to strengthen when you both feel that you are heard, respected, and accepted for who you are and what you are going through. In that regard, communication is the ultimate intimate act between you.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Couples counseling, including sexual health therapy, can help you and your partner come through this situation stronger than ever and give you a safe space to express yourself and focus on self-care, as well as caring for your relationship. It can be a great space to heal wounds, and also a great way to simply check-in and have a reserved space and time to come together and communicate. If you don’t feel understood by your partner or your intimacy feels lost, sexual health therapy can help you rekindle your connection, learn to talk through the issues that affect you the most, and address the unique needs of your relationship.
If you’re looking for an AASECT-Certified and sex-positive therapist in San Diego or virtual sessions online, I would love to help you on your journey to sexual health and wellness.