Parents sharing custody navigate challenges of caring for kids amidst COVID-19 pandemic | Canada | News


ST. JOHN’S, N.L. —

Because the operator of a regulated day residence in St. John’s, Lisa Piercey routinely stays on high of conserving the surfaces in her residence clear and germ-free.

Being a stickler for such issues is beneficial today in relation to having her six-year-old daughter, Cori, travel between her place and the house of Cori’s father, Jason Piercey.

“I am a bit extra excessive,” she informed The Telegram. “I am regulated, so I’ve plenty of laws in impact the place I’ve to disinfect and sanitize every little thing anyway. I am being extra stringent about that. Nobody is in my home apart from Jason and Cori. Once they are available, they wash their arms straight away or use hand sanitizer as quickly as they arrive in my home.”

Jason and Lisa separated a 12 months and a half in the past, a call Jason described as what was of their daughter’s greatest curiosity.

It took a while for the previous couple to discover a good rhythm for splitting parental tasks, as Jason initially lived with a buddy and would come over to Lisa’s residence to spend time with Cori. Since Jason discovered a spot of his personal in Mount Pearl, they’ve managed to separate in a single day stays fairly evenly, with Cori going to her mother’s home on weekdays after college.

However with the worldwide unfold of COVID-19 forcing colleges in Newfoundland and Labrador to shut indefinitely, Lisa and Jason are adjusting that routine, with Cori going forwards and backwards between the properties on a day-to-day foundation as an alternative of each three to 4 days. Usually, there are 5 – 6 different kids at Lisa’s day residence, however now it is simply the mom and daughter.

Lisa stated her daughter is at all times in search of somebody to play with, and that may get tiring for a mother or father.

“She would not have her little play pals now, in order that’s a unique factor for her, as a result of it is simply me and her,” Lisa stated. “However we have been doing actually good with it in that we’re alternating days in order that she’s not with one among us for 2 days in a row … and she or he’s not losing interest of 1 home.”

Jason has seen Cori wants extra time today to go to sleep, given she’s not burning as a lot power throughout the day. Past that, he says she is dealing with issues effectively.

“We have got a great child — she’s not arduous to handle,” Jason added.

Self-isolating mom

Dwayne Bedford and Jennifer Baker share custody of three boys in Paradise. Their properties are a few minute stroll from one another, so it’s usually no large deal for the boys to go from one to the opposite, even on brief discover if one thing comes up for one among their mother and father or one of many boys desires to alter their plans on the fly. Baker and Bedford separated in 2010 and are sharing custody evenly.

Jennifer Baker and her three children — (from left) Myles, Kalem and Delano. — CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Jennifer Baker and her three kids — (from left) Myles, Kalem and Delano. — CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

 

“We have by no means had a query about funds or who’s paying for hockey or basketball or who’s getting the youngsters,” stated Baker. “If he needed to run to Nook Brook, he is identical to, ‘I am travelling to Nook Brook,’ and if I used to be right here, it was virtually anticipated that I would take the youngsters. And identical factor. I am going to give him a heads up that I am going right here … ‘Can you’re taking the youngsters?’ … It was by no means actually a problem.”

Baker returned residence final Thursday from Cuba. She was initially prepared to take the youngsters and stay in her room to self-isolate, however as she mentioned the state of affairs extra with Bedford, they each got here to agree it could be greatest for them to stick with him for the total two weeks.

“I wished to take the youngsters and I might have been ready to remain in my bed room for 2 weeks,” she stated. “However I assume simply to take additional precaution. He was working from residence. The children have been protected.”

“When she left, it was nonetheless somewhat imprecise on the criterias,” Bedford stated. “When she left, it was, OK, they will come for every week with me whereas she’s gone. Then they might go spend every week together with her, after which we might return to our common schedule. Since then, issues have modified.”

They each in the end agreed it wasn’t value risking the well being of their children. Baker has not been symptomatic for COVID-19 since returning residence.

“We discuss every single day. She FaceTimes them,” Bedford stated, including the boys did get to have a face-to-face dialog Saturday with their mother from a 20-foot distance exterior her home. “They miss her.”

The boys vary in age from 11 to 17, so that they absolutely perceive their mother’s state of affairs. As soon as Baker completes her self-isolation subsequent week, each mother and father are snug resuming their common custody association. They will even stay cognizant of defending the well being of different relations — Bedford’s mother and father additionally dwell in his home, and Baker shares her residence together with her mom.

Physician’s take

Chief medical officer Dr. Janice Fitzgerald spoke immediately concerning the challenge of oldsters dealing with shared custody preparations final Saturday throughout her every day media briefing. Her feedback counsel Baker and Bedford made the fitting resolution.

“If there’s any journey, the youngsters ought to be staying with the mother or father who did not journey for the 2 weeks of isolation,” Fitzgerald stated. “However I believe so long as each households are adhering to the ideas of creating positive you wash your arms effectively, of separating from others in the event you’re not feeling effectively, not sharing utensils … then life has to hold on in that respect. We’ve got to dwell inside a realm of actuality for these folks. I believe it is essential for everyone to only make certain they’re practising good infection-control measures inside their households.”

As mother and father, Jason and Lisa are attempting to stay versatile with one another.

“We’re making an attempt to be as steady and accommodating with one another as we will, however there’s nonetheless hiccups, clearly,” Jason stated, noting he and Lisa are each lower off from Cori’s grandparents for the extra familial help they’re accustomed to.

In the meanwhile, they will hold issues fairly easy.

“Actually, Cori is the principle individual I am round,” Lisa stated. “She actually goes from from our home to the automobile to our home, with no different place.”

In the meantime, Baker and Bedford stay dedicated to searching for his or her kids.

“We’re fairly good that manner, that it has been a extremely open relationship forwards and backwards — we put the youngsters first,” stated Bedford.

andrew.robinson@thetelegram.com

@CBNAndrew

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