THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO MANAGING CHILDCARE AT CHRISTMAS

Managing childcare over Christmas can be tricky even at the best of times. At present, Christmas 2020 is not looking like it’s going to be the best of times. In addition to the usual challenges of making sure both parents get a reasonable amount of time with their children, COVID19 will probably have to be a major consideration.

It’s no secret either that trying to manage and improve your health and wellbeing during lockdown may have resulted in close relationships to be some-what tense and with Christmas on the horizon, having a plan prepared for several outcomes will hopefully give you and your family an easier experience, especially if you’re separated.

Here, Kerry Smith, founder of K J Smith Solicitors provides some tips for managing this situation.

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Schedule a time to discuss the situation with your ex

Treat this discussion like the important business meeting it effectively is. Make sure you’ve thought about your goals and where you are and are not prepared to compromise. Do any necessary research but be prepared for it to become outdated between now and Christmas.

Ideally, you and your ex will have this discussion in person in a quiet, comfortable place. If that’s not possible, then at least make sure you are both in a quiet place, where you can talk comfortably without shouting.

If you’re currently experiencing a rocky patch with an ex-partner and want to be as amicable as possible over the Christmas period, here are some helpful tips on ways to overcome insecurities in a relationship. This same tips can still apply no matter the stage of your relationship.

Remember that your children’s safety has to come first

It’s understandable that you want the festive season to be a time you make amazing memories with your children. This year, however, keeping your children safe from COVID19 is probably going to need to be your top priority.

What’s more, you may find yourself subject to restrictions on socializing and co-parenting through COVID19, even with close family such as children.

This means that you may want to build your plans on the basis of a worst-case scenario. You could then agree on potential options for what you could do if it is legal and safe at the time. On this logic, one of you is likely to have to agree to “see” the children remotely if a lockdown is in place.

Similarly, you might want to look at arrangements for altering childcare arrangements quickly if someone becomes ill. Your standard arrangements may not be effective against COVID19 at Christmas. Firstly, you might not have access to your usual stand-in carers such as grandparents. Secondly, you might have transport issues over the festive season.

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Keep touching base with your ex about Christmas arrangements

Ideally, you’ll arrange as much as you can in advance, even if it means duplicating effort. For example, you might want to stock up on Christmas food in both houses. That way if one parent has to step in suddenly, the children can still get a proper Christmas meal.

Similarly, you might want to get presents early so they can be appropriately divided. This isn’t about spending more money than usual. It’s about making sure that children can still have a good time even if the Christmas arrangements have to be changed at short notice.

Getting your gifts early will also give you a chance to ensure that they are free of the virus. This is as important with new gifts as it is for pre-loved ones. Depending on the nature of the gift, you may be able to clean it. Alternatively, you may need to leave it for the virus to die off naturally. Check up-to-date guidance on how long this should be.

Can you believe it? It’s nearly Christmas time all over again. This holiday season is by far my favourite of them all. I mean who doesn’t love festive fun surrounded by all your closest family and friends. Of course, I do understand that this time of year isn’t always the happiest for some people. So please just know that my inbox on Twitter and Instagram will ALWAYS be open. Nobody deserves to feel alone this Christmas.

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30 Comments

  1. November 2, 2020 / 1:41 pm

    This is going to be a tricky one for many parents – great article! Pre-planning will go a long way

    • November 7, 2020 / 6:12 am

      Yes I think so! It can be a difficult time. Thank you for commenting x

  2. November 6, 2020 / 6:24 pm

    I guess it can be such a difficult situation for many. There are some great tips here though.

    • November 7, 2020 / 6:12 am

      Oh definitely! Itโ€™s tough when you have children together but thank you. I have tried to share the most important parts x

  3. November 6, 2020 / 6:35 pm

    Couldn’t agree more about communication before the actual season hits fully. Much better to try and get everything arranged as best as possible now, rather than juggle the inevitable chaos that comes as xmas day itself gets closer!

    • November 7, 2020 / 6:11 am

      Oh thatโ€™s 100% true! Itโ€™s so much better to be prepared isnโ€™t it ๐Ÿ˜Š thank you for taking the time to comment x

  4. November 6, 2020 / 6:39 pm

    This is a great one, as a single.mum sometimes childcare is an issue for me

    • November 7, 2020 / 6:09 am

      Thank you hun! I thought it was an important one to share! X

  5. November 6, 2020 / 8:19 pm

    I think it’s such a good thing that people talk about this, it can be really hard. Thanks for sharing!

  6. November 6, 2020 / 11:43 pm

    Christmas will be so different this year (just like everything else!). Some great tips here for dealing with all the change.

    • November 7, 2020 / 6:08 am

      Thank you so much! It most definitely is a strange one this year isnโ€™t it ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

  7. November 7, 2020 / 1:59 am

    Oh gosh I donโ€™t even know where to begin this year

    • November 7, 2020 / 6:07 am

      Tell me about it. 2020 hasnโ€™t exactly been the best has it ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

  8. November 7, 2020 / 9:28 am

    Iโ€™m sure that this information is pertinent to many this year more than ever. Challenging times.

    • November 23, 2020 / 7:59 pm

      Thank you. I really hope it does help someone out there ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. November 7, 2020 / 10:06 am

    These are valuable tips for those in this situation, thank you for sharing

    • November 23, 2020 / 8:00 pm

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment! I really appreciate that x

  10. November 7, 2020 / 11:24 am

    This is definitely going to be a tricky time this year x

    • November 23, 2020 / 7:52 pm

      Oh definitely! In my eyes, 2020 didn’t happen! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. November 7, 2020 / 11:29 am

    It is so difficult. When we were kids we used to spend one Christmas day with Mum and the next year with Dad – it seemed to work well but we always felt sorry for the parent that was alone that year.

    • November 23, 2020 / 7:52 pm

      Oh I couldn’t agree more. That’s heartbreaking that you used to feel bad but at the end of the day I bet both of your parents were just happy to see you guys happy ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. November 8, 2020 / 1:04 pm

    Really important points to consider here. I think this will help a lot of people feel in control of what is an otherwise complicated one, especially in the current climate

    • November 23, 2020 / 7:51 pm

      Thank you Natalie, I really appreciate your comment ๐Ÿ™‚ hopefully it has helped some people! like you said, especailly with everything going on right now.

  13. November 8, 2020 / 2:30 pm

    I am incredibly lucky to work from home so we don’t have to worry about childcare. However, trying to work with three kids at home comes with a whole other set of challenges! It’s such a tough juggle and even harder than ever this year.

    • November 23, 2020 / 7:51 pm

      Oh my gosh, you’re a super mum! I bet you feel super proud at the end of the day though ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  14. November 9, 2020 / 9:56 am

    Good ideas, Christmas can be so busy especially when you work up until the day itself!

    • November 23, 2020 / 7:50 pm

      Oh definitely! it’s definitely a very busy time! xx

  15. November 16, 2020 / 12:01 pm

    Christmas is going to be so weird this year – I’m not really sure I’m ready for it at all

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