Families are crouching everywhere to stay close during the undetermined self-quarantine of the coronavirus. But for those who have separated households due to divorced parents and who also share custody of children, decisions about how and where to quarantine are not that easy.
Denise Albert and Jordan Fisch – exes of eight years old – had found a unique solution when they decided to rent a house outside of their New York homes, so their eleven-year-old son Jaylan didn’t have to go back and forth between them. Now the two live together in a modern quarantine, which also includes one of their two children, Fisch’s new wife Laura Goldstein, Goldstein’s ex-husband Dan Bassichis and two of Goldstein and Bassichis’ children.
Albert explains to Yahoo Lifestyle that the decision to bring everyone together under one roof was difficult to make. However, in unprecedented times, this seemed to be the only option.
“The first thing we decided to do was stop the back and forth between houses for everyone’s health,” Albert says of their agreement to share parenting with fish. “We both live in concierge buildings with a lot of elevator traffic and wanted to limit this for all of us. So we made the very difficult decision to put an end to it and just go for a walk with Dad. It was devastating for everyone. “
In the meantime, Bassichis had his two daughters – Abby (14) and Caroline (13) – on a spring trip in Vermont and couldn’t stop bringing them back to the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in New York City. But instead of keeping her away from her mother Goldstein, she and Fisch discussed discussing quarantining her in Vermont. Albert then had to make a decision whether to board the plan or not.
“I was the only one left,” she explains, noting that the absence of her and Bassichis’ other son, Jaron, 15, who is still in boarding school, made her reluctant. But she “decided it was in everyone’s best interest” since this was the only situation in which Jaylan would be with his two parents.
Now the mixed family – with a total of seven people – is in a house in Vermont. And although Albert says that all adults have had a good relationship over the years, they actively try to maintain healthy boundaries as they live as one big family.
“Everyone really plays along and respects each other,” says Albert, while all adults work from home. “We coordinate Wi-Fi usage because there are so many of us.” They even worked out separate bathroom and bedroom situations that felt most comfortable for adults and step-siblings.
More importantly, the group takes time out for activities that have enabled them all to get closer. “We work together with apps on my iPad. We have family dinners and then family activity – either a board game or children doing art projects while we talk, or everyone has their own FaceTime happy hour for friends, ”she says. “My ex’s stepdaughters will soon teach me TikTok dances, I can’t wait.”
While the longevity of the quarantine is still uncertain, Albert, journalist and co-founder of the media and event company The MOMS, is sure that the decision to join forces during this time was the right one. She even documented the experience by blogging about it and telling Yahoo Lifestyle that she hopes the trip will inspire other families.
“I know that not everyone can do it, but I hope that it makes us happy, even if it inspires a person, because it is really the best for the children. There is nothing better than that, ”she says. “We all now know that we can do everything and are confident that this is the beginning of even more friendliness and cooperation between everyone. This is the best way to get a divorce. “
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