This post focuses on traveling in three parts: lockdown travel restrictions, virtual travel, and our culinary adventures.
The travel restrictions during lockdown have presented a problem for many co-parenting families. I haven’t heard much discussion around this issue, although one Guardian headline reads Uk lawyers inundated by divorced parents arguing over lockdown custody. In Great Britain, parents are permitted to travel in order to facilitate court orders where children reside in two homes.
According to an article in the Irish Independent, separated parents are ‘wrongly denied access to children over virus fears.’
The Covid-19 crisis is being used as an excuse to wrongly deny divorced or separated parents access to their children.
Although significant restrictions have been introduced to limit the spread of the virus, they do not include any prohibition on access to children by a parent who no longer lives in the same household.
The Department of Justice told the Irish Independent that as things stand, court orders must be adhered to.Shane Phelan, journalist
Phelan’s article was published the day before full lockdown was announced in Ireland on March 27th, 2020. By then 3 weeks had already passed since my partner had seen his children from a previous relationship. Another 3 weeks would pass before his ex finally granted him a brief 24 hours with their children. Yes, they have a court order, but who is going to enforce it during this pandemic? The Covid19 crisis is presenting a very challenging situation for co-parenting families where there is already a history of alienating behaviour present.
Recently Judge Mary Larkin described a case as ‘parental alienation’ for the first time in an Irish court. For loving parents (and their children) who have suffered as a result of this damaging behaviour, it is a relief to see it finally being recognised by authorities and addressed.
Last May, the World Health Organisation officially recognised parental alienation syndrome for the first time, deciding to include it in the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases, which comes into effect at the beginning of 2022.Sheila Wayman, author of Parental alienation: ‘It’s emotional abuse at the highest level’
At the very least, children should be permitted frequent video chats during the full lockdown. While the 2 km restrictions are still in place, they ought to be encouraged to have daily phone calls with their absent parent. It’s refreshing to see that Judge Larkin ordered that any missed access days would be made up during the summer holidays (or whenever life returns to normal) in the case mentioned above.
During the brief visit, everyone had a great time reconnecting. Blessing couldn’t wait to show his brother and sister the new chickens. As luck would have it, one of the hens finally started laying that day. They had fun collecting the eggs together. The children were surprised by all of the changes we’ve made to the house and garden. They also observed that their baby brother had grown up a lot since the last time they saw each other. Blessing had his first haircut in their absence and his blonde curls are gone. His brown hair is now the same shade as my other 3 bio children.
My bonus daughter joined me for a virtual bellydance fitness class which was a lot of fun. One of the routines was a Bollywood inspired dance. She’d never heard of Bollywood so we decided to watch a film that evening. I would absolutely love to travel to India one day. For now Bollywood will be as close as I get.
Three of us watched Pad Man, based on the true story about Arunachalam Muruganantham, a social entrepreneur. We all enjoyed the movie. It was poignant watching it with someone on the verge of her menstrual journey.
Pad Man, I am hoping, is more than a movie — it’s part of a movement where women are no longer hampered, embarrassed or held back because of their biology.Twinkle Khanna- Bollywood actor and author, producer of Pad Man
I fully support the efforts of anyone trying to open up discussions about menstruation. It’s about time women’s bodies are respected. I think it’s sad how ashamed we’ve been made to feel. All over the world girls have been conditioned to feel embarrassed about something perfectly natural. It’s refreshing to see how this is finally changing.
A theme seemed to emerge as we prepared lamb rogan josh for dinner before the children returned to their bio mother. I love Indian food. It was pure coincidence that our trip to India via Bollywood extended to our table. The experience struck me as a great way to teach children about other cultures as part of their ongoing home education.
Have you discovered Spicentice yet? I love their spice packs because they’re fresh and simplify cooking! As long as you follow the recipe instructions you’re guaranteed a delicious meal. To browse their range and order your own spices check out their website here. You won’t regret it!
We’ve decided that we’ll do this again. We may not be able to travel to other places yet, but we can still find ways of appreciating the diverse world we inhabit. I’m hoping the kids will choose another country to explore on their next visit.
One final thought. If you’re like me- disappointed about canceling your travel plans over the coming months- check out Playing for Change. Follow #40daysaroundtheworld on Instagram for a bit of inspiration. We may be housebound, but we can still let the music take us away…