Pandemic Relationships

Living Together, Separating, Divorcing: Surviving During a Pandemic

Commitment over perfection is the way to go

We share reflections from a mediator and quarantined mom, Sarah Ater, from Mombasa, Kenya who reminds us that we are all in an unfamiliar place, without the accustomed routines of daily life to anchor us.

 

Recently, a friend asked how it is at my home with all this staying at home. She said she was wondering whether I encounter any conflict and if I handled it perfectly. She imagined that my home was an isle of peace. After a good laugh, I reminded her that I actually loved conflict and I particularly liked how conflict could bring about new beginnings.

We talk lots- my children and I. Perhaps it’s more of me doing the talking, which is not ideal but it still goes a long way. We know what each one of us likes or dislikes and we try to make our lives compatible. However, there are bad days, worse days, and even worst days when we completely want to get rid of each other- at least, that’s what I sometimes feel like. Today, we just had the third set of 21-day lockdown announced. After 42 days indoors, we are now looking at spending 63 days with each other without much choice.

I am fortunate to have some space around the house. So I can spend time in another room or ask them to go play outside. That helps me relax and keep my boat steady as Delma Sweeney would say. Finding balance and keeping peace at home at this time can be difficult even for mediators like myself. Sometimes, we say or do things that aggravate situations or even create undesirable scenes. Later when we look back, we see that we could have acted differently.

So even though I am not perfect, I don’t beat myself because faltering and falling is part of the journey. So long as I stay committed to the journey, it’s okay because my commitment will triumph!

Sarah Ater is a practising mediator in Mombasa, Kenya. A lover of conflict and words, she uses words to share stories about her experiences in conflict and with people in conflict.

Image by francesco patrinostro, unspash.com

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Living Together, Separating, Divorcing: Surviving During a Pandemic

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