Top Tips to Avoid Divorce During Lockdown

We all know by now that living in lockdown is hard. For me the dream lockdown scenario (we all have one of those, right?) is one where I’m in my 20s, still single (maybe a boyfriend, if I must), preferably with a dog or a cat but definitely no kids. Who’s with me?

But if you’ve got a husband or wife, and god forbid you have kids too, lockdown can be tough.

The Beard and I are still surprisingly happily married after 5 weeks of lockdown and, even more surprisingly, we haven’t left our kids in the collection trolleys outside Pick ‘n Pay (apparently those are for sandwiches). How have we accomplished this incredible feat?

Only God knows, but here are a few tips anyway:

Rule #1: Whoever wakes up with the kids gets to have champagne with breakfast. If it’s too early (4am is quite early for bubbles, even for me), just add OJ and you’ll feel much better about it.

Rule #2: Always blame the kids. If something breaks or is lost, don’t blame your husband/wife, blame the kids. That way you won’t get angry with each other but you’ll have a common enemy.

Rule #3: No comments are to be made at any time regarding the amount of food eaten, wine drunk or exercise not done. I mean, by Day 10 we had almost 40 empty soldiers in our recycling bin and I totally drink less than a bottle a day but you know, now is not the time to comment on it.

Rule #4: Take turns with the remote control. If that means watching all 63 episodes of Love Island before you get to watch your 5 episodes of Ugly Delicious, then so be it. Choose longer series, I say.

Rule #5: Once a week, each parent gets a lie-in or an afternoon nap – a few hours when they can close the door and not worry about wiping bums, playing with dinosaurs or being a snack bitch. A lockdown holiday, if you will.

Rule #6: Take turns, with everything. Making dinner, washing dishes, changing nappies, jumping on the trampoline. If one person has to do one thing all the damn time, their life will quickly start to look like Groundhog Day and that’s when people start losing their minds.

Rule #7: Don’t sweat the small stuff, or the big stuff. Now is not the time to be bringing up deep-seated issues about your marriage, discussing whether your kids will go to a private or a government school, or suggesting your husband give up smoking. Don’t bring up issues which have the potential to rock the boat. Remember, you have nowhere to go if you’re fighting, and nowhere to send your husband.

Rule #8: Go out alone. And by go out I mean take your Zoom somewhere quiet and chat to your friends without your partner breathing noisily next to you. Girls’ nights and boys’ nights should not stop during lockdown. In fact, they are even easier to organise because you don’t have to decide what to wear or worry about drinking and driving.

So even if you are stuck at home with your kids and your other half, there is still hope. Repeat after me: We don’t have to be a statistic! We can survive this lockdown! I do love my partner!