would you move into a share house with 3 men? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 23 Old 08-19-2009, 09:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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soo... i'm considering my options for the next phase of life, looking for a place for myself and 2yo DS (who'll be with me 4nights/wk).

i've found a rental that looks pretty good - it's 3 men sharing a house in a typical mid-density suburban street, and they're renting out a self-contained loft apartment above the garage at the back of the house.

it's a bedroom, living area, laundry/bathroom - all private. i'll also add a kitchenette.
it has its own entrance through the garage, but also has a locked entrance through the communal living area of the big house.

WDYT? the 3 guys are all around 30 (my age), working professionals who from the ad seem socially well-adjusted and high-functioning.
I will get them background police checked, but -
does it seem safe? are there possible dangers? does it seem potentially dodgy? given that i'll be alone with a young child....

it mostly seems as safe/dangerous as any other single mum living in a small property set back from the street (this street is all smallish suburban allotments, medium density).

should i try to avoid entering the communal living areas of the big house when DS is with me?
get big locks? a personal alarm? lots of motion-activated external lights? have the police on speed dial?

i've never been a single mum before, your opinions welcome please =)
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#2 of 23 Old 08-19-2009, 10:10 AM
 
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You should not live in any communal housing situation where you don't feel it's safe for your child to be in the communal part of the house.

And you know absolutely nothing real about the situation until you see the place and talk to the residents. Anyone can write an ad that makes them sound good. But, the precautions you mention taking (aside from police on speed dial, which strikes me as a reasonable precaution for any household with young children, on account of how accident prone they are) sound very fearful. If you don't think you would be comfortable in a situation, it doesn't matter how "safe" it is, it's not a good situation for you.

The big worry for me is that you'd have no control over people moving into or out of the house. Maybe these three guys are fantastic. Maybe they are wonderful people, and would be great with your kid. But they may have significant others who are dangerous disasters. They may move out, and be replaced by people you would not want your child near under any circumstances.

If I was looking at communal living situations in your circumstances, I'd look for situations with other parents and other children, because those people will have more interest in stability, and a better understanding of what it means to have a child in the house.
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#3 of 23 Old 08-19-2009, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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well re: the precautions,
i don't actually know or feel or fear that it's unsafe, i just want to be careful and responsible.

you're right that a lot depends on meeting these people in person and sussing them out that way..

i guess this feels more safe than a communal living situation as our apartment is a private one. i'll decide to stay out of the communal areas when DS is with me.

so really, the only contact we have is in the hallway, not so different from any other apartment block i guess, except that the other neighbours are over the fence..
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#4 of 23 Old 08-19-2009, 01:50 PM
 
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gotta do what you gotta do, so I will never judge any single mother on any living situation. But I'd rather live with 3 guys instead of 1.
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#5 of 23 Old 08-19-2009, 01:52 PM
 
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actually... I read back over it... sounds kind of nice. follow your gut.
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#6 of 23 Old 08-19-2009, 03:04 PM
 
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No way in heck would I have unrelated men living in a house with my child. Besides other possible dangers, the single greatest risk for pedophilia is an unrelated man living in the child's house (whether child is male or female).

And if you think you'd be able to watch your child every second, or that a police check could find all pedophiles, or that you could spot a pedophile on sight, well, thousands of moms of traumatized children could tell you otherwise.

A small money savings is NEVER worth this kind of risk.

The only thing you owe to others is to behave with integrity.
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#7 of 23 Old 08-19-2009, 03:07 PM
 
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Seriously? Like for real? No, of course not. I wouldn't do it without a kid. You have no idea who these people are or what they do while not at work. "Professional" means nothing. I live in a professional neighborhood, and man, I could tell you some stories.

Find an apartment of your own in as safe a neighborhood as you can muster, with good locks on the door and windows high off the ground. If you can't afford a safe place on your own, look for help from family.
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#8 of 23 Old 08-19-2009, 03:13 PM
 
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I'd do it, if after meeting them I still wanted to do it, and if I was sure they were OK with having a child living in the house.

We shouldn't work on the assumption that every man is a molester waiting for his chance. If you supervise your child in an age appropriate way for a 2 year old there shouldn't BE a chance anyway. The kitchenette is a good idea, though, and gives you more privacy.
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#9 of 23 Old 08-19-2009, 04:59 PM
 
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Depending on the guys, I'd consider it. I have a shared living situation, its all women, but it works out great!
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#10 of 23 Old 08-19-2009, 05:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seasons View Post
No way in heck would I have unrelated men living in a house with my child. Besides other possible dangers, the single greatest risk for pedophilia is an unrelated man living in the child's house (whether child is male or female).

And if you think you'd be able to watch your child every second, or that a police check could find all pedophiles, or that you could spot a pedophile on sight, well, thousands of moms of traumatized children could tell you otherwise.
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#11 of 23 Old 08-19-2009, 06:34 PM
 
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I'm not saying I wouldn't do it...The safety considerations have been mentioned and I'm sure will be rehashed again.

The biggest issue for me would be the general mindset of those with kids vs. those without kids. I'm experiencing this transition at the moment with my first on the way. When you don't have kids of your own, it seems perfectly reasonable to stumble home drunk when the bar closes. To have women (or men!) over without a second thought. It's your house. You're 30 and single and you want to get laid. What could the problem possibly be?

I'm not saying these guys are morally degenerate. Heck, I don't think *I'm* morally degenerate. I'm for sure a professional; I just liked to party pretty hard too. The problem comes in when there's a kid around, you know? Even if you and DS stay out of the common areas, he's still going to hear the 1am drunk ruckus from time to time. Or you'll be walking to the car with a girlfriend/bar fling leaving at the same time. It's bound to happen.

With all that said, if it was the best living option I could find, I'd probably do it anyway and just explain the stuff to him as it came up, you know? It just seems like a better option would be a house with another mom with kids - you're just way more on the same page.

:yawning 33yo first-time solo mama to DD born 11/21/09
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#12 of 23 Old 08-19-2009, 10:21 PM
 
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i trust my gut a lot.

i came to that situation when dd was 4.

and the men accepted me. i liked them. felt safe around them. dd felt safe around them. they were either professionals or ph d students.

but eventually i didnt rent with them. because after meeting them a few times with my dd i found they werent really 'children' friendly men. they had no idea what to do and werent interested at all. i knew i wouldnt be able to keep my dd locked in our room for the time. i could see there could be issues in the future. issues they hadnt thought about.

i HATE moving. i didnt want to take the chance to move agian in 6 months again. so i didnt rent with them.

so for me whether it is man or woman i make sure they know what they are getting into with a child.

with a two year old no i would not rent with anyone who was not used to or enjoyed children - man or woman.

with a 6 year old i did not take up the option of house sharing with a older woman because she was too stict for my dd and not understanding enough.

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#13 of 23 Old 08-19-2009, 10:37 PM
 
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I am in complete shock. It is so so sad that we all live in a state of fear and paranoia. Most molestation is done by a family member not a stranger, so how about we all shut our children into bubbles so they are safe from even us.

Really... I think you should meet these people, really listen to your inner voice and go with any gut instincts you have. I do not think you should move into a place that you feel you wouldn't want your child in the communal areas though. Why is it any more okay for you then him?

I believe community is good for children. The more my dd is around others the more she grows and learns about other people and herself. If you plan to live in a communal setting you should feel comfortable have some social interaction.

Lastly, if there is any worry about a different tenant that you dont approve of, then ask about how your influence will play a part of decision making if anyone decides to move out and you are interviewing new tenants.

Do you know if these men want to live with a woman? or a child? Maybe they opperate out of fear that all children are terrors, or that women are neat freaks.

That last bit was me being snarky because I think it is rediculous to be so afraid or immediately cut off an option out of fear without a basis.

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#14 of 23 Old 08-20-2009, 09:11 PM
 
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No.
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#15 of 23 Old 08-20-2009, 09:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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really? i thought the fact that it was self-contained ie. private, and only communal in the entryway and backyard (ie no more communal interaction than in any other apartment block), would make a significant difference to people's opinions?
maybe i should have highlighted that at the start..
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#16 of 23 Old 08-21-2009, 05:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by vegasgrl View Post
Or you'll be walking to the car with a girlfriend/bar fling leaving at the same time. It's bound to happen.
I don't understand why that would be a problem.
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#17 of 23 Old 08-21-2009, 05:34 PM
 
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I would, if things checked out. It's a self-contained apartment. My concern would be parties and noise and such. Because it's a full apartment, I wouldn't think there would be more safety concerns than in an apartment, unless I'm missing something.
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#18 of 23 Old 08-21-2009, 11:07 PM
 
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It's self-contained. How's that different from renting any apartment? I would have no problem at all. Exercise the same universal precautions you would in any rental situation.
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#19 of 23 Old 08-22-2009, 01:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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well 2 things which differ from other normal apartments:

- being set at the back of the house means there's no street frontage, other neighbours are over the fences, so a little more isolated.

- there's the option to enter/hang out in the communal living areas of the big house, which i'll play by ear, but will probably do when DS is not with me or asleep.

so.. it's like an apartment with entryway and communal area shared with the 3 guys.
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#20 of 23 Old 08-22-2009, 01:55 AM
 
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I wouldn't have an issue with the fact that they are men. My issue would be more that I would prefer not to share living space with people who aren't kid-friendly.

So I would ask myself if I was truly ok with never using the communal space? If you are limiting yourself to your apartment, are you better off just renting a studio apartment in an apartment complex?

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#21 of 23 Old 09-01-2009, 12:24 AM
 
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I read somewhere that children of single parents are more likely to be molested than other kids. I think it's a real concern. I assume that you answered an ad, so I'm sure there are plenty of other opportunities. Does it have to be this situation?

Single, working mom to 6 yo ds, who may have spd, but is a happy little camper .
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#22 of 23 Old 09-01-2009, 06:25 PM
 
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i would be leary. i will not lie. especially with it being through an ad. i would feel more comfortable if i knew the people. i can, however, appreciate that it seems to be quartered off.

would i do it? no, i woulld worry about noise and the safety of my little one. i wouldn't rest on them stating that they are professionals (as someone else stated). there are a lot of professional folks who do unprofessional things, so don't let that lull you into a false sense of security. anywhere you live though, check out the sex offender registry for the area.

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#23 of 23 Old 09-01-2009, 06:42 PM
 
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really? i thought the fact that it was self-contained ie. private, and only communal in the entryway and backyard (ie no more communal interaction than in any other apartment block), would make a significant difference to people's opinions?
maybe i should have highlighted that at the start..
It sounded to me like you would be going into the house to cook, and use the full kitchen. I wouldn't be comfortable having to leave my apt, and go into a house with people I didn't really know, and either leave my kids alone or take them with me into that house, to cook on a regular basis. I guess how much of a kitchenette you're talking about, and what your cooking habits are would be relevant. For me, no.

I also don't love being set back/over the garage, where you're a bit isolated from neighbors.
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