Sharing a house with another single mom? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 08-10-2011, 04:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Has anyone done this before?  Was it a good experience?  What was your arrangement like? 



A single mom friend of mine currently has room mates living in her downstairs (bi-level house), and then they share  the common areas, such as kitchen and bathroom.  They are moving out in the winter and her and I are discussing possibilities for us to become room mates.


I cannot afford to do anything unless I pretty much eliminate childcare.  She does want to do childcare swapping, but she is mostly a SAHM, and only works 2-3 overnights as a nurse, so the childcare swap would be very unbalanced as she would end up having my kids a lot more, as I am a WOHM, full time.


She said if her doing that meant I could pay the mortgage, then it wouldn't be unbalanced.  If she is unable to find a room mate, she will lose her house.


I have not known her very long, but she has quickly become one of my best friends, and it has been a long time since I've had a local best gal friend that I can go chill with and have play dates with.  I really don't want to jeopardize our friendship with a bad room mate situation.


So advice... what sort of things should be discussed before this?  What other things should I think about?

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#2 of 4 Old 08-10-2011, 06:53 AM
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I am about to house share with a single mama friend of mine and her son. We've been friends for 10 yrs and lived together for awhile before we had kids. It didn't go perfectly then, and did cause some stress on our friendship. In hindsight, we didn't communicate that well and were both kind of micro-managing in some ways.


We are thinking of it like we are blending our families, essentially being platonic wives. :) We are not combining income and will most likely just split everything in half, but we are talking about lots of options for childcare. She is going to do some childcare for me in exchange for rent for a little while (she's moving here from out of state and doesn't have a job yet). We have talked about our comfort levels and expectations in terms of overnight guests, visitors/gatherings, lifestyle stuff, etc. We don't have any agreements in writing and we may not create anything. We are pretty honest communicators with each other, so my hope is that that will allow us to get through any difficulties case by case. 


I'm also interested in what people have done or are doing that worked well or not so well!! 

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#3 of 4 Old 08-10-2011, 10:38 AM
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I think with lots of boundaries and well-defined separate spaces, it would work. I recommend writing down all the house rules you two can think of and very clearly write out the childcare/rent arrangements, so that there's no gray area for either of you to get resentful about. If you both know what the other expects, it can help with a lot of problems down the line.

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#4 of 4 Old 08-10-2011, 05:30 PM
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Would you be caring for her children on her overnights?  Is that going to work if your children are sleeping down stairs and hers are upstairs?  Are you going to be able to get enough sleep those nights so that you are rested for work?


Also, what is her mortgage compared to what you are currently paying for childcare?


I know from talking with you in the past that you often get up crazy early for work - how is that going to work for her?  As in, is she a morning person (my uncle wakes up naturally at 3am every day, so it wouldn't bother him even a bit, cause he'd already be up), or does she sleep in? 


On days after her overnights, is she going to be able to keep your children in addition to hers? 


I think that an arrangement like that could work out - but you need to think of every single scenario and if it would work for BOTH of you.  If it won't, don't feel bad about saying No.  She will probably find another housemate if you decide not to do it.  That said, I think just about anything would be better than you living with your parents, so its definitely something to consider.

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