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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is there anyone out there that lives with another family under one roof? Some friends and us are considering all living together. We are very big on the village raises a child here, and are seeking to recreate the days of extended families all living together.

Just wondering what works for you and what thoughts you might have on a rookie considering this idea.
 

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I do! For the last month my ds and I have lived with a good friend and her two dc's. So far so good. How many kids will you be living with? How many bedrooms? Bathrooms? We only have one bathroom and that sorta stinks, but not too bad because two of the kiddos are still in diapers. I am pretty tired right now, so I will just sub for now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I would like as much information as you are willing to share. What roadbumps have you hit? How to you divide up responsibility? How do the kids respond?

We would be a family of 4 adults, 5 kids, 3 dogs, 2 cats, and a bird. We have 4 bedrooms and are discussing adding a 5th. We have 3 bathrooms.
 

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hello
we have a 4 bedroom house with 4 adults, 4 kids and 4 cats. 1.5 bathrooms. it's not a very big house and we're incredibly cramped, but we all like each other lots and so it's worked so far. i watch all the kids (1 of which is mine) and the other 3 adults work.
i've lived in various community settings for all of my adult life, so if there's anything anyone is wondering about, ask away!
josy
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Josy,
Please share what type of problems, conflicts, roadbumps you have hit. What advice would you have for 2 families looking to do this?
TIA

I guess some info about how we see this working might help.

I will be staying home as well as the husband from the other couple. The oldest girl goes to school. The 2 middle boys will be homeschooled. The preschooler will obviously be home, as well as our infant daughter.

My dh and the other dw will be working.

How do you handle household spending? ie. groceries and such.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by abbieandlady
Josy,
Please share what type of problems, conflicts, roadbumps you have hit. What advice would you have for 2 families looking to do this?
TIA

I guess some info about how we see this working might help.

I will be staying home as well as the husband from the other couple. The oldest girl goes to school. The 2 middle boys will be homeschooled. The preschooler will obviously be home, as well as our infant daughter.

My dh and the other dw will be working.

How do you handle household spending? ie. groceries and such.
groceries - the other family buys the bulk of the groceries, seeing as there's 5 of them and they eat lots, and there's 2 of us and a baby, and i'm not a big eater. so they buy most of the food and cook most of the meals, but we contribute, too. we figured out roughly what percent of the household they comprised and how much we were, an we try to keep that figure in mind when buying household products. also when doing chores. you need to figure out numbers that work for you, but we figured that my 8 month old doesn't count, their 5 year old is .5 for chores and 1 for food (he eats like a maniac) the 9 and 11 year olds are both 1, and of course us adults are 1 each. so we have to split groceries and everything 7 ways, with them buying 5/7, (71%) and for chores it's 2/6.5 (15%)for us. it works out a little differently. since i'm home the most i do most of the chores, but once the others get home i don't have to do anything at all, kids, cooking & cleaning-wise. i probably do 40 - 50% of the cooking and cleaning, and almost all the childcare.
so all that boils down to mean that you have to sit down and have a prearranged deal worked out. if you just play it by ear there's almost always someone who feels like they have an unfair amount of housework or whatever. if you have lots of communication, respect and clear boundaries, you can share living space with almost anyone.
tell me if you have any other questions.
josy
 

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Your thread brought back sweet memories of my childhood. Well, I have lived in a large joint family where family members, including some distant cousins lived together. In all there were about 21 adults and 17 children in our village home and my great grand parents headed the household. It was a large house with over a dozen rooms - big and small. Women had a separate enclosure where menfolk (aged 16 plus) could enter only with permission and when casually dressed women, in certain relationships, will prepare themselves by going into veil. We children had a gala time. Actually, there was no discrimination and all children belonged to the larger family, some being closer to cousins than their siblings. Most babies and toddlers were breastfed by some other women too than their own mothers as a matter of course. Any dispute and problem was resolved ultimately by my great grand parents and thenceforth termed 'misunderstanding' or 'rashness'. The arrangement disintegrated with some menfolk moving to cities, initially individually, and then with their wives and children. Everybody used to feel sad on such occasions. With the death of my great grand parents the whole thing came to an end though my grandfather tried to unsuccessfully emulate his father to some extent.
Shall be glad to satisfy any curiosity in the matter.
Uzra
 

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Wow, just the 3 of us and a dog feels hectic at times...the sense of community sounds very appealing...and getting to help eachother...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Uzra,
(If I spelled that wrong forgive me. I had to login before I could reply and have forgotten exactly how you spell your name.)

Your family sounds wonderful. I'm curious what culture you are from. My dd has been nursed by several women so I understand that aspect completley. The family we are considering doing this with is very close. When they are with us there is no ...but MY mom said... They treat all of us as parents. The other wife has "nursed" my dd when she needed to go to sleep. (I put it in quotes, because she is dry and hasn't nursed a baby in almost 2 years) Sometimes my dd actually prefers the comfort sucking without getting anything.

For all of you...
My dh is concerned that this arrangement might harm a very good friendship. My dh has a hard time communicating his feelings. He was raised in a very guilt ridden house. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

Does anyone know if there are any books written on the subject? (For modern day America)

TIA
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by abbieandlady

Does anyone know if there are any books written on the subject? (For modern day America)

TIA
I'd love to know of any also.
We're a big family 3 adults 3 kids and a bird, thinking of moving into a 5 bedroom with 2 adults and 2 kids and a cat....we would need a 5 bedroom, but after that I don't know who anything would be figured out.
 

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what it seems like you're talking about is intentional community. there are many different books written on the subject, lots of websites, and a million different approaches and opinions. you could do things commune-style, with leaders and whatnot, by comittee... there is no wrong way, just ways that work or don't work for you.
most people entering in intentional community do it for a specific reason - religious, environmental, cultural, etc. if you're clear about your motivations, that should help keep communication clear.
good luck!
 

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I've lived like this several times, we had a large home with a MIL quarters and had several families live with us. We've had anywhere from just one parent and child stay for months, to two parents and five children stay for several weeks. Our home was always open.
Since there were two kitchens they were able to prepare their own food, but we had communal meals often at the picnic table in the carport.
The snags we hit were:
When their friends would stay too late, and dh had to get up to work.
Struggles over the electic bill and who was using more electricity
Sharing the phone and the computer phone line
taking care of pets, since all the pets shared their space as well as food, sometimes "their" pets would be lumped in with ours for chores, clean up,
Privacy, sometimes when I really needed some privacy I didn't get it.
arguments with my dh... usually I had someone on my side, and nobody on his, not good for our relationship.
when the kids had an occasional fight, it was usually them against us... I didn't like that, rather than trying to work it out together.
My friendship has stayed strong with those who have lived with us, and I think approaching it as an adult, and knowing that we can't always "play nice" and being realistic, helps.
One I had to ask to move out, and it was really hard, and her friends were all ready to string me up... but this family and mine are still really good friends, and very close, she's thinking of moving near me, just never with me again, LOL!
Donna
 

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I belong to India, Abbieandlady. There have been big cultural changes in family structures and values in the wake of development and modernization here, but we do cherish old values to some extent.
Incidentally, I mentioned shared breastfeeding practised by women in my old family just as an example of closeness amongst them - the whole large family functioning a single organism. There were also things like common toys amongst children, claim over others parents to make demands, etc. Now when at it, shred breastfeeding in itself is a matter of tremendous joy in relationships amongst women and bondage with children of close relations and friends. The feeling is undescribable and best known to those women who have practised it. Well, I have been. If you have any interest and experience in this aspect we may start a thread on the same.
Uzra
 

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I grew up in a muti family environment until I was 16 (after which although we didn't live with others per-say, we had an open home) and than for the past 5 years we have lived in community.

I'm not going to say it's easy, infact I am looking forward to moving out on our own this coming November. Honestly DH and I really really don't know if *we* can do it LOL

Communal living takes patience, charity, tolerance and a huge sence of self giving. The philosphy of our household is "if each indeviduals only focus is the happiness of every other indevidual than everybody will be happy" easier said than done, but all in all I've spent more than half my life in communal living and have had no problems.
 
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