Saturday, April 12, 2014

We decided to live with another family.

family one
A couple of months ago, I got a group text message from my friend, Kisha saying:  "Do you know anyone interested in house-sharing?  We are looking to house-share with another family."
My head spun!  I had never even HEARD of house-sharing - but I immediately sent her a message back saying: "We may be! Call me when you can".

I met Kisha at the farmer's market a couple of years ago.  It was around the time I was first considering homeschooling.  As soon as I saw her amazing free-form locs and her kids getting excited over dried figs, I knew they lived an alternative lifestyle.  I approached her and randomly asked her if she homeschooled, and she said "Why, yes I do".  And we became friends!

Our communication was mostly through text because she didn't live very close and her kids were on a different schedule than mine.  But whenever we talked, we got along really well and realized we have a lot in common.

During the call about house-sharing, Kisha and I set up a meeting so that the families could meet and see the house.  The days leading up to the meeting, I was convinced it wouldn't work out.  I mean, how could it really?  Married people can barely live together!  And wasn't it so weird to have 4 adults living together?  I didn't want to cancel.  I figured when they came, it would be clear to everyone that it wasn't a good idea.  Well, I was wrong.  Just the opposite was the case.

Our family dynamics matched very well.  We had similar goals (getting out of debt); the kids were excited, and they all liked the space.  Also (most importantly) Kisha and her husband are some of the nicest people you will ever meet.  They are extremely considerate and generous.  They are the kind of people that you just *want* to do stuff for.   We actually asked for less rent than what they offered!

They moved in about a month ago and it was definitely a great decision for us.  I can't tell you how amazing it is to have two moms in the same house.  One day I was super burned out.  I hadn't eaten and my kids were... you know, being kids.   I was so hungry, I was HANGRY.  I was so HANGRY, I didn't want to make myself anything to eat.  Kisha took one look at me, and said "You need to eat something." Then she proceeded to make me the BEST peanut butter and jelly sandwich I have ever had.

First, she toasted the super fresh bread in some super fresh organic coconut oil.  Then she spread on  peanut butter made from freshly ground peanuts, sprinkled it with a dash of salt, then she added the jelly.  She doesn't use regular jelly - she used strawberry butter .  It is really smooth.  She then mixes the peanut butter and strawberry butter together ON the bread!  Every single bite is a perfect blend of bread, peanut butter, and jelly.  YUM!

If you are in a tight financial bind, I must say it is SO worth trying to houseshare.

Here are some of the benefits:

1.) Kids have playmates all the time.  Zeke and Anaya are pretty extroverted, so company is ALWAYS welcome in their eyes.  They are way more likely, now, to play outside for extended periods of time.  Also, with that many kids, the things they come up with are hilarious and amazing.  At one point, they were all digging a hole under the deck while it was pouring rain, claiming they were *making* clay.

2.) *I* have someone to talk to all the time!  We share a lot of the same spiritual beliefs, so we always have something to talk about.

3.) Her food is AMAZING.  It is obvious that she pours her heart into all her food (and maybe even the kitchen, because I swear, MY food taste better since she's been here).  Also, she has great tips on cooking - so maybe that accounts for the better tasting food...

3.) It's really easy to share babysitting duties with 4 adults in the house.

4.) We are all saving lots on bills!

5.) I have less crap. Sharing space forces you to be more efficient with your things.

There are a few things that make sharing space less than ideal.  Some of them include:

1.)  Less space.  Yes, I am more efficient with the space that I have now. But still.

2.)  I have to always clean up after myself.  I am more of a clean-up-when-I-feel-like-it type of housekeeper.  Unfortunately, that is not the most considerate quality in a housemate situation.

3.) We have different parenting styles.  My husband and my goal in parenting and education is a lot more emotionally-conscious and less traditional than most people.  We try really hard not use shame (OR praise) to manipulate our children to do things.  We want to train our children to use their own moral compass instead of being motivated to earn our approval (or avoid our anger).  While Kisha does not use corporal punishment (if she did, we would not be able to house-share), she definitely uses a more traditional style of parenting.

4.) I can't wear booty-shorts around the house.  Or have loud *discussions* with my husband or any other thing that I probably wouldn't do in public.

All in all, though, it was a great decision for us.  We have an agreement try it for at least 6 months.  So, in October, we will all revisit the situation and see if we want to continue.  Even if we decide to part ways then, I am really happy I didn't cancel that meeting!  

This post was added to Effy's Blog Along!


  1. Wow...I never heard of this before but, I could see how it might work for some.

    1. Yeah, it works really well with mothers of young children. We already don't have much alone time. I can see how a single person would be hesitant to give that up!

  2. Hi Ayana. I seen a documentary on this ages ago. It seemed to be a cool idea then also. If I wasn't such a private person I think I would be open to it as well. Thanks for sharing.

  3. You're brave cousin. My wife likes to audibly scold me and walk around naked too much for this to work for us. Usually, she doesn't do both at the same time. I can see the benefits though. It seems like the adult companionship outside of ones own marriage could be the best part. Is spouse swapping every 4th Saturday of the month part of it as well?

    1. LOL. Once I argued with my husband pantless, and it did work in my favor, actually. No spouse swapping over here, though, thank you very much!

  4. I too am a Private person, but givin the "out of Debt" part, I would defiantly try it. I have been in the "drowning in debt" river before and it is not a happy place. Very Brave you are!!

  5. I am totally thinking of getting a roommate...but am used ot my privacy. But it would be great to do for 6 months. I don't know about a whole family though! That's a lot of personality but I am glad its working for you.

    This reminds me of sisterwives (except you aren't sharing 1 man). I think the concept is so great.

    1. Yes, it's like having a sister-wife with her own husband! And I would only reccomend house-sharing with a family if you already have a family! I am already used to the chaos of a lot of people around. So, another family is not that much of a difference.