Cohabitating With Another Single Mom: Could You Do It?
September 22, 2011
I was reading an interesting article on Babble.com the other day about single moms who live with other single moms. I immediately forwarded the link to my single mom friend, Mareesa. Her son Crissy and JD are the same age and best buds. I wrote: “Wanna be roomies? LOL.
Here’s the thing, I get it. And the idea of living with another adult, even a single mom, is alluring. I would love the company in the evening, instead of working in a dim office or watching television alone in my bed. Instead of unraveling alone in my bed, worrying about work, money, JD’s college fund, the fact that I’m approaching 31 and single. The fact that JD’s dad is oblivious to the reality unfolding in NJ, lalalalalalalala. Being able to hash all this out with someone, instead of letting my brain race and fry would be awesome. I tend to think a lot at night.
Then there would be the whole “help” thing. If I lived with another single mom, she could watch the kids while I cleaned the dinner dishes, instead of the TV watching JD and me saying, “One sec, bud, I’ll be right there.” She could watch JD for free while I went on a date, because babysitters are expensive and sometimes dates suck and then I just feel like I threw cash away. There would be another adult there to step in if I needed a break, and I do sometimes, but I often just call a “quiet time timeout.” JD plays with his toys and I read, or just sit still, breathing. Then I could swap this all with her—help her out. We could tag-team everything.
The kids. The kids would get to grow up with each other. They would be like siblings, but not really. They wouldn’t be only kids. And in a perfect scenario they wouldn’t fight, but guess what, they would. This would annoy me. A lot.
The bills. Holy moly, we’d split the bills. The mortgage, the cable, the groceries, the electric and gas. This would be amazing. It would take so much weight off my shoulders.
The problem. JD and I have a system. A beautiful, solid system. He is four, not four-months. Bringing a single mom and her child into our home or moving into a bigger home together would not work for me, because I know me. I wash all of the dishes right after dinner. I make the beds before I leave the house. There’s bath-books-bed in that order. JD and I have our quirks. They might seem weird to others. We eat snacks in bed while watching cartoons. I read magazines while JD plays in the bath. We have nightly dance parties. We play hide-and-seek and sometimes I count to 50 just to get in some “me-time.” I don’t yell or use sarcasm with my kid. It’s just us and we get us and I’m not sure I could handle a roomie as a grown woman, a single mom.
I could handle this with a man I loved, because I’d be making a life with him and sharing responsibilities wouldn’t be out of convenience—it would be out of love and just the way things are.
I did the roommate thing in college (I lived with a ballerina) and young adulthood (strangers from Craigslist.org who met JD's dad). It was fun. We shared clothes, makeup and booze. It wasn't always easy (i.e. I've heard my roommates having sex and once the cable got shut off because one had no $ for the bill), but it was all stuff I could live with (and LOL about!), because my life was about work and sushi and boozy brunches, dating and shoes I couldn't afford. Being a parent is about JD. Period. We're learning to read and write and drink from a big boy cup without making a mess. I don't have time for BS. And in my blog, my opinion, a roommate would complicate my life and JD’s. I don't care how seamless we'd attempt to make the living situation.
What if the single mom didn't pay up on time? What if she had a man sleep over? What if her kid hit my kid -- do I discipline or does she? Would there be a chore list? This is all stuff I assume we'd work out prior to moving in, but you know how rooming goes...sometimes you don't follow the chore chart and eat your roomie's peanut butter ice cream and then sh*t is just weird. I have too much going on already. This wouldn't work for me. Kudos to the single mamas that can handle it though. Girl power!!
I like our life. The next roommate I have will hopefully be a man who loves US A LOT -- and splits the bills with me and cleans the toilet.
Single moms, could you live with a single mom roommate?