Five months ago one of my best friends and I decided to shack up together to provide one another some much needed financial, emotional and physical support. What once seemed like a crazy idea because it was unconventional, has turned out to be a proactive life altering experience. Let me break it down for you.
We are not lesbians, nor are we in a romantic relationship, but we do cohabitate similar to that of a “traditional” Canadian couple. We co-mom in a large five bedroom home, with a double garage and a fenced yard, one block from our children’s school. We rent, yes rent, a beautiful home that meets all our kid‘s needs, which neither of us could afford as a single parent. We share a master bedroom because let’s be real; it’s huge, has a large ensuite, a walk in closet and by us sharing a room there are more bedrooms for our kids.
Between us we have six kids, three cats and a dog. Space is essential. Sharing a room allows us to exchange clothes, try out one anothers’ make up and test out the others’ hair products. We giggle simultaneously during our favorite bed time tv shows and reminisce about the day. Eating peanut M & M’s in bed, with wine, while watching TLC is one of our most skilled hobbies!
Not only do we share a room, but bills, cooking, chores and parenting duties are split too. When I am busy running my daughter to track I can rely on my roomie to start supper. Unexpected guest shows up? No problem Christy will change sheets and prep the spare room, ( and even clean the bathroom). Not sure what to wear or how to do a task? I have a live in who does! The benefits to female co-parenting are endless! The emotional support we both craved in past relationships has been unleashed! Women are great at supporting one another in so many ways. We can intuitively see what needs to be done around the house and what needs to be said when the other is in a funk. She loves cleaning the fridge. I hate it! I obsess about the floors which don’t bother her at all. We compliment each other in so many ways. A Second adult helping me raise my kids minute by minute keeps me sane. She is my voice of reason.
Yesterday, despite the Covid 19 chaos , I was allowing my daughter to attend her best friend’s pool sleepover birthday party at a hotel. Unbeknownst to me, Covid 19 had progressed to the point of manditory self isolation. Upon hearing that my daughter was about to attend the party my co- mom interjected, “ I don’t want to overstep, but I wouldn’t be a good roommate if I didn’t say something. Do you realize the potential harm to yourself and others by attending a social gathering?” I listened, but didn’t respond. I did some research, updated and educated myself on what she had said and realized she was completely right!” Without her input, and assertiveness, I may have put us all in harms way. Unilateral thinking is ubiquitous for single parents! Having a co-mother helps to field bad decisions and breath life into the good ones! A second adult voice, that I trust and value, living my same life, has all the perks of marriage without the same stressors!
Co-mothering in our context means we each can have much needed alone time, or go out with friends and there is still an adult at home for our kids. We can go out together and have older kids watch younger ones. We can run multiple kids to different places at the same time. If one of us goes out of town, the other is still home to care for our fur babies. Co- momming offers our kids the perks of a two parent home, with two happy adults! Nerf gun fights and sleepovers that were a headache in our two bedroom apartments are now manageable!
Together we model friendship and kindness; something my kids never observed in my unhappy marriage. We support each other consistently; emotionally, financially and spiritually. We have given one another hope for a long happy future. We are both better people because we co-mom, because we consult and confide in one another. We are a team and our friendship is unbreakable because we are both kind, caring, mature respectful adults. I hope co- mothering can become the new normal as we embark on the twenty twenties because every, single mom, out there deserves the kind of support we have!