Written by: Marcus Adams
Save money and lessen the load?
As a single mother living alone with your children, trying to keep a roof over your heads, paying the bills on time as well as keeping on top of unlimited amounts of housework can seem overwhelming, not to mention exhausting, as all the work is on your shoulders. If you would like to lessen the load and save money, why not consider a house share with another single parent?
This is becoming a way of living for some single parents who wish to have the support of another adult, but without the ties of being in a relationship or a marriage. Imagine having someone to help you conquer the mountain of dirty laundry, and an extra pair of hands when you attempt to enter the depths of your little ones’ bedrooms, in a bid to make it vaguely habitable again.
Bills cut in half!
Living with another single mother can halve the cost of the rent, utility bills and the weekly shop, and allow you to live in a fair sized accommodation instead of squeezing into a small flat the size of a cupboard. In fact, trying to find affordable accommodation that is big enough for you and your brood can proof difficult, and many normal house shares will not accept children. Even finding enough money to get a deposit and one month’s rent can be challenging, but without them securing a tenancy can be problematic if not impossible. Having another person who is willing to share the cost can make the move a lot smoother and cheaper, and you will not be expected to do it all on your own.
Another person who is in the same boat as you both practically and emotionally can also make you feel less alone, and provide you with support. Your new housemate knows what it feels like to be separated and to go through a marriage or relationship breakdown; they know your fears about how you are going to provide for your family, and they also understand that you have needs too.
Could children benefit from the arrangement?
Your children/child will also have the benefit of living with another child or children, who are most likely going through similar emotions of adjusting to being a single parent family and the new living arrangements. For the single child, they also gain a ready-made sibling and play mate, which can improve skills such as turn taking, sharing and respect. For you the parent, you have someone else who understands the situation, acknowledges the worry over childcare, finances, work issues and what it feels like to try to accommodate every area of your life, whilst still trying to resemble a sane and capable human being.
Having someone to assist you in cooking the children’s tea after a draining day at work can really ease the load, and stop you from reaching for the chicken nuggets and frozen chips…You will have support, time and an extra pair of hands to help you provide what you both know is best for your children.
When your money is stretched to its limits, with bill dates looming and your children yelling for those new trendy trainers they saw in town, your new living partner will be on hand for advice, support and a listening ear. Both of you will understand what it means to be a strong and determined woman who is independent and capable of providing for her family, which can strengthen your bond and further enhance a positive living arrangement.
Beware of arguments as in any typical household
So, what are the other issues that may arise with living with another single mother? There is always the chance that you may not get on: Personalities can clash, or the children may not get on or even resent the other children for sharing their space. Another issue is that one day, one of you may find yourself wanting to move on. Maybe you have found a new romantic partner and want to move in with him, leaving your life with your housemate behind when they may not be ready for it. Communication is vital and talking to your house mate about the situation and your feelings, whilst also acknowledging theirs too, will go a long way in ensuring a smooth transition.
How do you find another single parent for a house share?
So, how do you go about finding another single mother who is after the same living arrangements? Gumtree can be an excellent way of advertising, as long as you keep personal information confidential and stay safe. Putting an advert in your local paper or shop window are also ideas, and don’t forget your existing support network: Your existing single parent friends might be ideal if you prefer living with someone who you already know. Once the move has been made and you are settled, you may just discover that living in an unconventional manner may actually be the way forward!