About ten months ago we invited our friends; a husband, wife and two kids to move in with us …. permanently. I now describe myself as living in a Modern Day Commune.
Many of you might think that you could NEVER have another family share your space, and to be honest, I wasn’t sure how I would go either. I like my space, I like doing things a particular way and I am really OCD about my kitchen and things like the way my washing is hung on the line and then folded. How would I feel with another woman living in my space or another man for that matter?
So many questions, that would remain unanswered until we actually did it!
Having a little community in my home has really boosted my general well-being. It has meant that I could cope with a lot more than I otherwise couldn’t have. I have been able to get more work done, as there are other adults to help out with the kids. Instead of being isolated and overwhelmed all by myself at home whilst my husband was at work, it has meant I have had support in a lot of areas in my life during a particularly busy time with our business.
It couldn’t have worked out better actually, and it has opened my eyes up quite a lot with regards to our need for a tribe or community. Whilst I have experienced a bit of exposure therapy with regards to sharing my kitchen, it probably has been good for me.
What I have realised is that sharing our space with others is what we (humans) have ALWAYS done. I don’t believe we are meant to be living in our little homes with our little families with little or no tribe around us.
Since living in our modern day commune I have realised the many benefits of sharing a space with others which include:
- Sharing the weight of the world – being able to talk to another adult throughout the day is fabulous, especially for us women. It just makes us feel better to be able to talk with a peer, other than just the children.
- Dinners – I get to cook two-three nights per week now! I mean, how amazing is that! We take turns, meaning we have nights off to simply enjoy a cooked meal. It really is a big deal for me. It isn’t so much of a grind to think about what to cook EVERY SINGLE NIGHT! Now we plan out who is cooking what, and when, at the start of the week. Easy!
- Shared expenses – mean that everything becomes cheaper, meaning you have to work less to get by, or you can help each other push forward. We share general living costs meaning everything becomes a little bit cheaper.
- Many hands make light work – we all get into various things around the house, so things just get done. My garden is looking amazing and I haven’t done a thing!
- Great for the kids – it is great as our kids start getting older to have other adults to talk to. Sometimes talking with a parent isn’t the best option for the child, but another trusting adult is.
- The lows and the highs – I don’t think I have laughed so much in all my life! It is so great to have other adults around to have a laugh with. We can joke about parenting and life, and generally just enjoy each others company. We can also share our worries and stresses and it helps to have another perspective on things.
- Homeschooling – we share many values and ideas about how we want to raise our children and one is that we both homeschool our kids. Having four adults to share this experience is so fabulous. We have an in-house artist who teaches the kids about drawing and who also takes the kids for swimming lessons and on a daily walk. We each have our own unique skills that we can pass on to the children. Different talents that we can use to help the kids achieve the learning they need.
All this said we do have a very large home and separate spaces. This means we have places to get away and be on our own. PLUS, we are not living with family members that could potentially end up with dramas. There is a mutual respect of each other and we are very open about what we can handle and what causes each other stress.
More to the point, I am open to what causes ME stress. As a sufferer of anxiety, I have a few weird triggers but I feel that these are actually taken seriously (apart from the odd photo of the dishwasher being stacked terribly that was sent to me … as a joke). Thanks, guys!
We are lucky because we all have similar interests, we all love listening to hip-hop and enjoy various cocktails. We love watching comedies and having family communal soaks at the local thermal pools. It helps if you enjoy the same things if you are all going to live together! I guess it is about finding your tribe.
You see, what gratitude has taught me, is to look for the good. When I feel my anxiety creep up I just remind myself of all the amazing benefits that I gain from living this way. I actually couldn’t imagine life on our own again.
If you want to find out more about our commune life or homeschooling days, you can follow our modern day commune over on Instagram – Communelifenz