There are many reasons to house share, as a single parent, as. senior or even when your in University and most of the mainstream reasons are that its less expensive and you have company but it goes beyond this, so I thought I’d take some time to show the hidden benefits which might not be visible at first glance for the single parent.
One of the main reasons why sharing a house and co-living with another single parent is because of the financial benefits. Its not just the rent that is a shared expense though, it includes all your utilities such as gas and electricity, plus your internet and TV subscriptions. That extra money could be used for paying off debts faster, enjoying a few more “nice” things or buying your kids some more toys, a holiday with your kids or even savings towards a new car, a education for the children or study for yourself – The list is endless. By splitting the costs you could splash out on an upgraded TV package or even share a home in a better neighbourhood in a better house with a backyard! . By sharing you could also save up the money to buy your own place in the long run which is an ideal situation for any single parent wanting to settle in the one place and have somewhere to call their own and paint any shade of colour they desire as well as the added benefit of selling it for a profit in years to come.
You’re never alone
When you live with another single parent, there’s always someone to hang out with. From having someone to talk to when you need to share your worries or a binge-watching partner for your favourite TV show, they’ll usually be someone on hand to keep you company. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to meet new a friend that is in the same situation and on the same journey as you that is outside your usual circle. Many great and lifelong friendships have formed from house sharing. It is also a really unique opportunity for your children because they can have an “unofficial sibling” and learnt to share, create and bond in a relationship that is built on different ground than other friendships. These too can be lifelong friendships and seriously, is there a saying that you can never have enough good friends and support? No, I don’t think so. Having another peer adult and peer for your children that isn’t you, when they need a shoulder is really important. It doesn’t matter if they tell you their worries at the end of the day, as long as they tell someone that you trust and know will give them sound advice, this is still being a great parent.
Plus you can create your own room as a sanctuary and buy a smaller TV and more books and if you need space, retreat there and this can be the same for your children. It’s not a bad thing to share space and retreat to your own when needed. Its just the spin thats put on it that matters.
Pans, plates, cheese graters, it’s a lot of stuff to gather up by yourself. You never know how useful a tin opener is until you haven’t got one. Sharing a house means that between you, you can collate all of the things you depend on to make your life that little bit easier. Both being single parents, your purchases will be useful and directed towards making life easier or entertaining the kids so it’s almost always going to be on the ‘same page’. If you ensure you make shelves with names on them in fridges and cupboards and a communal shelf and cupboard, educate the kids about the rules – then with clear communication and boundaries there shouldn’t be an issue.
It’s a great lesson for the kids to learn that not everything is theres and only some things are for sharing and it’s a good way for us parents to also maybe work on communication and negotiation skills – If I can have a piece of your chocolate, I’ll give you a glass of my wine!
Lets face it, cleaning isn’t that fun of a task and as they say, a problem shared is a problem halved. With kids, it feels like an endless quest for a clean house that lasts longer than 5 minutes but making a cleaning chart could be beneficial in this situation, or if you can afford it, hiring a cleaner to pop over once every couple of weeks if your place is getting a little bit too grimy which would be achievable because of the money saved on the other expenses.
Increase social & relationship skills
If your a single parent it is majority of the time you and the kids and the same circle of things you do, swimming lessons, dancing or whatever else is fancied, work and routine – living with another single parent with kids that have different experiences, opens up for different conversations and with the need to increase social skills and relationship skills because of the need for communication, boundaries, negotiation and expression of feelings and thoughts – skills of single parents and their children will be beneficial and will educate in how to have a relationship that is healthy and respectful.
Responsibility Learnt & Earnt
It takes 50% for a house share situation to work and the best way is to be responsible for what is 50% your ownership of tasks and to do’s and the other person responsible for theirs. This is hard when you come from a 100% must do everything background it means allowing to let go of the reigns a little and if its the other way around it means having to step up to ensure your giving and not just taking. Its a really wonderful way to empower children to be mature and know that the more responsibility they take on, the more they will be rewarded with and of course, single parents, you will have to show them how because they copy and mimic.
Environmental Footprint is smaller
If your sharing your using less in environmentally draining ways. You might wash everyones clothes together which means less usage of the washing machine or you might only have one person drop the kids to the bus stop so it means one trip instead of two single trips. At the end of the day two single parents are living under ONE roof instead of TWO and this means less energy, water and waste usage as opposed to TWO seperate homes. Your doing the world as world of good, so to speak.
It’s Not Forever, But It Could Be If It Works Well
As the saying goes, you never really know someone until you live with them. Who knew your house mate shed that much hair in the shower? Living with another single parent and their kids can be difficult or it could be the best fun you ever had, you just won’t know until you try it.
It isn’t a forever option, but it sure is a way to get ahead financially and smash some goals money wise and a fantastic way top transition into the single parenting world, when everything is all very confusing and hard in the beginning, the support under the roof your living in can be a lifesaver for you and your children.
And if everything is amazing and flourishes the amount of money saved can be used towards a bond for a bigger home, which might have two seperate living areas and a better yard in a nicer neighbourhood which gives the added bonus of seperate living space but still sharing the expenses. With an open mind and a little bit of patience, house sharing can be an exciting, cost-effective living option and offer the support needed on a otherwise lonely single parenting journey.