Normally, when you run out of bread or milk and your a single parent, you pile all your kids into the car and set off to the shops.

However, there are a growing breed of single parents moving in together so they can afford a house with a backyard for them and their kids, plus the fort and the kids can be held down by one single parent while the other ducks to the shops to get bread and milk.  The median weekly cost of renting a house in Australia (suburbs differ a bit) is at a record high and quite unrealistic for a single income owner parent.

The financial aspect of co-living with another single parent is of course a major benefit, but it’s really the sharing and feeling supported that is the lovely icing on the cake.  Its about having someone else around to bounce ideas off, share issues with children and ex partner or work.  Take turns in cooking, cleaning and entertaining kids and being able to get more me time that is the cherry and added bonus.

It can also be especially helpful, if both single parents are on the same page, as a united front, to have back up when it comes to the kids, routines and boundaries.  It can get exhausting at times setting boundaries as a single parent, again and again.  If you have another single parent which resonates, respects and has the same parenting alignments, it can be really good for the children to hear from another parent what is acceptable and what isn’t.

Single parents that have done sharing, say the sharing of a kitchen is the most challenging aspect of living together, while screentime rules and chores have to apply to all the children in the house. Their children love having extra live-in playmates.

Domain Group’s senior economist Andrew Wilson says it is “no surprise that people are thinking a little outside the square to cope with the rising cost of living in Australia.  If you can share a house with someone else, you can try to make the most of your resources, conserve them, so you can afford to live a little closer in, or close to the kids’ schools”.

Financial savings, logistical help, childcare help, emotional support, a bigger and better house in a good neighbourhood … The benefits go on and on.

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