Single mom cohousing got viral

Single mom cohousing got viral

I was able to cohabitate after my divorce and become a homeowner. 2020 saw the acquisition of a four-unit apartment complex by myself and another single mother, and 2021 saw the addition of a third lady as a co-owner. We had good financial fortune and happy children.

The reaction was largely favorable when The Siren House gained popularity. Many visitors asked for more personal and useful information. Some questioned the disadvantages, while others enquired as to what would occur if one of us chose to quit.

The fact is, it took place, and it wasn’t beautiful.

The handshake agreement shielded us from monetary loss but not from heartache.

Since 2016, my first cohousing partner and I have become acquainted. Our long-standing relationship had taught us that we needed to approach cohousing with explicit agreements.

We made sure our principles were compatible, and I immediately prepared our official manifesto to serve as a road map for when we disagree. My partner in investing made sure our legal papers were in order.

We provided one of our renters with a rent-to-own option at the beginning of 2021. She agreed, and the informal co-tenancy agreement now contained her buy-in conditions.

Midway through 2022, she decided she wanted to leave. We stopped conversing face-to-face by the end of June. Things were downright nasty by July.

Each of us committed errors, took away lessons, and left with scars.

We all agreed that if one of us chose to terminate the arrangement, we would cross that bridge when it presented itself, following the instructions in our manifesto and legal papers. Prenuptial agreements, parenting plans, and contracts are essential for safeguarding our assets and our children since divorced women are acutely aware that nothing is ever really permanent.

Divorce also taught us that we could go through a split and possibly emerge from it stronger for having gone through it.

I make judgments based on instinct and go through life at the speed of light. I make hurried judgments that result in unintentional mistakes when I’m under pressure or agitated.

We moved too quickly.

In the summer of 2020, we all moved into The Siren House. I now realize that I should have given the basement renter a rent-to-own option after waiting four seasons. I would have been able to get to know her better and comprehend her challenges and concerns over the course of a year without connecting them to my own.

Speaking of too much, too fast, we also made the decision to launch a side company.

Looking back, I am aware that our interpersonal and professional relationships would be quite different if I had waited four seasons before offering the buy-in.

If we didn’t have a new house, new business, new love partners, new employment, and other significant life-altering things occurring at the same time, we would have all been better equipped to support one another.

Recognize and treat financial trauma

Financial pressure was the primary cause of the separation. I grossly overestimated the effect it would have when times became tough since all three of the investors in our property had experienced some type of financial hardship.

We began a food service company with the intention of making money for the proprietor. We all agreed that food companies had a high failure rate, so we created a six-month strategy. The pressure increased on all of us when the company failed to provide the returns required to operate profitably.

When our cohousing narrative became viral in the early spring of 2022, we discovered that the company was bankrupt and owed a significant amount of money.

I remember being so furious when I first heard this truth. I became agitated. I didn’t understand why individuals were making choices that, in my opinion, blatantly transgressed the principles outlined in our manifesto.

I considered her actions to be a violation of openness and lying by omission. My spouse thought that I was being condescending and intrusive.

Underneath it all, none of us knew exactly what our unique financial anguish was at first. We were unable to work together on financial decision-making because of the hostility that was brought about by the opacity on all three sides.

Establish clear limits in your interactions.

We at The Siren House handled this matter with rage, resentment, discomfort, and pain—not by taking legal action—because we are all wonderful people dealing with financial hardship, emotional trauma, and a variety of other stresses in our lives.

She departed. She absolved the other two partners of the company of any debt obligations.

I’ll keep working on overcoming my financial trauma and expressing my needs and limits in a way that is both honest and clear. Additionally, they will have that opportunity to evaluate how I affect their life.

People can work together and reach better judgments when there is clarity, common understanding, and specific commitments. Due to my experience in business consulting and my friendship with The Siren House’s initial investor, I am aware of this. I must take my time, pay attention, and learn from my errors in order to avoid making the same ones when we welcome the next renter into our house.

Anagram Consulting, Blue Bike Communications, and Siren Foundry were all founded by Holly Harper. She is also an author of “The Deal of the Dollhouse: How Toxic Self Care Nearly Destroyed Me,” a book on toxic self care and management consultant.

»Single mom cohousing got viral«

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