Should my kids and I move in with my friend and her kids?

I’m a newly single mom of one child (2 years) living with my parents and looking for a new apartment. I’m not psyched about the prospect of living alone. I’ve always lived with siblings, roommates, a boyfriend or a husband. I don’t really think it’s natural or safe to live alone, or for one adult to be in charge of a child.

A good friend of mine who is also divorced and living at home (with her 3 & 5 year old) and I have been discussing living together. We’ve known each other for two years and actually met because she used to be my child’s daycare provider. We are both ex-nannies and trust each other with the kids.

The pros are saving money (30% less rent), providing a much nicer home, having a safety net in case of illness and/or injury, playmates for the kids, almost a two-parent household and the comfort of living with a trusted loving adult.

The cons are adapting to a new roommate in the midst of other major life changes, asking the kids to transition into a whole new family, the emotional risk to the kids if it doesn’t work out and they have to leave their new family, the risk of the kids not getting along and lost sleep to the noise of more children.

I’m also in such a strange place that it’s difficult to make logical decisions. I wonder how much loneliness might be impacting my decision-making skills. So should I suck it up and go it alone with my toddler? Or is it worth the emotional risk to move in with another mom for safety, savings and companionship?

Have you ever had a roommate? They don’t help with the bills and babysit your children for free. They have long-visiting cousins who live on a strict beer-and-more-beer diet, they finish the milk and don’t replace it, they lock your boyfriend out of the house on purpose, and they ask you to watch their bonsai tree while they’re gone on vacation without mentioning the fact that a bonsai needs more care than a grandparent with a broken hip and then get mad when you kill the bonsai while they’re gone.

You’re afraid to be alone. You said it yourself. You’re so afraid to be alone, in fact, that you’re trying to cook up some crazy idea of a family that wouldn’t even be funny on a bad sitcom. I think they’ve even tried to make this into a sitcom, and it was cancelled when the roommates got into a huge screaming fight  that started over whose kid broke the screen door and who’s going to pay for it and ended with “Seriously, I never ask you for anything, why didn’t you take better care of my bonsai, you asshole?”

It worries me that you think it isn’t “natural” to raise a child by yourself. Guess what, sister: millions of women do it. I think what you’re really trying to say is that it seems hard. So hard, in fact, that you’re willing to put you and your child into a possibly unhealthy situation just to avoid the horrifying prospect of dealing with yourself. It might behoove you to get some therapy and figure out why being alone is such a frightening idea for you. Save your money, get your own place, and take care of your own child.

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