Thursday, August 20, 2009

Co- housing. I just learned the word today (thanks Ann) about a week after we commited to the idea. Ruth and Chris and Bob and me and Liam sharing space and resources in the Stardust house Kerry and I bought 32 years ago to start our family. He alwyas talked about having a "family compound" someday and the idea appealed to me greatly. We considered co housing with Jean and Mark and Monica way back (didn't know the word then) It's exciting to me. And this seems like a good small beginning.


On a practical level, this is great for me. I have so much stuff I don't need or want - overwhelm - too much and I can't organize it. Now with Ruth and Chris helping, cabinets work right that never have. They have a knack for making nest. This is about interdependence - higher goal than independence, about sharing and mutual benefit. It's a lot of work right now sorting, changing, discarding, reworking, but great to have more adults focused on a project. Doing it together instead of us helping them or thm helping us - all doing it for a shared cause - ours. Separation has been too great. And of course Liam is a shining light in all of this.

Trick is making sure Joanna and her brood are included - keeping the usness of the whole family, keeping boundaries where people want them and avoiding false boundaries. This has (to me) to operate on an abundance not scarcity model - plenty for everybody, especially plenty of love, time attention.

8 comments:

Mary said...

I am greatly looking forward to hearing how this goes. Sounds like you and everyone involved is excited about it, which is pretty cool.

Sue said...

Are you saying Ruth, Chris and Liam are moving into your house with you? How big is your house?

mary j. said...

Co-housing! That is kind of what we're doing right now, then! Our situation is working out great, really loving it.

I am curious to hear more about what this means! And how the spaces will work / be used, for your house and Ruth and Chris'. I like your line about interdependence being a higher goal than independence, about sharing and mutual benefit. Very true. I think a big part of both marriage and adult family relationships is about interdependence.

Anonymous said...

Big challenges..one is the co-housing and carving out of space and private time..the other is relationships with your other daughers family so they will feel included as well. Having two daughters and families that live close by, that may prove the bigger challenge.
CA

Sue said...

I am interested in how the balance works with Joanne so close by. I know from personal experience the problems that come from being so so close to one and seeing her and her kids daily but lucky during the school year if we get to see the others once a month. There are feelings there with mine.

Victoria said...

Joanna isa the first one I talked to about this plan (after Ruth talked to me). We are making steps to make sure everyone is benefitted by what we are doing. Truth is, because she worked in my office for years and I have had the opportunity to really know, feed, travel with, homework help her kids, I probably have spent mpore good time with Jo than with Ruth since they've been grown. THese days she's working hard at her job and family balance, and I trust we will get it right - all of us. She definitely has given this project her blessing.

Sue said...

So...what exactly is happening? Are Ruth and Chris selling and moving in with you? I didn't realize your house was that big...only saw the kitchen though.

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