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Old 11-05-2013, 06:59 AM   #11
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Re: Anyone else living in a co-housing or intentional community situation?

I have children with disabilities, so they receive SSI disability payments. It was a decision I made a number of years ago, to stay home and care for the kids because A) I would have been working for childcare and B) For several years I would have had a nearly impossible time even finding someone to watch one of my children.. When you explain to someone that your child is liable to turn blue, people kind of freak out and run the other way. Now that my youngest are approaching school age, I'm looking at re-entering the work world.

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Old 11-09-2013, 08:34 AM   #12
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We have a good friend who lives with us at the moment. She helps out with the kids when she's around. We don't really leave them with her, but she will play with them, and keep them entertained in more of a "mom's helper" style. Outside of our home, we also have an intentional community of great friends who try hard to help each other out. I've skyways wanted to live in a giant mansion with lots of other people. Maybe someday we will.
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:10 PM   #13
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Re: Anyone else living in a co-housing or intentional community situation?

So excited to subscribe and say "ME!!!" that I haven't read everything here. I'll go back and read now.
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:33 PM   #14
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Re: Anyone else living in a co-housing or intentional community situation?

Ok, I'm caught up. Luna, your set up is a co-housing dream. good for you!
My DH and I found each other and ecided to "team up" in order to find a community together. we had a simple shared dream: Live a life where we did not need a vacation.

To that end (before kids and degrees and "life") we bought a copy of "back to basics" and got rid of the TV/Microwave/Toilet paper... we started building skills we would need for a much simpler life than either of us had ever lived. Fast forward to a few years later and I had become proficient in cooking/sewing/plumbing/cleaning... and finished a degree in social work (because our group decided that with kids+atypical parenting we would need to be able to address concerns if CPS or "the state" ever got involved). DH worked at wood working, electrical systems, structures, computer programing, and will finish his degree in economics in May. During that time we have also researched communities from Virginia to maine and from the coast to Ohio. We went to visit, talked on the phone, walked around, checked out, ate meals with dozens of intentional communities all over our chosen area. We even attended the Intentional Communities conference at Twin oaks one year. We had a false start a few years ago and had to take a couple steps back, but are all set to move to Dancing Bones by this coming May. We've been visiting there off and on for the last 5 years, and one of my friends from here (WV) moved up 2 months ago.

There are 2 families with kids, and 3 adults living there as "residents" right now. When we get there there will be 10 kids 9 adults (and I have another friend in TN that wants to come with her son as well)... so it's quite a crowd. The community is on 42 acres, owned by a land-trust, and each family has their own dwelling. The community building is a Shower/laundry/kitchen/office that is shared. The houses range in size from a simple room with a loft for sleeping to a multi-bedroom house with full kitchen, etc. All the houses are using composting toilets, none have running water, but they all have electricity and WiFi, lol. Its an awesome place to live. I'm really looking forward to the move. The website for the community is www.dancingbones.net if anyone wants to see it.
Here is a picture of some of the kids. 3 (2b 1 G) of them are missing, I think. (SO MANY BOYS!!! lol)[IMG][/IMG]

As far as how things work, it's a combination of shared bills/independant expenses. Everyone pays a small amount toward common bills/expenses (Laundry soap/dishsoap/electricity/kerosene/propane/internet/road maintenance) which is currently set at about 130$ per month per adult. Food is individual, though I love to cook so when I am there other people provide ingredients for shared meals I do the cooking. Kids wash the dishes/clean up after meals. We share kids/co-parent luke Luna talked about. Any parent can love and fix boo-boos, and any parent can correct problems. conflict has been dealt with in a gentle-parenting manner, with community meetings about big issues.

There is a lot of love. I am so glad to have a chance to share about this. Can't wait to hear what others are doing.
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:20 PM   #15
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Re: Anyone else living in a co-housing or intentional community situation?

We lived in an intentional community for about 7 years. We were neighbors. We had another group that lived 5 miles down the road, at this point 10 years later, only one family is still living in the house they built.

Everyone else moved on, we all had our own homes, they were just fairly close together, we just wanted to spend time together and share certain things like tools and help with projects.
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Old 11-19-2013, 08:25 AM   #16
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Re: Anyone else living in a co-housing or intentional community situation?

I've been meaning to get back on here.. just been busy (sick children) but Sageac that community looks awesome! Love the eco-friendly focus and composting toilets. I would probably have to say that for me, the co-parenting aspect is probably one of the biggest benefits of my current arrangements.. its been sooooo wonderful. We live in a society where we are raised to be fiercely independent and reality is, we as humans are communal creatures. We THRIVE on community, we are meant to be together, work cooperatively and our greatest happiness is attained through being of service to others.
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Old 11-19-2013, 08:01 PM   #17
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Re: Anyone else living in a co-housing or intentional community situation?

Agreed, Luna. At least, for myself/my family anyway. It's not for everyone.

The co-parenting model is really one of the best benefits. I love big families and this allows for lots of children and I don't have to carry them all.. :P Also, being able to go out or go run errands without having to leave your kids with strangers is priceless. The people there are a part of the family so coming and going is way less traumatic.

One of the moms that want to come up has a boy about the same age as DS1. She's a single mom, Xh is in jail for the next 10+years, and she wants to homeschool. She has to be the one supporting her son, but hates public school. I'm really hoping that she comes and her DS can be homeschooled/unschooled with my boys. It would be wonderful.

Another big benefit is that one income goes a lot further when the bills are mostly shared.
I really can't wait to get up there... I've been back and forh for years and have decided to stay in WV and get things done until we go again, for the last time! It will mean nnot being there with everyone for almost 6 months (the longest we've gone without being there) but visiting is getting way old... lol

Are your lot trying to add members? do you have meetings? What's it like for you?
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Old 12-10-2013, 08:52 PM   #18
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Re: Anyone else living in a co-housing or intentional community situation?

There is a co-housing movement that just bought property in CT. It is a series of connected townhouses with a common house and a large common yard and garden. I am very excited to meet the other families here, I do believe it takes a village to raise a family. An intentional community is right up my alley, so I hope it's good for us.

I did co-house before. It was a 4 bedroom house with a playroom, family room, living room, kitchen all shared. I had my own room as did the other mama. Her 2 older boys shared a bedroom and the three little boys shared a room.
If boundaries, financial responsibilities, and parenting styles are respected this situation really does work!
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Old 12-11-2013, 01:44 PM   #19
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Re: Anyone else living in a co-housing or intentional community situation?

I live in a townhouse with my friend her boyfriend (and they will have a baby soon), myself, my son, and another male friend.

so four adults, one 6 year old, and soon to be a baby

we live in about 900 square feet.

it works
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Old 12-11-2013, 04:31 PM   #20
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Re: Anyone else living in a co-housing or intentional community situation?

I think communal living sounds AMAZING! I would totally do it if SO was up for it and I could find the right group. I grew up an only child but going to a church where every other family was large. I loved going to my friends' houses where there was always lots of people.
It's weird because I'm an introvert in public, but I could live with a bunch of people.
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