CoAbode Success Stories
| ||Shawn and Darcie in Washington DC - "We met over coffee, and knew wed get along really well"|
"Because our sons are both only children, its been good for them to have brotherly attention and learn that they are not the center of the universe," adds Goldstein. "And were here to support one another as much as we can." For example, recently when Allen had a late class, Goldstein picked up my son from school, fed and bathed him and put him to bed. And we trade off like that constantly, which makes life less stressful for both of us".
|Jennifer and Simone in Minneapolis - "I'm a far better mother because Im less stressed."|
In a town outside of Minneapolis, Jennifer and Simone came to each others economic rescue. The single mothers, were desperate. Jennifer had two children, ages 4 and 3 months; a house; and a mortgage way beyond her means.
| ||Cynthia and Lili in NY - Sometimes you just get tired. And having a friend nearby and having support has, you know, made it easier.|
CoAbode is the greatest and I would be honored to further the cause We are now co-aboding , after knowing each other's families for a year. We are starting to build a business together as well, helping women in creative businesses...
|Alison and Sheila in Atlanta GA - "Well, I'm just going to make him my brother!" insisted 4-year-old Reagan after her mother explained that she and Dorian were not related. Dorian, 7, and his mom Sheila Hays (left) are housemates with Alison Sherrill and Reagan (right)"|
In October 2002, the four of them made it official. Now the makeshift family eats breakfast together every morning. A few nights a week after the kids are put to bed, Hays and Sherrill hang out in the den and chat or watch TV; as often, they go to their separate rooms and relax. Occasionally, one of them goes out with friends, leaving the other mom in charge of the sleeping kids. (Both kids spend weekends with their fathers, who are supportive of their ex-wives living arrangements.)Despite age and gender differences, Dorian and Reagan have bonded. "They are very sibling-like," says Sherrill.
Alison cant remember exactly what her 4-year-old daughter Reagan was doing that day to provoke her leaving blobs of Play-Doh all over the living room rug? Pouring herself a glass of water and missing the glass completely? Whatever it was, it was pushing the Atlanta single moms buttons. "I was done. I was finished. I was about to have a meltdown, " says Sherrill, 33. Fortunately, Sheila Hays, 41 a fellow single mom and a pro at spotting kid-induced exasperation was nearby, picked up on the cue and invited Reagan to help her in the garden." It was so nice, "recalls Sherrill. "I was able to lie on the couch and read my book for 15 minutes. I was like, Oh, Lord, thank you. Thats the main thing you need most as a single parent. Sometimes, you just need a break. "Sherrill and Hays are more than just good single-mom friends happy to give each other a break. They are housemates, and as such are among an increasing number of divorced, separated and never-married moms who are saving money, time and a big chunk of their sanity by moving in together. They met through Co-abode, a successful online roommate-matching service designed for single moms. It couldnt have come at a better time with 10 million single mothers living with kids under the age of 18 (nearly triple the amount in 1970), nearly one-third of whom live below the poverty level (versus 9 percent of all families).
|Michelle in Brooklyn - “she was a godsend”|
I mean she was a godsend, I just couldn't figure out how I was going to do it alone. Now we are looking for a third housemate.
|Christeen in California - "it is really wonderful"|
I recently hooked up with a single mother from co-abode for shared housing and she moved in with me at the beginning of August - it is really wonderful to create family in that way.
|Stacey - "I would definitely recommend the service to anyone"|
Had it not been for CoAbode I never would have pursued a home share situation. It was because of the CoAbode website that I was able to see for myself that there were indeed other parents out there just like me, with the same needs, and in similar situations, and in different states. This motivated me and gave me the incentive to investigate and explore home share opportunities. I would definitely recommend the service to anyone (and have) I think CoAbode is great it gave me the support I needed to seek what I believe is the best possible living arrangement for my son being a single mom and not having the support of the other parent. My son now has his own room in a beautiful home, in a gorgeous neighborhood with one of the best school systems in the state for far less than what it would cost for me to live anywhere else, city or suburbs alone. So, yes I thank you for creating this service that helped me find this great opportunity that we both have now.
|Katie in Texas - "It is a fantastic way for single mothers to find compatible living situations and create alternative family"|
I met a mother of a young girl thru your website who lived with me for over a year. We became good friends and her daughter is the flower girl in my upcoming wedding. I highly recommend co-abode as a way to find compatible living situations. I think your service is superb. It is a fantastic way for single mothers to find compatible living situations and create alternative family.
|Lori in Kansas City, MO - "We thought you might like to hear a testimonial from adults who were children of such an arrangement."|
My "sister" called me two days ago when she heard your story on NPR. I suppose our family was ahead of the times. In the 1970?s and early 1980's our two single moms and we lived together just as you describe. We girls were only 9 months different in age and in the same grade in school. We were often dressed the same and had the same haircuts. People used to question if we were twins (which was so humorous to us!). I remember kids at school not quite getting it?how is that you live together, share a room, sleep on bunk-beds, and have different moms? Our 6 years "co-aboding," as you call it, made us family when we really needed it. Now, the two of us "only children" are not at all alone, but sisters. It has formed us and defined who we are in many ways. We hope your organization can help match families for similar success!
|Kathy - "We are very much a family and my son refers to her kids as his brother and his sister!"|
I have been house sharing with another single mom successfully for one year. My son is 4 1/2 and her children are 3 1/2 and 6.We are very much a "family "and my son refers to her kids as his brother and his sister! I love your service and would be happy to help promote it in any way.
|Danielle in Washington - "But I never dreamed it would be this amazing. Simpler. Better. Happier. Easier. Cheaper."|
I was stressed. I was moving to a new town that I was ecstatic over, but everyone kept asking if I knew how expensive it was to live near Washington, DC. I really didnt. And then I read about Co-Abode in USA Today. I stayed up half the night during my first web visit - reading peoples profiles and imagining the possibilities. But even in all my hoping and dreaming, I never thought things would be THIS good.
I met my roommate at a Co-Abode support group planned for people in our area. We all became friends first (we both have 5 year old boys), which helped, and after a while began discussing what sharing a house would be like. We took the time to iron out a lot of details before we agreed to do it; how wed handle different situations, what was important to us, what we valued, and what we hoped to get out of the experience. After we felt sure that we could mesh our lives under one roof, I was pretty certain that at the very least, this was going to be a "good arrangement." But I never dreamed it would be this amazing. Simpler. Better. Happier. Easier. Cheaper.
Most importantly, our boys are having the time of their lives. No more boring weekends watching mom clean the house. No more watching lots of videos or entertaining themselves while she does laundry, pays bills, cooks, etc. Now, when we clean the house, there are two of us sharing the load -taking half the time and getting more done - and meanwhile the boys are peeing their pants laughing together! Its not been without its transitions, but its gone amazingly well.
And for me, having someone else to talk to, bounce ideas off of, learn from and share with is incredible. Not to mention that I now can have a bit of a social life, go see a movie, shop at night, go get a coffee...things I didnt do while living alone. And having a built-in baby-sitter that I care about and trust, and whom my son loves, is priceless. My roommate has even started to take classes at night, too, something she wasnt able to do while living alone!
I feel I owe a lot to Co-Abode. My life is definitely better because of your efforts, and I am grateful every day for how your idea has changed my life.Thank you for all you have done.
|Anonymous - "This is a valuable service I believe it can save moms and children from abusive situation"|
I would still be living with an abusive husband if I did not find another single mom to share a house with. My income is not enough to even rent an apartment so this was my only option Unfortunately; I have reduced them and myself to almost poverty status to do so. But safety and sanity is worth more than money. I know there are a lot of other moms who feel trapped in bad situations who would move in a heartbeat if they knew that they did have options. My ex tried to convince me that there was no way I could make it on my own. I almost believed him. But I am able to with the help of another single mom. I am also finding support and companionship through the mom I live wit. This is a valuable service that I believe can save moms and children from abusive situations. I checked into apartments, which I couldnt afford. With coming up with first, last months rent, security and cleaning deposits, I gave up on that idea. I stayed in a bad situation, had the police to my home twice after my husband became abusive. I checked into domestic violence shelters and found there were none in my area that could get me in without an undetermined wait. When I did find another single mom who was already renting a home, it turned out to be the perfect solution. She had already dealt with all the deposits and start up costs while renting with her ex-husband. He moved out and a couple months later, I moved in. My roomie was also having a very tough time dealing with expenses and was weeks away from moving into an apartment (which she didnt want to do) when we found each other.
| ||Audrey in Santa Monica - "We've got a much better house than either of us could have afforded alone."|
I joined CoAbode.com with very low expectations. I really didnt believe that I would make a connection there that would result in sharing a house but I figured it wouldnt hurt to give it a shot. I thought Id meet another single mother through friends, or through my kids school. It seemed that working through personal connections was a better place to start. I was totally wrong. CoAbode is great because its a central point for single moms who are looking to accomplish the exact same thing a better living situation for themselves and their kids. Yes, it may require us to start cold with absolute strangers, but the site provides tools that help us really get to know the person were talking to before we make any major decisions.
My roommate and I met on CoAbode. Weve been living together with our combined three children since November 1, 2001 and it is really fantastic. Because were pooling finances. We share chores like cooking and shopping so our stress factors have gone down and we give each other time off for exercising or movie going or whatever. It really has improved my life immensely. We started talking to one another on CoAbode because, on paper at least, it seemed that we had a lot in common. Both of us needed to live in the same area, we are both in the same profession, close in age and share similar parenting and life philosophies. And by using the questionnaires provided by the site, (which are incredibly thorough) we made sure that no one was in for any surprises. I feel extremely grateful to CoAbode for making something very difficult so much easier and I recommend this kind of choice to any single mum who finds it tough going alone.
|Heather in South Florida - "Its a match made in heaven."|
I first heard about CoAbode in a Florida parenting magazine. There were only seven members in the area that I lived in, and sure enough, there was a perfect match for me. I emailed Carrie and we met and got to know each other. Its a match made in heaven for us. Our kids get along great.
Emotionally its been great to have someone thats going through the same experience that you are. CoAbode has definitely changed my life for the better. My new roommate and I sit up at night after the kids fall asleep and laugh and joke about some of the trials and tribulations we go through, and dont feel so alone.
|Carrie in South Florida - |
Living with another single mom has helped tremendously with finances. Sharing expenses whether its with food, shopping, or babysitting has been great. Chores are great; we switch off. Ill do "bath"; shell do dinner or clean-up. It makes it a lot easier to have two people pitching in to do the common everyday chores. It has definitely brought a friendship for my son. The boys enjoy it. They think that theyre brothers.
| ||Laura in California - |
I didn't have a hesitancy about having a single mom move in, because I knew my daughter would like a companion, and we would have common interests, being single moms. Having someone in the same situation that Im in helps. We carpool, we have meals together, and the kids entertain each other, which has been a great benefit, because that gives us a little quiet time on our own.
|Christen in California - |
We met two months before we moved in and got to know each a bit. We knew we had compatible personalities and common interests. The kids get along really well. I decided to houseshare for financial reasons as well.
|Barbara in San Diego - "Its sheer heaven."|
Its vital to know the personality and compatibility of the mom your going to share with. When you get that right its sheer heaven.
Two mothers seem to be more objective and we have this mutual respect and admiration for each other. I see my kids have more respect for me for making the effort to do this. They have a playmate and they see I have more money to spend on them. My kids saw an immediate positive result of doing this. They get better shoes, better food.
There has been an automatic unspoken comradery. We come home at the end of the day and together we get in there and tackle what has to be done; you do the dinner Ill help the kids get their homework done. We learn to help each other in so many ways. We cover each other financially; for the most part it flows naturally. For me there has been a tremendous sense of relief in house sharing.
|Pat in Redondo Beach - "When I look back now I wonder why I didnt do this sooner."|
When I first decided to live with my sister in law and her two children I was really afraid. I had lived on my own for three years with my own two kids and was kind of used to my own company. (Although to be honest never really happy with it.) I thought that I was giving up my independence and the control over the way I would like my children raised. For the first three months it was strange getting used to having three extra people to live with especially the noise level. And also trying to arrange where the things she and I had collected over the years would go or even if they would stay.
The thing that I have really noticed is that when I lived alone, I was always so tired because of working, homework, and such that my kids behavior was slipping into the negative. I was always just too tired to deal with it in a positive way. When I get too tired now she will take over and vise versa. The financial burden was also such a great relief. It was no longer just up to me to pay the house bills or rent. That felt great. Emotionally too it is such a big help. We discuss our feelings with each other and really understand what the other person is going through. Living with another Mom is also nice in that fact that we get to mother one another now and again. We have also had the opportunity to establish a deeper relationship.
This June will be our first year anniversary. I do not know how long we will continue to live together. At this point we have no plans to change our situation.
Thank you Carmel I think this website is such a great idea and I hope that other single moms have the experience of house sharing.
|Star in Topanga Canyon - "Its a necessity. If it wasn't for sharing my kids with another mom I wouldn't have a life."|
As a mom you want help, you dont want to be alone. If you want to be able to go to the store after the kids fall asleep youve got someone there. I couldnt afford housekeepers or babysitters. Having another able body in the house is helpful; for example if your car doesnt work, there is someone there with a car.
The economic reality of sharing half the costs of the gas, electric, phone bills and rent make it so that I can have a life.
There has to be support and were finding creative ways of giving it to each other. Its the nature of women, I think; to survive is to pull together. Women are more similar to one another than women to men. In my relationship with my roommate and with her kids we have learned to be responsible for each other and even the comforting that happens, one women to another.
Its the way women used to live together. I just think that for me coming together in the long run is teaching my children something. For now, whether it was created out of survival or convenience. It holds a much deeper importance about women starting to parent together again; because were left with the kids.
For my kids its been a life-living lesson to live with another kid; to share your home and learn what its like to have to share. I have done this three times and for me its the only way to do it and have a life.
|Stephanie in Boston, Massachusetts - |
I have recently moved in with a woman that I met through the program. I have two daughters and she has one. When we met, it was great because we were actually friends when we were younger. It worked out perfectly!