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Divorced mothers are moving in together – one reveals what it’s REALLY like


Single mothers join forces under one roof to share the burden of household bills and childcare responsibilities.

These arrangements, dubbed “mommunes,” are mushrooming across America, with women taking to social media to share their experiences of moving in together.

Kristin Batykefer’s marriage fell apart last year and she lost her job, leaving her with no income and nowhere to go.

Two friends took her and her daughter, now four, to their home near Jacksonville, Florida. Shortly after Batykefer’s best friend Tessa Gilder divorced her and she also moved in with her two children – now aged five and one.

Today Batykefer, 32, shares her life as a “mommune” with her 45,000 followers – as women pool their resources to raise their families.

Kristin Batykefer (right) and Tessa Gilder (left) live in a mommune with their three children

In 2022, there were 10.9 million single-parent families with a child under the age of 18 in the United States, according to the US Census Bureau.

Among these single-parent families, 80% were headed by a mother.

Batykefer said The New York Times: “When I had to leave my husband, all I could think about was how I now had to figure out how to do everything on my own – buy a house on my own, pay my bills on my own and raise my child on mine.

“I never thought about finding another single mother to live with and do it together. We just fell into it. But now it’s like, why isn’t it more common for us to join forces?

Batykefer, whose divorce was finalized in February and now shares custody of her daughter with her ex-husband, is grateful that Gilder’s daughter is the same age so the children always have someone to play with.

She uses her social media presence to document how the women divide care responsibilities for the three children living in the house.

In a TikTok message to her 38,000 followers, Batykefer shared how, when she fell ill, the three other women in the house baked her cookies and homemade vegetable soup, and took her children to the park so she could relax. rest and recover.

“This is your sign to move into a mommune,” she wrote.

She also gives advice to others and encourages them to create their own so-called mommune.

In another video, she said, “If you’re a single mom, I would say find another single mom that you align with in values ​​and then talk to them about it.”

Batykefer also shows the benefits of living with other women — meaning she can hit the beach and go to concerts without worrying about the childcare responsibilities that come with single parenthood.

Batykefer and Gilder also signed a deal with a television producer for a reality show.

They currently still live in the four-bedroom home near Jacksonville, but hope to use all funds from the show to purchase and remodel their own repairman in the coming year.

Batykefer uses social media to document how women divide up childcare responsibilities

Batykefer uses social media to document how women divide up childcare responsibilities


Being a mom is a super power and living in a house with 3 moms is super powerful! Happy Mother’s Day in advance to all the moms, but especially to the moms of my mommune. You two make my world a better place. #mammy #fyp

♬ Love Story (Accelerated) – SNC

Batykefer explained how the other women in the house took care of her when she was sick

She also gives advice to other single mothers who are planning to start a mum.

Batykefer posts videos on TikTok detailing his life in a so-called mommune

The women are not alone in their arrangement – and setting up is certainly not a new idea.

Mothers, especially those from non-white communities, have shared their homes for centuries.

But as many people have experienced a restructuring of their living situation during the pandemic, new light has been shed on households with non-traditional living arrangements.

Grace Bastidas, editor of Parents.com, said The New York Times: ‘In Latin cultures, there is this idea of ​​a co-mother – someone who supports you and helps you raise your children.

“At the height of the pandemic, we all started creating these groups of people, so this is just another iteration of that kind of partnership.”

She continued: ‘We’ve been told there needs to be a village, but it’s not always there, and single mothers in particular are juggling the rising cost of living and shrinking childcare options. .

“It’s part of the larger trend of parents pushing the traditional boundaries of what a family is and taking matters into their own hands to find creative solutions.”

Last year, Holly Harper, from Washington, DC, opened up about how she bought a four-unit apartment building with her friend Herrin Hopper after splitting from her partner of 17 years in 2018 and selling their family home.

She said the arrangement is a “kid’s paradise”.

Holly Harper explained how she bought a house with her friend Herrin Hopper for their families

Holly Harper explained how she bought a house with her friend Herrin Hopper for their families

In an essay published by Initiated she explained that she knew it would be impossible to find a duplex or condo in the area with her “single mom, self-employed budget,” but she wanted to own something as an investment.

“To be able to do this, I found another single mother with the same needs as mine – space, comfort, a home – to live with,” she wrote. “It was life changing not only for us but also for our children.”

Harper, who has a daughter, said she always dreamed of a family community like the ones she’s seen on her favorite TV shows. After her divorce, she “swore to be open to unique opportunities” — and, in this case, a unique way of life.

By a twist of fate, one of her closest friends not only separated from her husband around the same time she got divorced, but she also shared her “dream of community.”

However, they did not take the decision lightly. Harper explained that they approached the arrangement “like choosing a platonic spouse.”

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