|RE: Questions about co-housing||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Douglas G. Larson (ddhleearthlink.net)|
|Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2004 11:02:50 -0700 (PDT)|
Its important to be clear about why you want to live in cohousing and what you would like from it. When we inquired about joining Songaia Cohousing we were required to answer that and other questions in writing. But even with clarity, once you are living in cohousing, things will come up that you didn't expect, both positive and negative. We did two things to examine life in cohousing at Songaia. First, we joined the community meal program. This brought us to Songaia for every community meal, which was 5 times per week. It gave us lots of opportunity to talk with members over a period of several months and also gave us one look at the work involved since once of the requirements for the meal program was that each member cook or clean one meal per week. So we got a good feel for cooking and cleaning up after 38 people. We did this for 4 months before joining. Second, we came and participated in all day work days on Saturdays twice per month. This work varied from gardening to simple repair tasks to cleaning and of course, gave os more opportunity to get to know and experience working along side other people. Having playmates for our daughter in a safe environment was one of our reasons for moving to cohousing as well. We generally liked what we saw. However, after being here for four years now the parents have yet to agree on common parenting guidelines or on what to do about children's behaviors you don't like when you see it in children other than your own. Be clear about how comfortable you are with ambiguity and not coming to final closure about a variety of matters. Every cohousing community is different but you may discover that some decisions can take weeks, months or even years to complete. Some decisions will never have closure. Assumptions you may have about your own family autonomy may be challenged by living in cohousing. After we moved in we fairly quickly realized that living close to other people and having lots of children coming and going in our household we had to take extra care to maintain family chores, duties, rituals and day to day living. Douglas Larson Songaia Cohousing, Bothell, Washington Hi. I'm Laura and I live in metro Atlanta with my husband and 3 kids (13, 9, and 4). There are two co-housing communities in Atlanta. We are interested in both. However, we don't know anyone who lives in either community. What is the best way to get a feel for how a particular co-housing community works on a day-to-day level as an outsider looking in? Co-housing is different from subdivision living, in that there will be much more interaction with our neighbors. That's great because that's one of the things that attracted me to co-housing in the first place - a sense of community that we don't have in our current location. As a general question, what is the best way to determine how our family would fit into a particular co-housing community? I am most concerned with how our kids would fit in, and whether our parenting styles would clash with those of the other families. Questions that are tough to answer in just a short visit to a community. If you moved into an established co-housing development, can you please share how you got a feel for the place prior to making the commitment to live there? I've considered renting for a year, but that's probably not feasible because we don't want the headache of renting out current place.... Rob Sandelin
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