A friend just asked me if we were moving into a three-family with two other families. And that brings up my only real concern with this living situation: the size of the house. It is a single-family which will have three families living in it. We have all purged half of what we own, and are also expecting to leave quite a few of our remaining belongings in storage. But even with less stuff, the tightness of the physical house is the one thing that I expect might lead to more friction than would normally occur in a coop. It’s easier for dishes to pile up, harder to find a quiet space when you need one, easier to double-book guests, and harder to put things away when there isn’t really space.
If any of us have another kid, it will quickly become unworkable. And as our children get bigger, it will slowly become unworkable. I don’t think any of us see this as our permanent living situation because of the size of the house.
My ultimate dream is a big sprawling house, ideally with at least two kitchens & dining rooms, with three (or more!) families with similar age kids. My ideal two-kitchen setup has a main kitchen that everyone uses on a daily basis; cooking and eating together in the shared kitchen is my favorite part of coop living. The second kitchen & dining room allow anyone in the house to host an event that doesn’t have to involve or interfere with everyone else in the house. An old friend reminded me that I used to host amazing dinner parties, but since I’ve been living in my coop in Boston (for over 10 years) I stopped hosting them. It’s too disruptive to have housemates coming and going.
Life is rarely perfect. This physical house isn’t perfect. But I’m incredibly excited and grateful to get the opportunity to “live the dream” with these particular people, who share many of my values and are also fun, smart, caring, and generally awesome people.