For 7 years I have hustled and found ways to stay home with my son, as a single mom, and I have inspired, connected with, and supported other moms find ways to continue to stay home with their children.
But there are two barriers to creating the life you desire and having the courage to live a balanced, intentional, freedom-filled life with your children.
1) Cost of living: This prevents people from staying home with their children (if that is their desire), quitting jobs they hate and starting a business, or leaving unhealthy, unhappy marriages as a stay-at-home or homeschooling mom.
2) Isolation: Without a support system...daily support, not a few hours once a week... families are living in isolation. Single moms, especially, don't have the flexibility to work without our kids for a few hours or run to the store if our children are sick.
Our current society lacks community. We don't have built in community to share childcare, cook meals, or other children for our kids to play with. Imagine how amazing it would be to watch our children joyfully play while we get some some work done on our laptops? Or if we had the ability to honor our need to nourish our souls in the garden or by reading a book? What about cooperatively teaching homeschool subjects or planning activities with other parents?
I have felt a restructuring of society in recent years. Conscious, intentional families called to simplify, slow down, live cooperatively, find ways to stay home with their children, and/or homeschool. Many of us are being drawn back to our roots, in many aspects of our lives.
For years, I've brainstormed with other moms about starting an intentional community for single moms or homeschooling families, but the women I've wanted to live with are all over the country and we lack the financial resources, or the ability to relocate. But just like in the book Big Magic the idea was circling around, waiting for someone to act. All of us had almost identical ideas, but we were so deep in the depths of motherhood, that we didn't have the energy or the resources to create what we so desperately needed, the thing that would allow us to breathe and to break free from the struggle.
If you search for established communities, you'll quickly realize that most are either not family-friendly or not affordable for one-earner families.
Yesterday, a friend sent me a meme about "buying a plot of land and starting a commune" and EVERYTHING I've been envisioning and brainstorming clicked into place.
I know that I have been called and intuitively led to assist in breaking the down the barriers to Sovereign Motherhood.
There needs to be options and resources for families who are drawn to live differently, to rely on community, and that want to stay home with their children or at least have jobs that allow them to work less and live more.
There are resources for single mothers to co-habitate and for people to find intentional communities, but none of these resources fit many of the needs of the women and families that I come into contact with.
We need to start somewhere. We are recognizing that the current structure is not supportive of families and raising our children in isolation is leading to increased stress and unhappiness. As more families are being drawn towards pooling resources and living in community; affordable, established options are not available. I believe that the solution is to create opportunities for families to live cooperatively with our current resources, through sharing housing or land, while we plan out larger scale cost-effective, intentional communities. Start where we are at!
I have created The Directory of Cost-Effective, Cooperative Living for Intentional Families Facebook group.
This directory fills a need for us to find support and connect and brainstorm cost-effective, cooperative living opportunities for families who:
⧫Strive to simplify their lives, live cooperatively, and be present, conscious, intentional parents for their children.
⧫Have a need or an offer for inexpensive, free, or bartered housing or land.
⧫Have a strong desire to live in community, share resources, and raise their children with a built-in support system. They long to create a freedom-filled life that allows them to work less, build up businesses, continue to stay home and/or homeschool their children with other families.
This directory is perfect for you if:
⧫You are a solo/single parent, you are married and raising your child in a two-parent family, or you have a partner that you parent with. Cost-effective means different things for everyone, so all income brackets are welcome.
⧫You have an immediate need for affordable housing and/or you want to live cooperatively with other families, for short-term or long-term.
⧫You have extra rooms or separate living spaces to offer; or land for families to park a camper or tiny home, for short-term or long-term needs.
⧫You want to connect with families who desire this lifestyle, make plans for a community, rent/buy a property together, and start an intentional community from the ground up.
⧫You desire to connect with other traveling/roadschooling families who want to live cooperatively and travel (caravan) together or meet-up on the road, so that you have community and freedom to explore the country.
⧫You have knowledge of affordable properties, campsites, or family focused, intentional communities that already exist.
⧫You are not currently looking for anything, but are interested in joining the conversation, meeting local families for fellowship/meetups, or for discussing strategies to create larger scale communities.
I believe these communities will change the world, at a local level. The benefits of living in community, include:
⧫Lowering your cost of living, which allows individuals, especially stay-at-home moms, to leave unhealthy marriages, work less and share childcare with other families, or continue to be a stay-at-home mom or homeschool their children.
⧫Sharing duties, which allows you to simplify your life, slow down, and be present for your children.
⧫Homeschooling with other families and built in playmates for your children.
⧫Having a built-in support system for single parenting or during stressful life transitions, such as death, illness, divorce.
⧫Allowing parents to have more time for self-care, to relax, take up hobbies, or build a business, because children have a village of extended family and friends.
With membership to this directory, you get:
⧫Access to the private FB group where you can network with other conscious families, post that you are searching or offering cooperative housing, and/or brainstorm ways to create community, on a smaller scale, in our local neighborhoods.
⧫Access to the directory document that lives within the FB group.
⧫If you would like to advertise a listing on the actual directory, and not just within the fb group discussion, you can list it for $11 a month or $33 for the entire year, which ensures that the directory remains up to date. This listing is good for someone who has an immediate need, wants more visibility, or doesn’t want to post publicly or share their full name.
You can register here or view the facebook group here!
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