sister wives

joey and emily, my brother and his wife, have lived with us for almost two years.
we love living together and have even started the search for a bigger house (kitchen) that would accommodate us better for communal living, especially if they eventually have a baby too. however, in the meantime, they've found a tiny old fashioned miner's cabin that suits them perfectly and they're moving out march 1. booo-hoooo :(

so in honor of my housemates, i figured i'd let you in on my biggest parenting secret: having a "sister wife!" we are home a lot together while our dudes work, very 1950's, so emily and i like to joke around about being housewives. 

this means my baby gets two mamas in a sense! emily is by far one of lucy's favorite people in the world. she makes her smile immediately no matter how tired or fussy lucy's been. she witnessed the first laugh, helps lucy learn to "talk," holds her while i eat, gives her special names and shows her how to dance.

if there is one thing i can't stress enough about parenting, it is the importance of having a good support system. i am really lucky to live close to both my parents who stop by regularly to hold the baby, bring me a treat, take a movie back for me, etc. especially since darin and i share a car, so oftentimes i am home without wheels.

but best of all has been sharing these first several months with joey and emily right here in our home. when i had to call for an ambulance while lucy projectile vomited at five weeks old, it was joey and emily who made the call and helped me see if she was breathing. i never get scared at night when darin works late. there's always someone to share a cup of coffee with, and a story to make me laugh. 

plus sometimes she's just so cute, it's nice to have another witness!

okay my co-mama emmy...i just can't wait to one day share these same joys with you. 
maybe by then we'll build our dream house, a two story on lots of property, with two or three bedrooms on each floor, and one huge kitchen to share. a housewife can dream, right ;)

while i look forward to having the extra space to make an etsy studio at home, i will truly miss living with them. we will see each other every day, that is one thing i know for sure!

i'm curious: would you ever consider co-habitation? does it seem surprising or crazy to you? what would be your boundaries or guidelines?


Rachel Buzzard said…
I live next door to my parents and sisters and I think that it is damn near perfect. So many people love my babies. We eat dinner together as a family every night and drink coffee together in the morning. I can always find someone to hold a newborn when I just need a shower and there is always someone to bear witness to the cuteness. It's the best.
Rachel that sounds so perfect! i can only wish to live next door to all my siblings some day!!!
Lauren Jenkins said…
I LOVE the idea of cohabitation, communal living...whatever you want to call it.
We are currently making plans for another family to come live with us, raise babies, vegetables and chickens together and in the midst of it, I got a little anxious, but this blog was seriously the perfect reassurance that we're on the right path.
Awww, sweet sister wives. You guys are amazing! I like the idea of communal living, but I feel like it's hard to get the dynamic right! I like the idea of 2 seperate houses on the same property and taking care of pets, garden, babies and things together though.
amy*lou said…
i think that is awesome! i live in the same apt. complex as my uncle, my parents live 5 minutes down the road, and my sister and her family live 5 minutes further down the road, and there's cousins sprinkled all over the city too! after being a single mom to two kids, who are grown now, i don't know what i would've done without them all so near! at one point, 11 of us, 4 generations, lived in one house. that was the best!! it is so nice to always have someone around, i wouldn't have it any other way!
Teeny said…
I love this post Heather! These last few years I've been getting to know you, it has always seemed to me like Em is an important part of you. She has always been a smiley presence in your life (photos)! So I'm sad for you too that her and Joey are moving out.
I thought I'd cohabitate with my bestie when I grew up; and I know that we could very easily - her and i, she is my adopted sister. But not the husbies. Uh uh, no way. My man is pretty staid as you know, and hers is occasionally (but not always) a violent lunatic. Nuff said. Tell me how you guys did it, did you have boundaries or guidelines? I'm at a loss to think of any. This was just adorable, two babes Em and Lucinda. x
Heather said…
Oh so sweet!! My grandparents came from Italy and co living with family is really something that is quite normal and natural. I am not sure if that is true of our culture or if that is more true of immigrants? We have co lived with family a few times and it really does help when you are raising children to have as much loving and supportive people around as you can. Now in California we have no family even close everyone is 3000 miles away and I really miss having family around. ~Hopefully one day you guys will have your dream house and land Love Heather
anne said…
oh this is so sweet! we lived with my sister in law for max's first two years. i couldn't have made it without her daily help. we also lived with my mom for a couple of years and that was nice too. the bonds that form when you live with family and friends are strong between them and the babies. there's nothing like it :D so, yes. co habitation works for me.
Milla said…
so sweet, I hope you get your dream house some day soon! I love living with people, provided that I have plenty of my own space too and would seriously consider living on a piece of land, or even sharing a house with another family, provided that it was the right people. Having Mali live with us this summer really made me long for roomies, it's like built in friends right at home which is perfect. i miss female friends when my main companion is my hub. I love him for sure, but it's not the same. We'd love to someday share land and home with some of our dear friends. Homestead dreams...
Trish said…
What a sweet and lovely post...
I think we are meant to be living together as families, supporting each other, loving and caring for each other and just helping each other to live lovely lives. I would love to do that, but my house is too small, and I don't think my husband would be keen. Although he did work/live in a Kibbutz when he was younger so maybe he would!
What a lovely family you are.x
Tera said…
I wish I lived next door to my best friends or had my Grandmother living with us. It really is hard with August, being my first and then in a place where everyone is a stranger, Jacob at work 6am-7pm or closer to 8pm. I have no other choice but have to let things go and focus on August. Something I really can't complain about. I have no vehicle during the day and nothing in OK is pedestrian friendly so...just have to wait. I very much believe in friend and family support with babies. It makes all the difference. August and I get very lonely. People here don't seem open to friendship or anything. Very unfriendly. Be happy to leave when we do. Will be spending a week with friends and hopefully see family soon. I cannot wait!!!
Andrea said…
Its such a joy to come hang out in your "blog space!" Seriously. In my line of work we have our fair share of nihilists and its just nice to know there are so many beautiful people in the world that know the true meaning of life :)
Anonymous said…
i personally love the idea of communal living. i dream of a sweet piece of land with animals and children running around. growing food and sharing meals. i think i would definitely need my own living space though.
Not surprising or crazy at all. I would love to share a home with another couple, providing we each had our own en suite bathroom. I think each couple would appreciate and possibly require that bit of privacy to retreat to. First though, I would need to find another couple that has a similar enough lifestyle and similar goals and dreams. You are so lucky to have such compatible folks in your life!
Ilaria Ruggeri said…
I came here today because I dreamt of your lovely Lucy last night! She was so cute as in the second photo of this post. So I just wanted to share...and then I read the post and it's just synchronicity! In the last days I was thinking about cohabitation: I met a lady who's living in a Osho commune.
I do hope I will cohousing one day.
Despite what Heather wrote before, here in Italy is not common anymore to leave together. My parents live 800 km away (with my brother who's still studying) and my grandmothers live other 600 km from them.
Moreover, I could not leave with my parents because we have really really different lifestyles and values. It would be a disaster for all of us!
Right now I live with my husband, a dog and two cats. No kids, even because it's just the two of us in a new city.
In my opinion, the very hard part is to find the right persons to do it!!!
It should be someone good for you, for your partner, for the pets!
But I will keep thinking about it.


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