Lauren and Samantha are both in their 20s, each with a child under the age of 8. They are both single mums and they both live in Auckland.
They also were both struggling immensely with the crazy costs of living and raising their children as single mums.
So the pair, who met in 2018 on Instagram, decided to join forces. They rented a house together and now are raising their children, side by side, as a platonic team. They share costs, they share bottles of wine, and, best of all, they support each other and each other’s children. As besties.
‘So much easier’
Rewind to April 2021 when Samantha found herself a single mum for the first time. She had broken up with her partner and moved from New Plymouth to Auckland with her young son, Kaelin.
Samantha knew she was in for a financial battle. Workwise, Auckland was the place to be, but the cost of living in Auckland can be quite intense and Samantha struggled to find a decent work/life balance, with the rent costs and trying to be there for her son while also working.
“It was hard for me and Kaelin to live on our own and live comfortably,” Samantha recalls. “Auckland is very expensive, and I was quite lonely and scared.”
That’s when Samantha reached out to Lauren, who she knew was also a single mum in Auckland. Samantha asked her if she had any magic tips to help her through this but Lauren suggested something better – to join forces, get a rental together and help each other out with all the single mumming madness.
Lauren also had a young child – a daughter named Haidyn, very similar in age to Kaelin. And so, the foursome found a house and are living their best lives, side by side.
“It’s so much easier living with Lauren. ‘I live with my best friend and Kaelin and Haidyn have a sibling figure for each other.” Samantha said.
Living their best single lives, together
When it comes to the daily ins and outs, Samantha and Lauren share all household-related chores and set up a joint bank account for groceries and rent. They don’t share the parenting costs but they do help each other out with each other’s children when needed.
“We’ve been able to split our finances and we are able to help each other with childcare. If one of us is busy the other can pick them both up from school, or if either of us needs to go out the other can watch the two children.
We always know we will have a babysitter if needed as well – it’s great.”
Haidyn and Kaelin also get along well but of course, have the occasional “sibling spat”. But, all in all, it’s been a positive change for both the kids and mums.
I was sad when I thought Kaelin would be by himself, but it’s so different now with Haidyn around. He has definitely come out of his shell as she is older than he is.
He tries to do a lot of mature things and copies Haidyn. He learnt how to ride a bike by watching her do it as well as eating at the table. He definitely looks up to her.”
At this stage, Lauren and Samantha are pretty comfortable being single. However, how great is it that, if one of them wants to head out on a date or simply have a night out, the other can babysit?
The besties admit that, when one of them does meet someone and it becomes serious, their living situation may change.
But, for now, it’s perfect.
“We have wine nights together watching Love Island – who wouldn’t want to live with their best friend?”
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of this arrangement and how well it actually works. I know a few single mums who have gone with this agreement and it’s been really good for everyone. It might not be a forever thing, but, for single besties, it can be a really smart way to avoid some of the single parenting pitfalls.
What do you think? Is this something you would consider?
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