‘An expensive joke, but that’s how we live together’

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Everything went smoothly, found a new love and the children get along. But then comes the question: where will this composite family live?

Minke (34), mother of Sarah (5):

“We were kissing on the couch. Lex and I had gone on a second date after our Tinder match three weeks earlier. I didn’t do that often, dating. My divorce three years earlier had not been my choice and it took a long time for my broken heart to heal. But with Lex, it felt like we’d known each other for years.

Got caught

Slightly tipsy, I paid the babysitter and offered Lex another nightcap. My daughter seemed to be fast asleep. It was three o’clock in the morning when – my shirt half open – I suddenly heard a little voice next to me: ‘Mommy, who is that gentleman?’ I was shocked: she wasn’t supposed to see him. Fortunately, Lex took it very well. He got up as if nothing had happened, shook my daughter’s hand and introduced himself. “Are you staying over?” she asked. Yes, it didn’t matter now either.

The next morning we had breakfast together, picked up his daughters, eight and six, for a walk on the beach, and never parted ways again. “After two dates, you introduced the kids?” cried my parents and sisters in dismay. But if it’s good, it’s good. It made sense to us.

Two houses

We have been living together in two houses ever since, over a year. Our contact arrangements are the exact opposite: when Sarah is with me, Lex sleeps with us without children. And when he has his daughters, I’ll be there on my own.

“This way the children keep their familiar environment and Lex and I still live together”

So the kids are rarely all together, and I think that’s a good thing. This way they all keep their familiar environment without obligations with new sisters, and Lex and I still live together. An expensive joke, with those double housing costs, but we can keep it up for years to come.”

Read also – ‘My date and I were caught by my son at 4am’ >

Room for everyone

Noëlle (40), mother of Joaquin (11) and Lily (8):

“I was happily single for six years, until I met Ludo on holiday last year. He lives eighty miles away, co-parenting his daughter. We spend our free weekends together as much as possible. Still, we haven’t put my kids and his daughter together for a weekend yet.

“None of us wants to take the children away from their familiar environment”

Living together in a traditional way is certainly not an option for the next ten years: none of us want to take the children away from their familiar surroundings. And then of course the exes also play an important role.

Intermediate solution

So we have now come up with a nice interim solution: the two of us completely redecorate our houses, with room for all the children, in our shared taste. We just live together in two homes as much as possible.

By the time the renovations are finished, we will be at least a year further and our children will be able to enjoy it all together – but with clear and jointly established rules of life. We think that is early enough for this alternative cohabitation construction.”

This article was previously published in Kek Mama.

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