Monday, May 05, 2008

What do you think?

Mike and I have tossed around the idea of having a college-ish age student move in to our guest bed and bath without any rent in exchange for a set # of hours of help with the kids each week and a household chore or two. We'll supply some meals, but basically it's free rent in exchange for childcare help and company. We thought about it before we adopted and decided to wait it out a bit. Now that we're home we realize that we CAN do this without help, but are still throwing this idea around. It's still very much in the discussion stages between Mike and I but I thought- why not ask around?

What do you see as the benefits, but more importantly what do you see as the disadvantages to doing this? Also, if you are local and know someone that might be interested, have them e-mail me and tell me about why they're interested. Like I said, still not sure we want to do this, but I'd like others' opinions. And of course, we will do lots of "checking up" and getting to know whoever it may be if we do because we want to make sure that our children are safe and well cared for.

Thanks for the input! If you'd rather e-mail me info than to comment feel free.


  1. I think it's a GREAT idea! Many of us parents of kids with DS have PCA services. Yes, it can be difficult to get used to another person in the house, but really, it's not that bad. Just depends upon you as a family. I have friends who tried PCA and didn't like it because they felt awkward having someone else in the house. That said, a good place to look would be college programs for students seeking a degree in Special Education, or Adaptive Phy Ed.

  2. Think very hard about someone living with you, you and mike need whatever private time you can get. I suggest you start maybe with friends and family who are willing to help. Give your mom and I a set day to two to help you out at the house. So you can spend time with the kids & mike, give you time to shop or whatever you need done at the house. Just let us know. You have a wonderful support system that would love to help you out whenever you need. We all are there to help.

    Mom C

  3. Yes, we realize we have a wonderful support system and are grateful for it but this is something in addition to what we've got.

  4. I'm not lucky enough to have family near by, so it sounds good to me. (with all the proper precautions.) I'd think the optimal situation would be a grad student/just out of college looking for job person who is trying to become a therapist or maybe someone doing some student teaching (if they'd have any time left over). I'd think someone in their early 20's vs a freshman. I'd be very picky. Sure you CAN make it because that's just what you do but having an hour or two here and there could make it even easier to make it. You could put some feelers out and see if you get some nibbles.

    Good luck,

  5. Meredith, I think this is a very great idea. It might look like a big risk, but hey - all of life is and sometimes there is so much blessing from God in taking such risks.

    When I was still in college, I had a friend with three/four kids. She was often very worn out and hardly ever asked for help till the birth of her last child when she just could not cope anymore. This was when I moved in for two months and had her bigger kids AND the newborn baby for all the time.

    Besides I think it is VERY clever from God that one gets kids one after the other and not all at the same time in different ages ;-) I am still moved by her trust in me. In my point of view there is no bigger trust then trusting your kids to someone.

    I have learned precious things that I am sure I can use for my own family one day and we became even better friends through those months.
    And I have all her kids so much in my heart, that I really really care about them, even though we live far away from each other now.

    The only thing we regret is, that we have waited till she broke down for finding a solution like this.
    She would have much more life quality (and if it's just like 30 minutes 'personal time a day') and I would have such a great time with the kids if we just had thought about sharing parts of our lifes much earlier...

    A few months ago I have been blogging about church and families sharing their lifes with younger singles and the benefits this could have (just to lazy to search for the link right now and hey - maybe you would not have the time to read that anyway ;-)) and I was amazed coming over and seeing a family that is just thinking about that.

    Praying that - if you decide to move on - you'll find someone with a real big heart to fit in your family!

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  7. I actually don't think it is a good idea. I know this sounds odd but I used to live with a couple and they argued so much it was uncomfortable. The thing is, this person would become part of the Spiritual make up of your household. It isn't that they would have to be a bad person to harbour some negative spiritual things. I know it looks like a good idea from the helping out with the kids perspective, but I would tread very carefully.

  8. I think that sounds like a really awesome idea :) Just from some previous experience, having someone to help out can really just help you feel less stressed or have more time to spend with Mike and each of the kids individually. Another neat thing is that the student (if they're in the right major) may have some really good ways to make play time double as PT, etc.

    Sounds like a great idea!! Now if you only lived in Ohio... :)

  9. I LOVE the idea, and it's something I would do. It depends on how private you are as a person though. I think it would be difficult for someone who is very private, or very "personal space"-y :) I personally love having company around in my own home and don't like being alone. I think the only precautions I would suggest (appart from thoroughly checking the person out safety-wise obviously) is to suggest a trial period before both you and your lodger commit to it, and to also pre-agree a "notice" period you would have to give should you want to change the arrangement.

    All the best,


  10. I am one of those need my personal space type people, so I already know this would not work for me personally, but everyone is different. I have friends who have family members that moved in and helped out for a while with mixed results. If you do decide to do it, pray like crazy and tread very slowly and carefully. Consider the hidden nanny cam. Go with your gut instinct. Lay down very clear rules about what you expect, what is defintely NOT allowed in your house, etc. Thinking of you and wishing I lived closer and could come over and help!

    Kelly S

  11. I can speak from experience here! We answered the call to provide accomodation for a young woman who was moving to our city about 12 months ago. Our situation was a litlte different to yours as she was moving here for work and we didn't have a SN child at the time.

    But, it has worked out unbelievebaly well for us. Seb adores the children, has been fantastic in helping out and is that extra pair of hands you never knew you needed until you got them lol.

    Where we find it really handy is at appointment time. We don't have to take all the children along to appointments and we don't have to worry about organising baby sitters.

    It is very important to set out the house rules, write them down etc and be open and honest if there are things that bother you.

    We haved not found our privacy to be compromised at all as Seb still has her own friends and still likes to have some time out etc. So we all get a break from each other when needed.

    Seb is from another culture (Ethiopian) and loves to cook traditional dishes from time to time which we adore! She is not required to cook but just likes to now and then.

    The kids adore her, they cry when she leaves! She is great at meal times as she plays with them while I get dinner ready and my Husband is on his way home from work.

    We really appreciate her, the kids adore her and she was truly sent to us by God.

  12. Check out There supposed to be a pretty reputable company..john and Kate used them, hee hee, so it MUST be good! LOL!