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Florida: Homeschooling Single Mother of Three Seeks Another Single Mother for Co-Housing Partnership

Posts: 16
Location: Sunny Florida
kids foraging medical herbs
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Hi there! I’m the mama. I have three little ones: an 8-year old girl, a 5-year old girl, and a 6-month old baby boy. I also have an all-black female cat who is, mainly, my oldest daughter’s companion. She is part of our family.

We currently live in an apartment in Citrus County, Florida and have been here for about a year now. We’re Floridians, but we’ve lived in a few other states and two other countries. I put my traveling hat on the back burner when my oldest daughter asked for some stability so that she can make (and keep) a close friend or two.

I’m a midwife, a freelance writer, an amateur herbalist, a homeschooling/unschooling mother, a permaculture enthusiast, a decent cook, and a trustworthy friend. I practice Engaged Buddhism and so do my kiddos. I don’t drink because I don’t like the taste of alcohol. I don’t smoke. I really love my kids. I breastfeed and wear my babies til 3+ years, use cloth diapers and Elimination Communication, and practice non-violent communication (note: it’s a practice…I’m not perfect!). As a family, we enjoy being outside! We like spending time playing/schooling/picnicking under oak trees, swimming in springs, and tent camping. Our longest tent-camping experience lasted one full month. It was incredible.

I think my kids are pretty awesome. My oldest daughter is kind and capable. She enjoys taking care of and playing with younger children, and especially enjoys reading to them. She is level-headed and literally doesn’t have a mean bone in her body. She is sensitive and empathic, and this sometimes means that her feelings are hurt easily. She makes the beds in the mornings (with a reminder or two), carries the baby when I need a minute, makes breakfast for herself and her sister, and makes afternoon tea for all of us.

My younger daughter is determined and strong. She’s fiery and fun. She enjoys imaginary play, painting, and especially sculpting with clay and beeswax. She is also sensitive and empathic, and when her feelings are hurt, the whole world’s gonna know about it. That being said, she also doesn’t have a mean bone in her body, and she loves her big sister with her entire being. She’s very passionate and loving, and has a healing touch. She sets the table before each meal and always brings her dishes to the kitchen when she’s done eating.

My baby is a dream. No, seriously. I’m sitting here in all honesty trying to think of any warnings to share about him and the most I can come up with is that he has a sensitive belly and spits up a lot. He’s charming and happy. He follows his sisters with his eyes wherever they go. He’s starting to crawl and eating a little bit of solids, but he really just prefers his milkies right now. He almost never cries. He sleeps through the night, nursing a few times, but never waking up.

My girls go with their dad every other weekend. He and I have a good relationship. We’ve known each other since we were in middle school. I love him and his daughters love him, and I think we co-parent well.

My baby son’s father lives in another state and is not involved, either in person or financially. There is no father listed on the birth certificate. No drama, no worries. I share this only because it means that when my girls go with their dad for the weekend, my baby boy is still home with me. So there are no “kid-free” weekends or anything like that. Not that I really want any, but for those who do, this fact could be important.

Hmm…let’s see. What’s else? Ah, yes. Home and food stuff.

We follow a pretty strict Weston A. Price-style diet, minus most of the dairy. We were whole foods plant-based vegans for 7 years (and I was a lacto-ovo vegetarian for 6 years prior to that). We began incorporating animal products back into our diets when I developed lupus and my older daughter began having pretty severe issues with her teeth. We don’t eat processed foods. At all. We don’t buy them or keep them in the house. My kiddos get soaked and fermented whole grains, soaked and fermented legumes, organic free-range eggs, organic/grass-fed/pastured meats, wild-caught seafood, high quality fats, an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables and a small amount of raw nuts and seeds. They also get a limited amount of goat dairy, usually in the form of yogurt, kefir, and cheese, but once in a while, I’ll buy raw goat milk from the local farm stand. My personal diet is a little more strict because I’m following an autoimmune protocol to put my lupus back into remission. I don’t eat any grains, legumes, dairy, eggs, nuts, seeds, or nightshades like tomatoes and peppers. All that being said, we eat really simply. The kids get oatmeal with blueberries, dates, and flax seeds for breakfast. I get a green smoothie. Lunch is usually mixed baby greens with sweet potatoes and sardines for me and with rice and beans for my girls. Dinner is meat or fish with cooked greens and another kind of root vegetable (often in soup form). I make our own bone broth, coconut and goat milk kefir, and sauerkraut. I used to make kombucha, too. So…nutrition is a big deal for our family.

Housekeeping: I’m pretty clean. I’m not a neat-freak. I will stay up late to finish the dishes every night, and I scrub the toilet when it bugs me, which is usually once or twice a week. I’m always barefoot and I really don’t like stepping on tiny annoying things, so I sweep a couple times a week, too. I don’t fold the clean laundry right away, so sometimes there’s a pile on the bed. Not a fan of clutter, so we make regular trips to the thrift store to donate unnecessary gifts from well-meaning relatives. We actually eat the leftovers in the fridge, so there’s never any worry about nasty tupperware to clean out. I haven’t mopped in forever, though. I should probably do that soon. We don’t wear shoes in the house, so the floor’s not that bad anyway. 😉

I like to work. Laziness bothers me more than I should let it. I’m always moving around and rarely sitting, unless I’m meditating or working at the computer. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve been told, “I wish I had your energy!” I’d be rich. I guess I can’t help it…there’s always something to do.

Alright! That’s enough about me, I think.

Here’s WHO I’m looking for:

I’d love to find another mama who can read what I wrote above and think, “YASSSSSS. That’s my girl right there. Let’s do this.”

This mama probably homeschools her own kids, but maybe not. She is into nutrition, permaculture/organic farming, peaceful parenting, and intentional community. She cares about the planet. She doesn’t drink a lot of alcohol. Maybe she smokes MJ once in a while, but she’s not a heavy user. She’s got no baby-daddy/baby-mama drama. She’s a hard worker and sets goals for herself. She teaches her children the importance of kindness.

Here’s WHAT I’m looking for:

A rural rental home, preferably in Citrus County (but willing to relocate as far north as Gainesville), on anywhere from ½ an acre to 1 or 2 acres. Three bedrooms (one for me and my kids to sleep, one for you and your kids to sleep, one for school/play for the kids), preferably two bathrooms, but one can work. This can be a mobile home as long as it’s structurally sound and not moldy. Landlord/property-owner needs to be okay with gardening/small-scale farming and keeping a small flock of hens.

I’d like more than just a house-mate to share bills with--I’m looking for sisterhood and community. Shared financial expenses, shared decision-making regarding household stuff, shared meals (which includes sharing cooking and cleaning responsibilities), shared farm chores. Eventually shared child-care, when/if the children are comfortable with it.

I’d also like this to be a long-term arrangement. My goal is to work hard and save enough money to purchase 5 acres of land to put a travel trailer on and live in it while building the main house. I’m not asking anyone to be single forever, but your intention for a romantic relationship, if you desire one, would likely be to seek out other like-minded individuals who are also interested in intentional community, permaculture, and farming. I’d like to grow staple vegetable crops, perennial fruit trees, and keep chickens and ducks for meat and eggs, and possibly a small herd of goats or sheep for meat and milk. Growing the community by one or two additional families would be a wonderful benefit.

My ultimate goal is self-sufficiency, as much as is possible. I believe that it’s possible that we may experience some level of food scarcity in the future, and I’d like to be prepared for that, when and if it happens. If it doesn’t happen, great! We’ll sell and/or trade some of our surplus and just live the good life.

Does this sound like something you’re interested in? Like, seriously interested in? And possibly interested in making this a reality within the next 3-6 months? If so, contact me and let’s set up some ZOOM meetings. If those go well, we’ll move on to family camping trips and then extended visits. At some point, we will know if we click or not. I hope we do! 😊

Isabella Love
Posts: 16
Location: Sunny Florida
kids foraging medical herbs
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Forgot to mention that I have a good amount of experience living in co-housing situations. My family and I (back when my ex-husband and I were still married) have lived at two other intentional communities (one was an ecovillage), and we have also shared housing with three other families in the past (the first time lasted one year, the second time was a short-term arrangement for two months when I worked at a birth center a few hours from our home, and the third time, after my husband and I separated, was for 8 months). All three experiences worked out well with no notable issues, and my children thrived when we lived with others.
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