I’ve realized something during our vacation this week: our society has it all wrong. We’re making this parenting thing much harder than we have to. We need to go back to the days of communal living, whenever that was.

Because you know what? Parenting three children with four parents is a WHOLE lot easier than parenting one child with two parents.

So, I haven’t told our friends this yet, but we’re moving in with them.

Here are the top 5 reasons that this co-parenting thing rocks:

5. The kids: they’re endlessly more entertained. I know, I know, I could accomplish this by having more kids. But non-siblings always get along a lot better than siblings anyway.

4. Shift parenting AMAZING. After going to the pool Saturday, we had this miraculously working system WITHOUT any prior organization:

A. Chris Showered, Ashley bathed the older girls, I cooked the older girls dinner, and David fed Tessa.

*** TRADE OFF ***

B. I showered, Ashley managed the older girls’ dinner, Chris fed Tessa, David showered.

*** TRADE OFF ***

C. I finished the older girl’s dinner supervision, Chris STILL fed Tessa (she likes eating French-style – very leisurely), Ashley showered, and David cleaned up.

Can you even imagine how much time we saved?? The efficiency was mind-blowing!!!

3. It’s not as lonely. You can split up when splitting up is called for and still have someone to talk to that doesn’t just want to talk about Princesses and Mickey Mouse continuously.

2. Your kids don’t talk back and whine NEARLY as much when their best friend’s parents tell them to do something as when you do.

1. You get to play with new kids at different ages, and aren’t always stuck with your same-ole same-ole kids all the time.

So, if I have my way, here’s our new family unit:


See how happy we all look together???

Not that it has ANYTHING to do with being on vacation or anything…

Now for all of the shameless photos of our trip…

Ali and I got dirty looks at the pool, a three year old and a pregnant woman sharing a “fruity drink”:


I’m going to invent bar cups that say in big, bold letters, “This is a VIRGIN Daiquiri, people, so quit your judgin’!”

In some ways, Ali was braver than I thought she would be in the pools, totally willing to swim without holding onto us (her bravery had nothing to do with her fruity drink – scout’s honor)…


But her “jumps” into the pool still looked like a 90 year old lady carefully and achingly stepping into the bathtub.


She and AJ got matching goggles, which got used much more in their efforts to look like their favorite Imagination Mover than in the pool…


The girls had an excellent time pretending and making up games all weekend, including one night at dinner when it was taking an exceptionally long time to get our check…

In an elaborate assembly line, AJ poured the pepper into her now-empty cup…


Passed it across the table to Ali…

Who would then use this building material to build “Pepper Castle”…


And then pass the cup back to AJ for another load.

And we, being the good parents that we are, made the judgment call for the restaurant that they would rather lose this much pepper,


And then a topping of salt, a flag of cracker and a moat of ketchup,


than have two kids running around their restaurant desperately searching for alternative entertainment.

I DID try to teach Tessa a few things, like swimming…


And how not to make such a ginormous mess while eating…


But really, she and I were ultimately way too busy relaxing on vacation to learn anything new.

All of the girls did great together, having fun all the way up to the last minute of luggage packing…


even though they knew that the end was imminent.


But that’s okay – because once we all move into our commune, every day will be vacation!


15 thoughts on “Communal Beach Living.

  1. Feeling so out of the loop here. It's my own fault for not reading consistently.

    I'm glad you had a great time on vacation with your new found permanent family. I think you listed some great reasons to make that work. :)

  2. Haha that picture of Ali "jumping" into the pool is hillarious! Looks like y'all had a nice relaxing trip!

  3. So glad that you had a great time! We'd love to join the commune and the Andrews might be in as well. Lydia and I both got naps this weekend since there were extra parents!! That condo looks amazing too. Small group trip in the future??

  4. I wonder how well the new new family unit would work with another kid, though….then it would be and even 4 and 4…hmmm…
    and you did teach Tessa something! How to relax on vacation!

  5. My BFF and her family of four live with another family of four. They've committed to two years. It's almost been 10 months and they love it. They are both saving money and the kids have so much fun together. I think it's a great idea and kinda sad that our culture has moved so far away from that life style.

    Glad your beaches are improving!

  6. Glad you had a great vacation! I agree…vacations are SO much more fun with you go with friends…maybe living together would be even better! Haha :)

    I laughed out loud at Ali's jumping pic. But I'm impressed that she was out in the middle of the pool by herself! K rarely lets go of us when swimming, but she loves the jumping. :)

    Great pics!

  7. I loved the salt and pepper buildings. I always wanted to do that but my parents did not allow it. I recall extra trips to the washroom instead.

    My husband and I have talked about the commune idea before; I think it would totally be great. But the commune will have to be here because the weather we've had here recently is about as warm as I can take it and from your comment I gather that Alabama scoffs at our "record-breaking" heat wave… Or maybe we can do winters in Alabama and summers in Ontario.

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