Here’s Why Some Moms Are Joining Mothers-Only Communes Known as ‘Mommunes’
Single moms are banding together in mothers-only communities to help ease the stress of raising children, as well as lower their financial burdens.
Kristin Batykefer, a single mom who is part of a mothers-only household she shares with longtime friend Tessa Gilder, spoke to Good Morning America about the rising "mommune" trend.
"It's a play on mother and community," Batykefer told GMA, explaining she first heard the term from a co-worker.
Today, Batykefer, who has a 4-year-old daughter, lives with Gilder, who has two kids ages 4 and 1, in a Florida home owned by married couple Cleta and Ben.
Family friends of Batykefer, the "empty nesters" initially invited her to come stay with them following her divorce from her husband.
A few months after moving in, Batykefer learned Gilder was also getting divorced. She immediately invited Gilder and her kids to come stay at Cleta and Ben's house with her.
Gilder told GMA that although she was initially hesitant to join the mommune, she decided to try it because she was in need of a "supportive village."
As more American families struggle with inflation, challenges surrounding childcare and unemployment, the mommune has provided Batykefer and Gilder with a financial safety net, as well as other benefits.
"We all help each other with the kids. We also all help each other with cleaning up the house or making dinner … and we make each other coffee in the morning. We just love to support each other," Batykefer explained.
Combining families can be challenging, but two women have found a strong support system in each other.
"There [are] two 4-year-olds running around and then a 1-year-old baby crying at the same time, and it just can be a lot. We all are aware that it's absolute chaos. But also, we're OK, and we're grounded, and we help each other ride the roller coaster without it getting too hectic and overstimulating," Gilder shared.
"Sometimes, people don't like, mesh as well as you think they are going to, and we just all did, so [we're] just very lucky," Batykefer noted, encouraging other single moms to give the lifestyle a try.
"My main advice is, you have to really make sure that your parenting styles are similar, that your views and your beliefs on things are similar, and that you trust those people because they're going to be around your kids a lot," Batykefer told GMA.
This isn't the first time Batykefer and Gilder have lived together: The two women previously roomed together in college. Batykefer and Gilder plan on staying in a mommune together, even if they eventually move out of Cleta and Ben's home.
According to a November 2022 report from the U.S. Census, 10.9 million single parents live in the U.S.
Single mothers make up 80 percent of that group.