Two Best Friends and Single Moms, Ashley & Tia Take Friendship To Another Level When They Made this Uncommon Arrangement For Their Children

This is friendship taken to another level. It’s actually a good feeling to have someone who can feel your pulse, and not freak out. Ashley Simpo (right) and Tia (left) have been best friends for more than 10 years. The two have seen each other through marriages, career changes and the journey into motherhood. 

Ashley, mom of a 5-year-old son, who used to live with her boyfriend decided to take some time apart to work out their conflicts while Tia, mom-of two boys- ages 3 and 13 was going through a divorce.

Then, the idea “hit them like a brick,” Ashley wrote in a guest letter on The Huffington Post. Ashley and Tia decided to move in together and co-mother their children.

“The aim was to help make both of our lives a little easier,” wrote Simpo, who added that New York rent could be as much as $3,000.

“Tia’s three-bedroom apartment in Bedford-Stuyvesant could accommodate all of us. The master bedroom was converted into the boys’ room, with space designated on one end for the oldest child so he could retain some semblance of adolescent autonomy.

Tia and I took the remaining two smaller rooms. We agreed to share all housing expenses ― groceries, rent, utilities, even Netflix. We also agreed to support each other, be each other’s first line of defense when dealing with parental ups and downs.”

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The pair aren’t just roommates, they are leaning on each other and have found, that the arrangement has eliminated issues they could have been having as single moms, if they were each living in one-parent homes.

Tia offered to take Ashley’s son to work with her in lieu of Ashley finding daycare for the two weeks in between his last day of kindergarten and his first day of summer camp. When Tia needs rest after working a long night, Ashley would prepare breakfast for the boys in the morning.

Their children also get to bond like’ brothers.

“Our home has two parents in it,” Ashley wrote. “Two parents who have agreed to be each other’s backup before deploying more expensive or inconvenient options. This is a godsend in a city like New York, where work never sleeps and kids hardly ever settle down.”

Once the logistics of the move-in settled, the mothers still had healing to do. Baton-passing became a saving grace as they navigated through raw emotions as working mothers, which is often something they don’t have to ask for because, well, they’re mothers.

According to Ashley, they hear the volume in non-verbal cues. Tia doesn’t have to explain why she let her son watch a cartoon for 30 minutes while she sat in silence in the other room. This unique space is something they agreed is a great need, since they aren’t allowed it in the outside world.

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“A co-mothership is about partnership,” wrote Ashley, who noted the arrangement has worked out fruitfully.

“It requires the same level of commitment and communication as any partnership. We have to stay on the same page, respect boundaries, be honest about what we can and cannot do and about what we need.

In cities like New York, where the median rent cost is upward of $3,000 a month, being a single parent feels impossible. But entering the realm of finding a roommate can be just as problematic.

How would this new person respond to your child? How would your child respond to them? My first roommate as a single mother was a woman without children.

She loved my son as if he were her own, but I still felt like I had to apologize when he was louder than normal, wanted to be rambunctious in the living room or spilled something all over the floor. These are all things that wouldn’t even warrant a blink from another mom (who is also my best friend).

Our arrangement has already proven to be fruitful and healthy. There have been bumps along the way, of course. Like the moment we looked around the apartment, completely in disarray after my things had been dropped off, and wondered what the hell we’d just done.

Or the fact that we have one bathroom and five people who need to leave the house every morning. We’re constantly reminding the kids to share toys, even if they were previously designated to a child who had his own bedroom.

There’s the work of remembering who likes almond milk and who likes cow’s milk, who prefers turkey bacon and who prefers pork bacon. Keeping track of who is in the house on Mondays and who is out of school on which days.

What mother can pick up or drop off which kids and who will do the grocery shopping today or mop the floor next week.

We soon found out that the caveat to co-mothership is to remain frightfully organized and stay ahead of the storms. But above all else, it’s about respecting each other’s contribution and experience in motherhood and womanhood.

I wouldn’t be able to do this without Tia, and I am so grateful for the life I share with her right now.”

Photo credit: Huffington Post

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