Similar to a Newborn: The First Five Months in Cohousing


We are completing five months in our digs and five months into the adventure of being a cohousing community. Several people in the community have pointed out that adventure requires missed turns, missed trains, etc. Something that goes smoothly is a vacation; all else is an adventure. I like to think of our first five months as similar to a newborn.

A newborn is thrust into a new physical environment (she trades a warm cozy womb for very large cold world). She has to learn how to do and control everything. In the process of learning come times of breakdown (over stimulation + physical exhaustion = total collapse.) Couple that with no sense of perspective and every obstacle becomes a mountain, every denial a case of torture.

This is where we are. As a community we are a newborn learning how to talk to one another, how to compromise and when to compromise. Like a newborn we thrash about, loudly voice our needs, even lose control. We do not have a history to rely on. Our common experience of building our building is not necessarily the best experience for creating community behaviors. We have to create that history and to do that we have to be on an adventure.

I trust that like a newborn learning to control her hands to be able to suck her thumb, her arms and legs to crawl and then walk, to control tongue and mouth and air passages to speak, we too will go from our “neo-natal” stage to toddler to grade schooler to adolescent to … well you get the picture. It is an adventure.

Category: stories from the trenches


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