You’ve probably heard people say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, after a difficult divorce, single mom Kristin Batykefer made a life change that takes that quote pretty literally. The mom moved in with her friends and formed a ‘mommune’—a combination of the words “mom” and “commune”—to raise their kids together and share household responsibilities. Now, her unique lifestyle has gone viral and all of her fans on TikTok are asking, “How do we join?”
What exactly is a mommune?
Batykefer, who goes by BeachyKefer on social media, caught people’s attention in mid-December after sharing what it’s like to be sick when you live in a mommune.
“You get treated like this,” she says in her video before sharing snapshots from her day. “My favorite kind of cookies made from scratch. Dinner cooked for you, and it’s homemade vegetable soup. The kids were taken to the park so I could rest. This is your sign to move into a mommune.”
Her video has been watched more than a million times and inspired tons of questions from curious commenters. In a follow up post, Batykefer explains that her mommune is exactly what it sounds like: a community of moms living together and helping one another.
She says it started after she found out her former husband was having an affair. She and her daughter moved in with family friends who are a married couple and empty nesters, then one of her other mom friends who was also going through a divorce joined them. Now, she says her mommune consists of three moms, their kids and the married couple. She describes them as her “chosen family,” and they all live and work peacefully together.
“It is the most amazing thing ever,” adds Batykefer. “I 100% recommend starting your own mommune, but it really does have to be [with] people who align with you, your values, your beliefs and how you want to raise your children, and you trust them. I think that’s the most important thing to me.”
Are mommunes a new trend?
Batykefer isn’t the first person to come up with the idea of a mommune. It’s a concept that’s been catching on among single parents. Last March, two single moms spoke with Today about their decision to buy a home with two other friends and raise their kids together. There’s even a website called CoAbode where single moms can meet one another with the intention of eventually sharing a home.
Single parents who watched Batykefer’s TikTolk videos are also excited about the idea of living within a supportive community of other parents.
“I just really love this idea,” one person writes. “Mothers need communal support and that doesn’t get said enough, especially in our individualistic society.”
Others say they already live in a mommune or have in the past, and they wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I did this as well with my son after I left my husband,” one person shares. “My BFF welcomed us, and I wouldn’t have gotten through those years otherwise.”
“I’m doing this on a property with individual houses, but communal spaces would be fabulous,” another person adds.
The bottom line on mommunes
Raising kids and running a household is no easy task. For a lot of single parents, paying for things like child care eats up a huge percentage of the budget, and then there’s the extra work of solo parenting on top of everything else. It is difficult to do it all alone, and Batykefer is part of a seemingly growing number of parents who are asking, “Why should we have to?”
In parenting circles, it’s often said that the right choice is the one that works best for your family. Whether you call it a mommune, platonic co-parenting or something else, these groups are proof that hardworking single parents are finding new and creative ways to do what feels right for their families, and they’re inspiring plenty of others along the way.