It's not easy living in shared accommodation when you're also trying to be a family. On the whole I don't think we do a bad job. But it's not easy.
We have the same strains and stresses as any other family just trying to live day to day. It is impossible to keep everything that goes on between the three of ourselves to ourselves. Don't get me wrong, we have a lot of fun, but all families have ups and downs.
On the other side of it we are not just a family trying to adjust to daily issues and problems which come up. the majority of people we have lived with have been friendly, honest, entertaining, considerate and, above all, non-smokers. In fact this year our non-smoking house has helped one of our housemates to give up smoking (as a public health nurse I am rather proud of this achievement, even if it was all his own work!)
We have lived with the occasionally difficult person though. A few years ago we had rabbits in the back garden and one of our housemates beheaded them. We didn't replace them, it wasn't fair to risk it happening again.
Another woman tried to get really inside my relationship with my husband. I have no idea why anyone would want to do that. Even now I cannot figure it out. But she had an opinion on everything about us and she made it known.
And someone from Brazil ran out of money so he tried to pay us with his laptop. We had to explain that we couldn't buy nappies with a computer.
Then there was the woman who apparently couldn't write cheques out because every time she wrote one she wrote some part of it incorrectly.
Or the man who told me he never drank but didn't mind that we did. Before a month was up he was drinking night after night and we didn't see him in the day. We realised he was likely to be a recovering alcoholic and had to ask him to leave for the sake of our son.
Still in general these housemates appeared to be pleasant characters. We have lived with about 25 other people since we moved in. I don't think any of them have been really nasty but some of the examples above are quite stressful events. When living as a family in a small amount of space some of these stresses are magnified.
Feel free to share your stories of sharing accommodation with other people in the comments section below.