How do we make it work?
If you are married, you may realize that there is a lot of give and take. I give my wife things and she takes them. Just kidding. Compromise and flexibility are important. What is even more important is the commitment to the relationship. You can compromise all you want but if you are eyeing the door or harbouring regrets, you will fail. If you are not all in, you are never going to see the full potential of what awaits you. In a committed relationship or marriage, you will find out very fast how committed you are when things are rough.
Now picture being married to not one, but five other people. This isn't sister wives. What I am referring to is the commonalities between what we have on the farm, and a marriage. We are in each other's space. We help raise each others kids. We share chores. We experience conflict. We experience joy in the company. The good. The bad. The ugly. We are married.
You could say that we are more like room-mates than a large married couple/conglomerate. I would argue that the difference is the involvement in each other's lives and families. That and the commitment to the long haul. We knew coming into this, that the living arrangements could be as such for several years.
So that is the situation. Now to quit avoiding the question, here is how we make it work.
Love, communication, and prayer.
We love each other dearly. Even when the dishes are left out for the umpteenth time and we are fed up, we love each other. When we hit that wall where frustration is about to boil over. We talk about it. Sometimes we argue about it and come back later and talk and apologize. When we have something on our chest, we call a meeting. We pray. We duke it out. We compromise. We feel relieved and happy again. Then we pray some more. Prayer is part of our lives. Having a household that all believe in something greater than themselves is a huge factor. We know that we are flawed and sometimes we make mistakes. Forgiveness and love are what come from these beliefs.
There are some days when I wonder if we made the right choice. But there are plenty more where I see the value and joy in what we do. We really do kick butt at being a farmily.
It is a sacrifice of personal wants for an experience that will grow us and our children.