So, your flatmate is pregnant
Life’s little accidents happen to the best of us. Remember that time you kissed that boy that you knew that you shouldn’t and you ended up in all sorts of romantically engaged fun for about three weeks? Or the time that you spent the entire weekend in bed, drinking beer only to find out later that you missed your old work mates wedding? These are life’s little accidents. They don’t change the world but they change us. The life cycle of a shared house can be as short as a few months or go on for years. We all know people who have been living together successfully for years and it just seems to work for them.
But what if one of life’s little accidents proved to be a bit more a commitment?
How would you react if your flatmate came home to share the news that she was pregnant?
Depending on your relationship, it could be wonderful news or it could be yet another of life’s little accidents that seem only to happen to your roommate.
Relationships in households are often tested with news – job losses, relationship breakups, interstate transfers – and they test our relationship with our flatmates. Then there are those relationships that seem to go on forever. is a pregnancy in your house something you can all deal with and manage, or does it mean time to end your shared tenancy and find news digs – either you or your pregnant mate. Or is this a situation that maybe you can assist with?
Firstly, be kind. Its tough news for some people to find out that they have a bub on the way, especially if they are not in a strong relationship and this wasn’t planned. Support your flatmate and be a good listener – they will certainly need to talk. Being a good roomie means developing your tact, cooperation, generosity, and tolerance, especially in times of high stress.
Secondly, have a look at your shared lease agreement and see when it expires. You may not want to be in a house with a new baby, no matter how strong your relationship, as new babies test even the best of them. If your lease expires prior to the birth, then it may be time to evaluate your living arrangements.
Think strongly about whether you want to live in a house with a baby. They are noisy and messy and sleep a lot. But they are also little bundles of joy to have around. If your room mate is not in a relationship and is going to do this alone, the one thing that she needs more than anything is your friendship and help – rather than judgement and derision.
Every situation is different and requires open and honest discussion. If you are not close to your flatmate and you know that you are not going to handle having a newborn around, then its time to think about the next steps. Are both of you on the lease? Are you able to terminate the lease? Can you move out or can your room mate move out?
There is much to think about – in some cases more than others. What if you night be the father from that drunken night when you and your flatmate were feeling lonely and needed one another? Does that add to the issue?
Be calm, be kind and be compassionate. This could be a very frightening time for your flatmate and if anything they might need you more now than ever.