This Family Has 3 Parents, and by All Accounts, It's a Pretty Good Setup

Lindsay Taylor
Lindsay Taylor

Lindsay Taylor, a 33-year-old mom of four and stepmom to two kiddos, has quite the setup when it comes to her living situation. She shares a home with both her ex-husband, Chris, and current husband Mike, along with all six children — and together, they make up the Taylor/Kelley family. And if Lindsay could be perfectly honest, she wouldn't have it any other way.

After having her daughter Rachel at 16, Lindsay met Chris, got married, and had two adorable kids, Lucas and Joanna with him. But unfortunately, the marriage didn't last and the pair divorced. Eventually, Lindsay married Mike, who had 21-year-old daughter Destiny and 19-year-old son Danny from a previous marriage. And before they knew it, Lindsay and Mike were welcoming a son of their own named Harrison.

Lindsay told POPSUGAR that living away from Chris post-divorce was problematic from the beginning, and that's when the notion of moving everyone under one roof came up.

"After Chris and I got divorced, I moved in with my mom in central Massachusetts for a few months," said Lindsay. "We didn't want the kids to move so I spent my days driving back and forth to be with them. Mike and I got an apartment together with his kids which was a little closer to my kids than where I was staying at my mother's, but it wasn't good enough."

"It wouldn't be easy at first, in the long run it would be the best ideal situation for our kids to have both parents under one roof again."

After the apartment they were renting was suddenly foreclosed on, Lindsay knew she needed to have a serious conversation about their living situation with her ex-husband.

"I sat down with Chris the next day and told him what was happening and we spoke about looking for a new place," she explained. "He was the one who suggested for all of us to move into his house in northeast Connecticut. He said that it wouldn't be easy at first, but in the long run it would be the best ideal situation for our kids to have both parents under one roof again."

Lindsay Taylor

Lindsay quickly realized that she made the right decision when her son Lucas got very sick and almost died from a rare genetic disorder called chronic granulomatous disease shortly after she and Mike moved into Chris's home.

"Everything happens for a reason, and after Harrison was born, Mike, Lucas, myself, and the baby basically moved to Boston for four months for Lucas to have a bone marrow transplant," she said. "Chris came in and out as much as he could, but he also had to be home for Joanna and Rachel."

Because of their unique coparenting setup, things didn't fall apart while she was tending to Lucas's health.

"Destiny and Danny helped out so much with childcare, and chores," said Lindsay. "After the transplant, our family was in strict isolation for nine months straight. That was a little stressful to say the least, but here we are. We made it through what will probably be THE hardest year of our lives."

Lindsay Taylor

Lucas' health is still a top priority — he was also diagnosed with autism and ADHD — and Lindsay is happy to have an additional pair of eyes on the kids. And truth be told, the extra set of hands makes raising their brood a heck of a lot easier.

"Having three parents in one household is actually pretty great," she said. "We all have our strengths, and we help each other out. I do a lot of the family administrative work, Chris is enjoying being home for his kids as he is disabled with a neurological muscle disorder. He does do the grocery shopping and helps organize lists of things that need to be done."

As for Mike? He takes on more of a handy man role around the house.

"Mike is super handy. He helps with a ton of DIY stuff around the house," explained Lindsay. "When he's not painting he also takes care of Harrison when I am with Lucas, working, blogging, networking, or studying."

Obviously, the older kids also have household responsibilities, too.

"Our adult kids also help out a lot when they aren't working or going to school," she said. "We could not do it without the village we have built. Everyone plays a pivotal role here."

Lindsay Taylor

Although Lindsay has absolutely no regrets about her family's coparenting situation, she's run into her fair share of skeptical strangers.

"When people judge our situation, I have to pause and think before I speak," she said. "Which is very hard for me to do. I want to ask them if they are happy with their living situation, if they're divorced, and if their kids happy? I have learned to deflect all negative comments, and I speak the truth."

She also tends to raise a very important point in these conversations: her kids couldn't be any happier with the arrangement.

"Our kids are happy and they don't have to deal with the 'divorce shuffle' bouncing back and forth between homes," she explained. "They have stability and they're well cared for."

She added that the blended family lifestyle has been especially beneficial for Lucas.

"Lucas has autism and that is so hard to deal with," she said. "He can't cope with change and we're lucky to be able to live this way. We all want what's best for our kids. Some people just don't get it, and that's okay. My goal is to open their minds."

As for the challenges that come with having a blended family? According to Lindsay, there aren't a ton. But occasionally, their parenting styles can be conflicting.

"There aren't many cons to having the three of us parents living together, or it probably wouldn't work," she said. "The challenge is for Mike, Chris, and me to always be on the same page. We are for the most part, but sometimes Chris gives in too much, Mike can be too strict, and I am all over the place."

As the only adult woman in the home, Lindsay wouldn't be surprised if Chris and Mike found her hard to work around from time to time: "From 'the dads' point of view, I'm sure they both find living with me to be quite a challenge because I'm a take charge kind of person. However, I like to think that I get things done."

Lindsay Taylor

Another interesting aspect of their coparenting style? Chris is single and looking for love — and Lindsay is cheering him on. But obviously, finding the right woman will take some effort from this blended family.

"Once Chris finds love, she obviously has to also love this crazy life we live," said Lindsay. "This woman would have to come meet the family and really get a feel for how we live and how much care Lucas requires."

On a lighter note, Lindsay said she'd hope that Chris's suitor would know her way around the kitchen.

"She would have be patient, kind, and a damn good cook," joked Lindsay. "We could really use some help in that department! All kidding aside, she would have to be the right fit. Chris, Mike, and I have committed to staying together for our small children. We aren't sure how long our older kids will be with us, but we know that the three of us parents are a package deal."

Lindsay also gave parents who are toying with the idea of living as a blended family some sage advice.

"My advice to any parents out there thinking of blending their families together would be to always be honest, and have open communication," she said, adding that, "Sometimes you just need to sit down and hash things out. Don't go to bed angry, and if you have any doubts then maybe this sort of situation isn't for you."

But for parents who still get see eye-to-eye with their exes, it might be one of the best decisions you could make.

"If you get along with your ex, and if your spouse and your ex get along, why not do this for your children? One mortgage, one food bill, one utility bill, and a whole lot of love."