This year, 1MFWF Supporter ThirdPath Institute is putting a spotlight on the need for flexibility across the life cycle.  To underscore this point, they are launching a series of videos that highlight a diverse group of families and how they have flexed. Their first video features Julian Jenkins, who talks about his experience as a shared care parent.

In Julian’s video, hear how, “by chance and by choice,” he and his wife shared in the responsibilities of raising their three daughters. After losing one of two jobs, Julian became the primary parent at home during the day while maintaining his night job in the evenings. His wife, a nurse, was home in the evenings. Although finances were tight, the couple quickly recognized the benefit of their situation, with both parents taking an active role in raising their daughters. Julian describes the fun and challenges of this arrangement. He also talks about how investing in their daughters and their relationship with each other, the couple was able to focus on what was most important to them: raising children and recognizing the importance of family.

Video highlights

  • Julian and his wife have 3 daughters. This video describes how “by chance and by choice” Julian decided to work nights so he could be the parent in charge during the day
  • Julian was working 2 jobs, when he was laid off from one. Quickly he saw how this change would allow him to become more involved in the care of his children
  • The new arrangement allowed Julian to walk his daughters to school in the mornings and be in charge of them after school
  • Julian appreciated all the different experiences he had raising his girls—something he himself did not have growing up in a home without a father
  • Julian describes how even though finances were tight, the girls appreciated their family structure. It also meant he learned how to be more helpful to his wife
  • At one point Julian even turned down a day job because he felt the girls still needed him. But as the girls became older, the couple did eventually switch to having both parents home in the evenings
  • Julian reminds us, raising a family can be stressful. As a result, he and his wife were also careful to invest time in their relationship as a couple, including participating in a couple’s group that met the 3rd Saturday of every month
  • His closing message: For couples who want to raise children, it’s important to hold on to some of the values of years past. He also believes, taking time to care of our families is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves, and for society.

photo credit: thinkstockphotos.com