Roger and Doug’s Stories
Every few months we feature one of the pioneers that make up the ThirdPath community . . . This month we are putting a spotlight on two Shared Care couples.
Read on to learn how sharing in the joys and challenges of earning an income and caring for their families has positively impacted them as individuals and as a couple. Or click the SoundCloud icon at the end to listen to them describe their inspiring stories in their own words.
Roger and his wife are both engineers. When their son was born, they both decided to work reduced hours so they could share in the care of their new baby. To begin with – even though they both worked for the same employer and had the same benefits – Roger’s wife assumed she would be the one who worked reduced hours. It was actually Roger who suggested they both could work part time. Now both parents have regular “alone” time with their child. Roger can see how this has helped the couple build a high level of trust. Both parents feel comfortable in the other’s ability to take on any responsibility in their absence. This feeling of trust has also helped the couple feel closer in their relationship.
Read more …
Doug and Maggie’s Story
Doug and Maggie have shared in the care of their son since he was born – now he’s in high school! They also both run their own businesses and work from home offices. For Doug and Maggie, time spent together as a family has always been a top priority. They have also always been very intentional to create this time together. Although the reasons may have changed over the years, like the recent celebration with their son when he got his drivers permit, the priority of creating family time hasn’t changed. The couple says the key to their success has been their ability to work together as a team and to set boundaries around the time they spend working.
Working as a “team at home” has also left the couple with a sense of balance that no one person is doing more than the other, and as a result, the couple feels “friendlier towards each other”. These feelings of friendliness have allowed the couple to easily adjust to changing circumstances. When their son started high school, the family’s day suddenly began two hours earlier. Without missing a beat, the couple made the commitment to get up together and have breakfast, and then see their son off to school. They also discovered the new arrangement allowed time for a workout in the morning.
Shared Care Helps Couples Develop Multi-Dimensional Lives
Through team work and setting boundaries around work time, these families have created lives that are supportive, trusting and enriching not only for their family as a whole, but also for their own lives and their relationships as a couple. Here are a few more unexpected benefits we learned about from our conversation with these Shared Care parents:
- Shared care means both parents can continue to create time for “guilt free recreation” – since they’ve had time for work and for family, both feel free to create time for their own personal interests
- Both parents become an additional resource around work problems. One dad shared a story of how his partner’s area of expertise at work helped him “think outside the box” to solve a recent work problem
- Shared Care becomes a powerful way to role model how both men and women can do things differently – at work and at home!
In each story, the couples found a unique solution that met their family, work and individual needs. Through communication and teamwork, these families created work/family solutions that were able to continue to evolve with their changing lives. They also discovered, by sharing their involvement with both work and family, they were able to further solidify the levels of trust, support and love in their relationships.
To learn more about Roger, Doug and Maggie, listen to the recording of our Thursdays with ThirdPath webinar by clicking the SoundCloud link at the end of this post. The recording also includes the stories of a few additional couples, including the authors of two Shared Care books, Lisa Levy (The Libra Solution) and Marc Vachon (Equally Shared Parenting).