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  • How This Working Dad Shares the Parenting Load With His Wife

    Despite working all day, he’s still able to be a hands-on dad to his two boys.
How This Working Dad Shares the Parenting Load With His Wife
  • Jan Aliling wears many hats. Aside from running his own law firm, he is actively involved in entrepreneurial pursuits that include restaurants and a virtual reality park. He is also a teacher, and the in-house legal counsel and corporate secretary of a construction company.

    His favorite “job,” however, is being a father to his two boys, Yago, 6, and Nicolas, 4. Jan says his own dad is his role model. When he was a boy, his father would take him and his siblings to school every day, even though they had a family driver.

    “Growing up, most of the important life lessons I remember or cheesy quotable quotes came from our conversations while we were in the car going to school,” Jan recalls. Now, the dad of two continues this tradition with his own kids.

    Photo by Courtesy of Jan Aliling.

    Jan doesn’t take fatherhood for granted. The fact that he and his wife, Tin, took five years to get pregnant made them even more committed to being hands-on parents. This doting dad manages to juggle his busy schedule in and outside the home. Here’s how he does it.

    1. Stick to your priorities.

    “I wake up early. I think that’s important,” Jan says. By 5 a.m., he’s already clearing his e-mail, going through paperwork, and sending out instructions to his team so that by 7:30 a.m., he’s free to drop off his kids to school.

    Throughout the day, Jan keeps his meetings short. He avoids scheduling meetings in the evening so he can go home and be with his family in time for dinner. He also stays focused on getting each task done: “I do not multitask. If I am doing one thing, I make sure to focus on that.”

    2. Create a family ‘ritual.’

    As much as possible, Jan keeps his evenings free so that he has time for his and his kids’ favorite activity: wrestling.

    “We wrestle based on a theme. For example, Plants vs. Zombies. We pick a character and wrestle based on the character we chose,” he explains. “That has become so regular that when I travel, they accumulate the days that I miss and expect me to make up for it the day I come back!”

    3. Tag team with your partner.

    When it comes to raising their kids, Jan and Tin decided early on to divide specific responsibilities or tasks between the two of them.

    “I am tasked to handle the character development — teach them to be gentlemen,” says Jan. He is also in charge of taking them to their sporting activities, on top of the daily school drop-offs and pick-ups.

    “But everything else is assigned to my wife. She takes care of the hard stuff!”

    4. Parent by example.

    Making time and ensuring your constant presence in your child’s life take up the bulk of parenting, but that’s not all there is to it. A parent needs to lead by example, too, to raise their children well.

    Jan gives maintaining good health as an example. “I have done a plant-based dominant diet, so they have also been eating more vegetables. We do not forbid them from eating anything, but we influence them to make better choices,” he shares.

    Photo by Courtesy of Jan Aliling.

    Jan may have a more flexible schedule than other dads, but he believes that any father can find a way to be a more involved parent if he makes it a priority.

    “It’s not really that the number of hours matters more than the quality of the time that you give,” he says. “You may have a 10-hour job, but if you give them an hour of solid father time a day, then that is 365 hours in a year they will never forget, multiplied by the number of years they are with you.”

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