Out in the Open

Looking to the past to thrive in the present as a modern family

Christine Birak on how moving close to her extended family helps her, her partner and their two children live as a modern family.
Christine Birak with her husband, two children and her parents, who help care for Christine’s sons. (Courtesy of Christine Birak)

When Christine Birak and her husband found out they were having twins, it was a game changer.

Christine says she knew they needed help. 

"I kind of felt like either we rent the village and pay money or we move into the village." 

Christine and her husband decided to uproot their lives in the city to the suburbs — where, she says that as a kid, she dreamed of escaping — close to Christine's parents and siblings. Like, real close. 

"Literally, you need my parents' street to get to my street. And if you walk, it's probably less than five minutes."

Christine says it was the best decision she made as a family that includes two working parents with jobs they enjoy. 

"I almost felt like for us to go forward, we had to go back and put the kids in the village so that we could live a modern life and have them grow up feeling they are around family."

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This story originally aired on September 17, 2017. It appears in the Out in the Open episode "Modern Family".