This couple have a very controversial parenting pact indeed...

When Jenni Jones desperately wanted a fifth baby and her husband categorically refused, they came up with a very unusual pact to keep them both happy.

Jenni, 40, from Berkshire, agreed to look after their baby, and Jack has absolutely nothing to do with looking after little Roman.

Jenni Jones with baby Roman
Jenni and Roman at two weeks old (PA)

The controversial deal means that Jack doesn’t do any of the day-to-day chores involved in caring for a newborn.

It’s Jenni, a full-time mum, who does all the night feeds, changes nappies and soothes nine-month-old baby Roman when he cries, as well as all the cooking and cleaning.

Jenni even had a sterilisation reversed in a costly, and painful, operation to have a fifth baby.

Jack and Jenni Jones have an unusual parenting pact
Jack and Jenni after Roman’s birth (PA)

She explains: “We had lots of heart-to-hearts and in the end I persuaded Jack by agreeing to look after the children and the house. That way, he gets an easy time and avoids undue stress caused by a situation he didn’t want.

“I always wanted five children. I was one of three and the number just didn’t work,” Jenni says. “But Jack only ever wanted two. I managed to push him to three in three years first of all.”

Due to an op as a teenager, Jenni needed caesarean sections with Rhys, now 15, Toby, 13, and Briony, 12, but she was warned that another C-section could pose risks to her health and any subsequent pregnancies.

The family when Jenni was pregnant with Ronan
The family when Jenni was pregnant with Roman (PA)

However, at 36, Jenni realised her time was running out to expand her brood to a fourth.

“It took six months of working on Jack but was so worth it,” Jenni says.

Doctors pointed out the potential dangers caused by a caesarean scar breaking down during pregnancy, while Jack, 40, a full-time retail manager, stressed the delicate state of their finances. So, following a difficult pregnancy, Jenni agreed to be sterilised following her C-section with fourth baby, Devon.

Newborn Roman
Newborn Roman (PA)

She says: “Pretty much as soon as I got home, I knew I’d made a mistake. I told Jack I’d throw my maternity clothes out, but instead I hid them in the back of the wardrobe and realised I had to undo the terrible thing I’d done.”

Without her husband’s knowledge, she began to look into sterilisation reversal but a doctor broke the news that, as she’d been sterilised at the same time as the C-section, a reversal wouldn’t be possible due to the extent of tissue that would have been removed.

“That was devastating,” Jenni says. “I had a newborn and the older children but just couldn’t stop thinking about another baby to complete our family.”

Jenni with Roman and his brother Devon (
Jenni with Roman and his brother Devon (PA)

Intense discussion with Jack followed. While he made it clear that he didn’t want a fifth child, Jenni was desperate for Devon to grow up with a sibling near his own age.

Eventually her determination paid off when the pair reached an unusual pact – Jenni would do everything to look after their fifth baby making it as easy for Jack as possible.

“He said that he didn’t want another child but couldn’t say no to me,” Jenni says. “That’s when I realised we could both get what we wanted.”

Jenni with Roman and Devon
Jenni with Roman and Devon (PA)

The couple took out a loan and used credit cards to pay for two costly rounds of unsuccessful IVF. Then Jenni found consultant gynaecologist Clive Pickles online and was told that he would attempt to reverse her sterilisation at the BMI Park Hospital in Nottingham.

Just 11 months after the reversal procedure in November 2012, Jenni gave birth to healthy baby Roman with Jack by her side.

“Holding Roman was one of the happiest moments of my life,” Jenni says. “I know I risked so much in getting him here but I wouldn’t be without him for the world. He completes our family. And doing all the chores is a small price to pay.”

The Jones family
The whole family, left to right, Jack, Rhys, Devon, Briony, Toby, Roman, Jenni (PA)

Roman is now nine months old, and since making the pact Jenni has taken more of an exclusive role in caring for Devon, now three, as well.

More in this section


In the Kitchen with

ieFoodLogo   Video Series

Join Derval O'Rourke in her kitchen as she whips up the curry she makes every single week. She'll show us why she reaches for her cheap-as-chips handblender above all other gadgets and how important it is to have her fridge stocked with real butter and lots of yoghurt.

Join Derval O'Rourke in her kitchen as she whips up the curry she makes every single week.

Watch Here
Puzzles logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.


The best food, health, entertainment and lifestyle content from the Irish Examiner, direct to your inbox.

Sign up