Thursday, March 27, 2014

Hybrid Mom

In a world where everything and everyone must have a label, I don't really feel like I have a term that properly describes my days. When people ask what I "do" for a living, I usually spurt out something like: I am raising my son while working from home.

It's not a common concept, doing both. Most mommas are in a definitive camp--- stay-at-home, or working-outside-the-home. 

Yesterday I came across the term "hybrid mom"--- a combination of a stay-at-home mom, work-at-home mom, and work-outside the home mom. Sometimes I wish I had a definitive label--- either stay-at-home-mom or working-mom. That way, I might feel like my life were more balanced; people on the outside could understand my days a bit better if I were doing one or the other. But then I think, no way! I could not imagine doing just one or the other... at least right now anyway. Who knows how I'll feel if we are able to add more kids to this mix.

I found the hybrid-mom term in another blog I was reading. The author (Jamie Weitl) was able to communicate how I feel about being a hybrid-mom well. I highlighted the most true aspects for me below: 

There are definite positives to my hybrid mom life.  The flexibility is what makes it worth it.  If I don’t get my work done during the day, I can do it in the middle of the night.  If I want to attend my son’s preschool field trip or help with his school’s Thanksgiving dinner, that is always an option – I just pay for it later.  I also don’t have to pay full-time child care for my three children.  Currently, my son goes to preschool 5 mornings a week from 8:30 to 11:30 and my girls spend four of those mornings at a neighbors house which provides my work time.  Any work I don’t manage to accomplish while the kids are out of the house I attempt during nap or when they are sleeping.  This is difficult in many ways, but in my mind it’s still a positive because of the time I’m able to spend with my little ones.
One of the most difficult aspects for me is I never really fit in.  All of my mom friends seem to fit into one distinct category – either they stay home or they work outside the home.  I struggle to relate and empathize because for me the grass is always greener on the other side.  I’d love to be a traditional stay-at-home mom.  I dream about the cleaning and crafting I could accomplish if I didn’t need to work every second my children close their eyes.  I also feel like my stress level would be much lower – I actually do all of the things a stay-at-home mom does (including the crafting and the cooking) but I still work on top of those tasks.  My other friends, the working moms, give me those looks when I drop my son off for preschool in my sweatpants and ancient Crocs – those looks that say, “Wow, must be nice not to have to get dressed.”  But what they don’t realize is that I’m working just as many hours (if not more) than they are – only my job doesn’t fit neatly in a 40 hour work week.  I do paid work every day of the week – and there is no such thing as leaving work at work.  It all blends together into one big, never-ending to-do list.
This post is disjointed; I am not even fully done fleshing out this new term, hybrid mom. What do you think?

Perhaps I actually like it? I feel like I am never in one "camp" or the other (working mom or stay-at-home-mom) since I do both. Maybe I like finally having a label.

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