What does that even mean, you ask? To me, it means that I don’t fit into any of those tidy little mom boxes or labels like stay-at-home mom, working mom, etc. Just like a hybrid car operates on both gasoline and battery power, I operate on a both/and mentality.
I stay at home with my two daughters…and I also work part-time teaching college-level classes.
I am a military spouse one weekend a month and two weeks in the summer…and a civilian spouse the rest of the time.
I cloth diaper…and don’t hesitate to use disposables at night or while traveling.
I am Catholic…and also attend a Lutheran church because my husband and I are both too stubborn to convert.
I even drive a hybrid vehicle.
When I explained to my husband what I meant by the term “hybrid mom,” he immediately responded, “Sounds like you can’t commit.” So supportive.
While there is certainly some truth to that, I think it also means that, while labels can be helpful, they don’t define me. I have a much broader perspective on different ways to be a mother as I experience the best–and worst–of different worlds.
I know what it’s like to be home all day with little ones, juggling story times with grocery store trips, but I also know what it’s like to pray that the thermometer doesn’t read anything above 98.6 because the school day starts in 22 hours, and there’s that whole 24-hour fever-free rule. The flexibility to stay in pajamas until 10am some mornings is nice, but scrambling to find childcare when college and preschool spring breaks don’t line up can be stressful. Honestly, though, working part-time and maintaining a tiny connection to my teaching life helps me to appreciate the time I get to stay home with our girls in a way that I don’t think I would have if I was an all-in stay-at-home mom.
I know what it’s like to be responsible for all the things when Dad is at “Army work” for days and weeks at a time, but I also know what a regular working week can look like without the likelihood of a deployment constantly lurking in the background. Sure, I miss the amazing community of military families I was blessed to be a part of when my husband was active duty. However, since we haven’t been required to move every two or three years, we have been able to put down some roots in the gritty Memphis soil.