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Are You a Hybrid Mom?

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After I had my first son, I went back to my full time job. I needed to. We depended on the double income that my husband and I both earned.

Although I was happy to be challenged with a professional career, my heart ached to be home with my son.

I longed to be the Mom that could play games during the day, bake and decorate cookies and read book after book, without the concern of time. I wanted to be the one to teach him numbers and colors and to be there when he took his first wobbly steps. I thought I was looking for the impossible. I wanted to work from home.

I was not alone. I had many friends that felt the same way. They were not ready or able to give up their professional identity but still yearned to spend as much precious time with their children as possible. We all had the same dream. We just had to figure out how to achieve it.

My husband and I sat down and looked at our finances. We decided that I would quit my job when our son was 9 months old. Money would be tight but we could make it without my income. I enjoyed staying at home but continued to search for a way to obtain my dream.

Then one day, I found myself one step closer. Based on a referral from a friend and co-worker, I had the opportunity to freelance. I loved it. I could work from home and still be the Mom that made frosted pumpkin spice cookies on cool fall day. I felt professional and maternal all at the same time. It was just what I was looking for. The downside of my freelance work was that it did not bring in a steady salary and once my second child was born, I could no longer work during the day without interruption.

With two children under the age of two, Motherhood became my top priority. I turned down freelance jobs and put my work on hold. I am grateful for my hardworking and supportive husband who continued to work long hours for our family. Still, I knew there was something more for me. I just had to find it.
As I explored my interests and strengths, I gravitated to my current career. I became a writer. I have many friends that have found their ideal jobs the same way as I did.

Add a Comment7 Comments

Great Article. My son is now 8 months old, I have a career and have put it on the backburner because I can't bring myself to not be with him at all times. Since we need two incomes, I have become a so called "hybrid mom". To be honest, the term is new to me but I thought this article was perfect considering what I've achieved in less than a year at home.

Thanks for your article Susan.

September 21, 2009 - 5:57am

I guess I would be called a Hybrid Mom, but I am cautious to label any mom because of her work-with-income status. I feel that these labels perpetuate the "mommy wars" (I question the existence of this "war" in daily life, as it is more a category to sell books and magazines and products).

Susan, I know your SHARE was about your personal story, and I think it sounds wonderful what you are doing. Similarly, Hybrid mom.com does sound positive and is probably a wonderful resource for many women. However, I'm not sure how to say this, but some of the verbage in your article sounds like you may be unwittingly putting down women who choose not to work-for-income, who are at peace and fulfilled by raising their children without also finding a career or job. When you say we're best when we're helping others...do you mean through a job or career (as it sounds this way), or does this also include our children as the "others"? When you write that you are searching for something...then find it through a job and are happy that you are now a "hybrid mom", it implies that this is a step-up from "just" a stay-at-home mom.

There are just so many moms out there who are in different life circumstances, different cultures and different experiences that to label us as "SAHM" or "Hybrid" or "WAHM" or "working mom" or "career mom" is too limiting, and serves no real purpose but to make ourselves feel better about our choices (or lack of choices).

I actually read a very interesting book about motherhood, The Help, and an article called, Ain't I a Mommy, with the description, "Bookstores [Magazines and Websites] Brim with Motherhood Memoirs. Why Are So Few of Them Penned by Women of Color?" It provides another aspect of motherhood that I thought was absolutely fascinating (if you are not offended by the title of the magazine).

September 20, 2009 - 7:27pm
(reply to Alison Beaver)

Let me clarify that when I said that "we are best helping others," I meant it more as by supporting each other as women and Moms. I was able to find balance in my life and wanted to share the experience. No matter what different paths we take, as parents, we are connected by the same goal-to raise happy, healthy children.

September 21, 2009 - 11:15am
EmpowHER Guest

Susan, you summed this up so beautifully. We're so glad you found us--as moms like YOU are why we do what we do at Hybrid Mom. Thanks for giving us, and all the moms you touched, the inspiration to keep this momentum going -- and redefine "working motherhood" :)

September 19, 2009 - 2:31pm
(reply to Anonymous)

Thank you for your kind words! I love Hybridmom.com, as well as the magazine. I believe our talents are best utilized when we can help others. Thank you for providing a great resource.

September 20, 2009 - 2:37pm
HERWriter Guide

I couldn't agree more. I think an at-home parent could run a small corporation. Going about your day on three hours of sleep after four nights in a row of sick children; organizing appointments, paying bills, managing finances and running a home - none of these are small feats. The time has really come for at- home parents to come into their own. I know many mothers who "only" stayed home with their kids until they realized that their talents could be incorporated with their busy home lives and got to earn some money too. And once the kids are in school full time, that part-time or freelance gig can turn into a fully fledged career without having sacrificed precious time with kids.

September 19, 2009 - 11:06am
EmpowHER Guest

Great article! so true. You're speaking on behalf of thousands.

September 18, 2009 - 5:29pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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