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Hybrid Mom: Parenting in the COVID era

Published: Sep. 22, 2020 at 5:23 PM EDT
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WILLISTON, Vt. (WCAX) - When Vermont went back to school, most districts adopted the hybrid model and it’s a challenge for teachers, students, and parents. Our Olivia Lyons introduces you to a woman who calls herself the “hybrid mom” to see how she gets the job done.

South Burlington first-grader John John Moore gets packets of work from his school. His parents live apart. So, he starts his lessons with his dad on Monday. On Tuesday, he works with his mom. Wednesdays he spends at day care. Thursday and Friday John John is at school and participates in an after-school program.

John John, 6, likes the hybrid model better than being fully remote.

“Home is a little hard, but I like it,” he said. “And school is easy, so not really that fun.”

But the hybrid model isn’t easy.

Mom Monica Chapman always has her phone close by for work calls, which frustrates her son when he’s trying to do his schoolwork.

“I freak out and say, ‘Mom, get off the phone!’” John John said.

Monica co-owns Construction Management Direct and works at Puro Clean, businesses under the same roof. She works from home most days, but sometimes goes in for meetings or emergencies and brings her son.

On this day, her office is throwing a barbecue and John John gets to flip the burgers.

Monica admits this hasn’t been easy but says the old saying “it takes a village” rings true. Without all of the help from her co-workers, this would have been much more difficult.

“Adapting to the new normal, as we like to say around the office and in order to do that, child care plays into that,” said Darren Depot, of Construction Management Direct and Puro Clean.

“This is real life folks, you’re going to see my kid. Once in a while, he going to have to come to work with me. We have to make it work and we’re going to,” Monica said.

An unapologetic parent who is doing the best she can in the COVID era.

“It’s hard!” Monica said. “It’s hard for the moms who stay home all day. It’s hard for the working moms. It’s hard for the working dads, too.”

And she says don’t put pressure on yourself to be a perfect parent-- whatever you’re doing, is OK.

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