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Early Intervention Speech Therapy

Parent and Therapist?! A Personal Reflection

Published January 7, 2010 4:52 PM by Stephanie Bruno-Dowling

I, like millions of other women in America, am facing the reality of returning to work a mere 11 and a half weeks after having a baby. I have had many people offer various nuggets of advice, such as, "Don't work! You'll never get this time back with your baby", "You should definitely return to work so you can keep current with your skills", "It's important for you to work so you can be a good role model for your daughter" and the comments go on and on.

Whatever your personal philosophy may be, one thing is for certain, many of you reading this blog are also in the same boat, the working mom (or dad!) boat. You are both a speech-language pathologist and a parent, not to mention a spouse as well! The responsibilities and demands that you face each day and night, seven days a week are endless. Needless to say, I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed right now as I hover on the brink of returning next week to the business of my job.

One of the most beautiful aspects of this field is the fact that it tends to be family-friendly. Speech therapists (especially in early intervention) do not need to work nights, weekends or holidays. With the demand of the field on the rise, we are basically able to dictate the amount of time we want and/or need to work—one day, five days, full or part-time hours. There is a ton of flexibility which allows us valuable time with our family. It is one of the main reasons why I chose the profession.

In November 2009, right after my daughter was born, I wrote a post on being thankful. I mentioned then how truly blessed I felt because I had a healthy baby girl and a job to return to after my maternity leave. I meant every word of it; however now that I am being faced with leaving her for several hours each week, I am concerned about the consequences. Will I miss her first word or first step? Will she cry for me when I walk out the door and wonder why is mommy leaving? Her little face and big blue eyes looking up at me with a puzzled look of concern haunts me.

I have devoted my life to loving and caring for children and now I have one of my own. As I write this, I realize that it is this same love making the transition so painful deep at the core of who I am.

3 comments

hello ste  phani i like u r thought and dedication .as a woman its our gift from God ,i also work as sp educator&slp at a reputable school.feel very comfortable when a child response me.through these comments  if my karachi university's old friend contact me who was Sadaf haroon .pl,contact me .

shaheen rashid, healthcare - slp October 18, 2013 12:30 PM
karachi PA

Today's post touches on the more personal side of my life; however I also know that it is the reality

September 11, 2012 11:27 AM

hello Stephanie Bruno,

i read all your intuitive thoughts, and you have converted your thoughts beautifully into words. it inspired me and touched my heart. i am in the same profession with lots of dedication because its a demand of our job to be dedicated with these little angles and become friendly with other mothers. sometimes we really forget our own responsibilities but it should not be happened with our own kids. its also true when time passes our children are learned to stay in the way we teach them to live.

we cant help doing so.

Sadaf, speech and language pathology - speech therapist, health care January 27, 2010 11:06 AM
karachi IT

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About this Blog


    Stephanie Bruno Dowling, M.S. CCC-SLP
    Occupation: Speech-Language Pathologist
    Setting: Early Intervention in Delaware County, PA
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