Updated: Mar 25, 2021
What was first supplemental teletherapy work—about 4 hours of direct therapy per week—became my full-time job within a year. A WAHM: The Double Decker. My decision to switch over to teletherapy full-time was largely because of the chance for more FLEXIBILITY.
Military families know transitions like they know their favorite and most-hated flavor of ice cream. For a working military spouse, each move means reviewing state licensure again, revising a resume again, filling out multiple applications again, interviewing for positions again, and negotiating daycare logistics again...
When my family was set to move during the summer of 2016 with a two month old, I thought: What if that list was just “reviewing licensure and daycare”? And…AHA! Having a FLEXIBLE LOCATION became the foundational cone for me, and ultimately, my family. Three years and almost four moves across three different states later? I’ve still maintained the teletherapy position I began in 2016.
Even if I can’t, I’ll try to have my double decker ice cream cone and eat it too.
For our family, I need to work. Would I rather be a SAHM? When my first-born son made me a Mom in 2016, I would have said “YES!” But honestly, I love being an SLP, too! It’s part of what makes me….well, me. Working as an SLP—the first scoop on my daily cone—has been an AH-mazing experience from my first day.
Here’s a peek into my FLEXIBLE daily routine:
--Get ready (hair, make-up, and professional-looking shirt)
--Brew a cup of coffee
--“Good morning” to the boys and a little snuggling
--Roundtrip commute to daycare
--Back home at the “office”
--Brew a cup of coffee or tea
--Start up the computer
--Virtual speech services
--Shut down the computer
--Pick up the boys
--Back home for the afternoon and evening
Being a teletherapist gives me an outlet for my creative SLP-self while keeping up with some of the housework. A student doesn’t show for therapy, and I go clean up breakfast dishes in the sink. Over lunch break, I make my own lunch, change out the laundry, and take a breather at the table or on the porch. With being at a computer already, most of my paperwork is completed in realtime. Flexible hours, manageable paperwork, and minimal commute cuts time I need to have as a “Worker” and gives time I Iove having as a “Mom.”
Although monetary compensation for being a mother is virtually nonexistent, being “Mom” is that double decker scoop on top of everything else! My husband’s work days are 0% flexible. Mine have to be FLEXIBLE 100% of the time. I have to be ready to drop being “SLP” to be “Mom” AT ALL TIMES. I’m a “Mom on Call” when my children are at daycare and I’m “Mom on Demand” when I’m right there with them. Sudden fever at daycare? Forgotten pacy and lovey? Afternoon school program? Morning Muffins with Mom? My students can be canceled and rescheduled with quick emails and I’m out the door.
Don’t get me wrong. The day-to-day can be a lot to juggle and many days I end up feeling stretched wayyyyy too thin. However, I honestly believe my virtual SLP life has given me time to be an SLP without compromising the Wife- and Mom-Me.
-Angela C. Hancock, MSP, CCC-SLP
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