Her: “Do you want kids?”
Me: “Today I do. I don’t know about tomorrow.”
I’ve been recently thinking about how different my life would be if I had a child. Specifically, Am I really ready to give up my time?
I know that there are
big unspeakable sacrifices to be made when one decides to bring life into this world. And I know that somehow, if I decide to take that step, I will gladly accept that challenge. But is it selfish to say otherwise, that I don’t want to fully and completely give up my time EVER? Does this somehow, make me a bad person? Not a “real” woman because I don’t want to be a mother?
No. As actress Joy Bryant eloquently points out in her essay defending her life decision:
Motherhood, in all its beautiful significance, is a job I do not want.
That doesn’t mean I don’t think I can handle it. That doesn’t mean I don’t admire and honor all the mothers in my life. It doesn’t mean I don’t have a special heart for the children I use my skills and training to service. It just means I can make a choice on what my purpose is going in this lifetime. And I shouldn’t have to defend it, but depending on the approach, I don’t mind engaging in the conversation.
I’m not sure what stance I take. I haven’t completely decided. These days, I’m not only fantasizing of the “fairy tale” of motherhood, but also of the habits I don’t want to change in my life. The sacrifices that are not in poems on Mother’s Day cards or very much talked about.
I like to sleep. I like to eat out excessively, I like to wake up when my body wakes me up on Saturdays. I like to work on my schedule. I like my weekends, and every second of free time that I can steal during the week. I like my life this way.
Speaking, writing, and living my truth. No apologies.
Amir is Arabic for prince, ruler or prosperous.
My first question to him is What is your name?
AFTER YOU WATCH:
The SLP growing in me wants to point out that Amir, at 3 years old, did exhibit a little bit of stuttering which is quite common at this age. Since I wrote a whole research paper about stuttering you should know that childhood stuttering is the most common form of stuttering and some children eventually grow out of it, while others don’t (for reasons not quite known, only speculated.) Stuttering is considered a fluency disorder, because it disrupts the “fluency and timing patterns” of speech and is characterized by 3 features: prolongations (draggggging out a sound longer than is necessary), blocks (airflow and movement/sound is completely stopped) and repetitions. You may be most familiar with repetitions, as it’s one of the most obvious signs that someone stutters. Repetitions is when “a sound, syllable or word is repeated several times to the point that it interrupts the flow of speech.” We hear Amir saying ‘and, and, and I‘ when he’s telling me about his family, he’s obviously a big talker who wants to share this information with me so I can say his excitement is probably what is causing him to repeat the word “and.” His repetitions occur in a short moment in time and don’t prevent him from getting his point across so I don’t think his parents have anything to worry about at this point. But I would tell his parents to be mindful about it as he gets older, since the longer-term stuttering occurs more in males than females (the last I read the ratio was about 4:1, male to female). [All quotes in this text are from Justice, 2010]
Not like I have the power to go around diagnosing people anyways (just yet), just observing the world around me with more critical/clinical eyes now. Grad School, go easy on meeeeee!!
Another critique I have about myself is that I’m very controlling around children (and in most relationships, as a matter of fact). The video sounded more like an interview than a conversation; I like to be the director. Sometimes certain therapy techniques require we let the children lead and initiate by allowing them time to show us their interests. I wonder if I will have a hard time with this, since I’m always thinking about what to say/ask next, how to lead the child or focus his attention on a specific task…it’s something I’ve been thinking about.
If you’re an #SLPeep, do you find it hard to not go around making assumptions about speech and language difficulties with kids in your family or complete strangers’ speech? How do you keep yourself from not jumping to conclusions?