(ASL) for Bailee

My husband and I were frustrated at every doctors visit for my daughter, Bailee, when she was a year old. She excelled in every area of learning, except for speech. We were told time and time again that she would have to take speech therapy if she wanted to stay on track with other kids her age.

Then it occurred to us, why are they comparing Bailee to other children? There’s nothing wrong with speech therapy, we heard great reviews about it in our extensive research. But what was the rush? She was a year old.

A couple months went by and the frustration really set in. Not from us, from her. We soon realized that she was upset that she wasn’t able to communicate, and my heart broke for her. She was familiar with pointing to, and identifying the things she wanted, and I would try to get her to verbalize the words, but nothing.

In a desperate effort to help her, I turned to my best friend, Google. We soon discovered American Sign Language (ASL) and decided to give it a try! Learning and teaching Bailee ASL was the best decision we ever made! Her eyes lit up in amazement as suddenly all the items she could easily identify, had a gesture to go with them.

We started using ASL with words we use daily such as:

Hello, eat, drink, play, bathtime, more, all done, milk, water, happy, book, bed, please, thank you, mommy and daddy.

She picked up the phrases in no time and her frustration quickly disappeared. She was eager to learn more words. Every time we signed a word to her, we said it out loud. Within a month, Bailee was signing and SPEAKING all the words she had learned.

Bailee is now 2 and a half and far exceeds any doctors expectation of where her speech development should be. She speaks in full sentences, and we owe it to our dedication of teaching her American Sign Language (ASL). Our journey of learning a different language won’t stop here!

SAHM stereotypes

I’ve been living and loving the SAHM life for 2 and a half years. Staying at home with my daughter has been the most rewarding experience of my existence. But rewarding experiences don’t come without challenges, and frustrations. Especially the stereotypes that go along with our SAHM title.

“You don’t have the pressure of a real job.”

I worked in retail and the restaurant industry for several years and I’m here to tell you that the SAHM life is no easier on the pressure. Instead of answering to a boss, you answer to a child. Both positions have challenges but just because a mom stays home with her child does not mean that they’re not working just as hard as someone that goes to work.

“You lose your identity.”

My identity changed on October 16, 2015 when I discovered I was pregnant. Being a mom IS my identity. Everything I do, every decision I make, is for her. Being a mom has given my life even more purpose. Yes, she is the biggest part of my identity. But what’s wrong with that?

“SAHM have loads of free time.”

Excuse me as a laugh hysterically! I live through the stereotype that my house has to look as clean as a palace. My every day is spent doing dishes, laundry, vacuuming, mopping, cooking, dusting, scrubbing the toilet, feeding our zoo of animals, picking up toys, making the beds and taking out the trash, all while trying to educate a toddler and pottytrain (stay tuned for another blog on pottytraining). It has taken me 3 hours, in between house work, to write this much. People just assume I have no life.

“You’re so lucky to be financially stable enough to stay home with your kids.”

To me, financially stable means that all your bills are automatically taken out of your bank account each month. Not ours. We don’t go to restaurants like we used to or spend our money on hobbies and collections. The gas in our van is constantly rationalized to make sure my husband can get to and from work and to the grocery store. But yes. I am blessed that my husband has a job that “allows” me to stay home with our daughter. But that just means that we’re financially comfortable.

Theres so many more stereotypes that go along with the SAHM title and society has created them for working moms as well. There’s no “correct” way of raising your children. Unfortunately we’re not given a handbook. At the end of the day, we’re all doing what we feel is best for our kids and situation.