Speech-Language Pathologist and Program Coordinator Dr. Thomasyne E. Hill is used to juggling multiple roles. It’s an honor to interview her this month about the job she cherishes the most, being a mom.
Tell me about yourself.
My name is Thomasyne E. Hill. I am 57 years old. I grew up in the South Titusville neighborhood of Birmingham, Alabama, with my parents and younger brother. I am the single mom of two adult children: Tressie who is 28 and a graduate of Miles College and Thomas who is 20 and just completed his second year at The University of Alabama. We live with my 92-year-old mother, Ophelia. I am a graduate of the University of Montevallo and The University of Alabama. I am a proud active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. I retired from public education six years ago after 25 years as a speech-language pathologist. Currently I am a program coordinator with College Admissions Made Possible, a nonprofit organization. I still practice as a speech-language pathologist privately.
What do you want your children to learn from your life?
I’ve tried to be a positive role model for my children. I would like for them to keep God first in their lives. I want them to know they can achieve anything they put their minds to, but it takes work. I also want them to always be kind to people no matter how difficult it may seem because it will always pay off.
What are the best and worst things about living in Birmingham?
Best thing about Birmingham: Birmingham has a rich history and we must not forget it but continue to move forward, which is evident in the current growth of the city. Worst thing about Birmingham: I am troubled by the continued downward spiral of our neighborhoods and the crime in the city.
If you could change one thing about Birmingham, what would it be and why?
If I could change one thing about Birmingham, I would change the perception people have about Birmingham. People out of state do not realize how beautiful our city is. Those living here do not appreciate what our city has to offer. Get out and explore Birmingham and see what she has to offer. You will definitely be surprised.
What is your proudest mom moment?
My proudest mom moment was when my daughter graduated from college and gained employment and my son graduated from high school and enrolled in college.
You are a part of the sandwich generation. How do you juggle caring for kids while caring for your mom?
Fortunately, both of my children are for the most part adults. However, when we started noticing changes with my mom, my son was entering high school and not able to drive. I learned I had to be overly organized and on a schedule. I also learned I had to have a network of friends and parents to help me. I thought I could do everything on my own, but I was proved wrong. My children also had to take more responsibility and help with their grandmother.
What advice do you have for women who find themselves juggling caring for kids and caring for aging parents?
Women are notorious for caring for others before themselves. I found out the hard way that you must take care of yourself. The things that you thought were important really are not that significant in the grand scheme of things. Another piece of important advice is to accept help and assistance. We all need a “time out” to rejuvenate and refresh—some me time!
What’s next for Thomasyne Hill?
What’s next: To get my son out of college, complete my book(s) and retire again to travel and enjoy life.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I have been blessed and have a wonderful network of friends. I am grateful for them and their support. People need to know there are resources available to assist us and the Alzheimer’s Association has been an excellent resource for me.