03 November 2010

Sometimes I feel like I know where I'm going, chugging happily along in the midst of the daily joyful chaos that fills our family home. We're moving forward to the vague future out there. We're growing the kids. We're exploring our interests. We're building lives full of goodness and love.

And then something falls from the sky and I'm left re-evaluating my focus. Yesterday, the something was a friend talking about a distance midwifery program that she's hoping to arrange a group discount for. At first I looked at it as one of those "Oh wouldn't it be nice if..." ideas, but the idea has been nibbling on my brain all day.

It's got me thinking hard about where I am, where I want to go, and how hard I want to work to get there. I've never given a whole bunch of thought to a career. I completed an Equine Sports Therapy program a few months before Nick was born and while I've worked with some fantastic horses along the way, I never set it in motion as a full-time career. I also completed a Holistic Health Practitioner program when Nick was young. Liam and I were married two months after I graduated and I worked in my field for a year before Lily was born. I've recently started my business where I work with families and offer my holistic health services to them.

This has all been "on the side" sort of stuff. I love what I've learned and the work that I do, don't get me wrong, but it's all been in the midsts of raising young children. There was never any question of me working instead of being home with the kids. Liam and I both entered this marriage knowing that me being home was a main priority.

Now, looking at this midwifery program that typically takes 3.5 years to complete, I'm looking ahead at my life. There will come a day when I don't have a child who needs to nurse to sleep and randomly throughout the night, and there will come a day when the youngest is old enough for the oldest to take care of for growing lengths of time. In 10 years, our kids will be 20, 15, and 11 and their needs for me won't be quite the same as they are today. And I'll be 40, with all sorts of working years ahead of me.

It's kind of like peeking out from behind this cloud of young-kid-parenting, this looking at the future. Who do I want to be when the dust settles? What do I want to be doing? Where do I want to be investing my time and energy?

To anyone who knows me well, it wouldn't be surprising to hear that I'm looking at delving further into the birth-y world. I find pregnancy and birth and the parenting of babies to be a personally fulfilling experience. I've developed strong views and opinions on how birth can be, and on how our society's dramatic view of birth as dangerous and frightening doesn't serve families very well.

In my ideal world, I'd love to see families experiencing pregnancy and birth from and empowered, informed place. In the Edmonton area, options are incredibly limited as the few midwives in the area are coming nowhere near meeting the demand and are they working under the limitations that came with provincial funding. Families are too often missing out on the ability to make choices because of a lack of available options. Hospital birth with an OB should be but one possibility in the midst of midwife-attended hospital birth, midwife-attended birth center births, midwife-attended homebirths, and unassisted homebirths.

Anyhow, I could go on rambling for ages about birthy stuff in and of itself, but the point of this entry is to try to figure out where I feel I fit into all of this. On the one hand, the possibility of becoming a midwife and giving families further options when it comes to birth is thrilling. I would personally get a lot of satisfaction out of it and I could see myself really enjoying training for it. On the other hand, is it the best investment of my time in relation to what I already have in my life? Are there better ways to serve families that wouldn't require such intensive training? Is this career path in keeping with what's best for my family as a whole?

Ho hum. Such heavy thoughts for so late at night. I'm not sure where the answers are out there or when I'll find them, but getting things written out is at least helpful for reflection. On that note, I'm off to close my eyes next to the small squishy child who's waiting for me in my bed!


Liam J. said...

By "small squishy child" she doesn't mean me.

Anonymous said...

I am a student of said midwifery program. Coffee? I am you in 10years. My youngest is just turning 10 and I am looking ahead.....

Lisa W said...

OOOps, that wasn't meant to be an anonymous comment.

KimProbable said...

I've got to admit that I giggled at my e-mail notification that I got an anonymous invitation to coffee. ;)

I clicked though your links, Lisa, and I'm thinking you're in Sask? I'm out in Edmonton. If we can't do an actual coffee I'd love to perhaps pick your brain via e-mail.

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