Birth Professionals

What do you give up?

Over the last few days I have been crocheting a blanket my son and I started last winter. Just a small baby blanket made from yarn he picked out himself. It had been stuffed in a bag, set aside because school and moving and family life made me too busy to finish it. But I found it this week, and the blanket is progressing beautifully.

And then it started to dawn on me, I haven’t scrapbooked a page since I started nursing school.  No need really, I have barely taken my camera out to snap some shots anyway.  I haven’t read a book other the than the ones for school.  I haven’t really worked out and don’t get to do yoga every night.  I pick up my “how to belly dance” book from time to time but don’t even remember where the DVDs I got are. I rarely go to church with my family, I stopped journaling, only cook once or twice a week and dread the mess my business finances will be in when I get a break in January.

I have missed conferences and opportunities to spend time with friends, in fact some times it feels like I have no friends. My long walks to class have been replaced with faster rides on the shuttle. As the semester wears on even blogging feels less and less like a necessity.

No, this isn’t pessimistic.  My life will not always be like this.  Right now I have decided to go to school.  But to make time for school I had to give up other things in my life.  It cannot be done any other way – the time and energy must come from somewhere. But here is the secret – I get to pick what I give up, and so do you. When the time is right to further your training, you will have to make choices.

I haven’t given up spending time with my family, even family dinner.  I cannot make it every night, and I only cook a big meal a few nights a week.  But we have adjusted to left-overs and sandwiches just fine.

I haven’t given up finding new music to listen to.  I make trips to the library with the kids specifically to find CDs by artists I have never heard.

I haven’t given up sharing what I learn with my readers.  But instead of worrying about updating the complicated navigational systems of the main website, I simply blog.

I haven’t given up working with expectant families.  But I am now the student instead of the doula.

I haven’t given up the goal, and I know what I am working for.  The long hours of studying will be worth it.  These few months or years at school are temporary, and it will never be so easy for me to learn as much so fast as it is now. So I want to be sure to take advantage of every minute I can make available to become an amazing midwife.

But that doesn’t include the 2 hours next week when I will take my daughter to hear the symphony perform, because I’m not willing to give that up.

Jennifer Vanderlaan (Author)