I’m tired. Not of catching babies or learning all the midwifery management things. I’m tired of hearing the excuse “Well, that’s the midwifery life and you have to be flexible.”
I miss all my study time and am not allowed to take it? “That’s the midwifery life.”
I can’t file my taxes on time or get time to buy a couch until 3 weeks after I move? “That’s the midwifery life”
I have to switch midwifery preceptors and take on 3x the client load because my preceptor is now on an indefinite leave? “That’s the midwifery life.”
Midwifery life has somehow been pigeon-holed into being this self-sacrificing bubble of imbalance. But, why is that ok? I love women-centric care, and I love being available to my clients and the midwifery team, but how can I do my job if I can’t live the rest of my life properly? If every time I turn around people just tell me that I signed up for a disorganized disaster and that I need to sacrifice everything else?
I’m frustrated because I think that kind of thinking is outdated. Yes, it’s hard to be on call 24-7, and yes, this job is hard. However, I see midwifery evolving. I’ve met midwives who are rocking the work-life balance with new and innovative call-models that give them time to exercise and take care of themselves. I’ve met midwives who are charting on tablets and using apps to make their jobs more efficient. I see midwives able to be home with their families and have good supportive care that helps them balance the demands of the job.
Don’t tell me there aren’t ways to make the unpredictability of birth life more manageable for midwives. Stop trying to pigeon me into a life of frustration and jadedness toward the medical system and the insanity of this work just because “that’s the way it’s always been”.
It’s time to make it be something else. Let’s stop perpetuating this bull shit cycle of burn-out. This is hard enough as it is, even without the logistical and attitude issues.
Those who came before me worked their butts off to get our profession to where it is, and admittedly there is a lot of burn out in this profession, more than in most others. It’s a 24-7, unpredictable life. However, I will find a way to make this work. I’m committed to enjoying this job and still being able to enjoy my life.
Take that, midwifery! I’m going to find a midwifery life that is custom-tailored to me, you just watch!