Today I had a conversation with a fellow blogger StupidGirl about how brave it is to follow your dreams, prompted by her latest blog post. Many people I know think I am brave to enter the world of Midwifery but I don't think I am brave as I am just following my dreams of what I have always wanted to do.
However it took quite a lot of courage to tell people that I wanted to be a midwife. I worried a lot about what others would think and expected a negative reaction. As a result when I was younger and still at school, I didn't actually tell anyone it was what I wanted to do and I certainly didn't have the courage to actually apply. Then as an adult, it still took a bit of courage and a long time thinking about it before I would even voice the thought aloud. I can remember not long after my second daughter was born, talking to my Mum and voicing the thought aloud for the first time. I was worried that people would think it was post-birth euphoria speaking rather than anything else so if I dared to mention it I'd automatically declare I was waiting at least a year before acting on my hopes.
Every time I spoke to someone else about hoping to be a midwife, I'd wait for that negative reaction and it never did come. I got lots of positive responses in fact, and still do. Many friends and family have said to me that I will make a fantastic midwife. It would take more courage for me to say "I am going to be a fantastic midwife" than for me to take blood, or help to deliver a baby.
What was a brave step, was actually thinking to myself 'it's my life and I'm going to make the most of it, I'm going to follow my dreams'. And that is a brave step for anyone, whatever they are looking to do. For most of us, following our dreams, means some kind of sacrifice somewhere else in our lives. For me I am sacrificing my time with my daughters. I once said, I wouldn't work where I had to struggle to organise childcare in the school holidays or if my children were ill. So instead I have chosen a profession with possibly the most antisocial hours you can get. Why? What changed? Is it that my children are no longer my priority? Well it helps that they are no longer babies and require less of me now; but I have the belief that if I have to go to work and leave my girls, then I don't want to be resentful that I am having to work somewhere I hate, rather than be with them. I want to be working somewhere I enjoy the work, that gives me purpose. For me, that is Midwifery. I will be giving my daughters less time yes, but a much more fulfilled Mum. I believe in this way I will actually give them more, than I would by staying at home with them.
This is absolutely not a dig at any stay at home Mum's before anyone thinks it is. I was a stay at home Mum for 4 years and it's hard work. If my husband hadn't lost his job, I wouldn't have applied to Midwifery until both the girls were at school. My eldest is at school now and it won't be long until the youngest starts Nursery but it's meant a lot to me that my husband has been the stay at home parent for them. He has been a constant for them, in a time when a lot has changed in their lives. I know I would have wobbled far more about applying without his presence at home. (and that's not a judgement on working mother's either)
If you've dreamt about working in a particular area, then just think about it a little more. We only get one life and our working lives are long - far too long to spend doing something you hate. Just take a look at what you'd need to do to follow your dreams? Do you need to do a course? Can you study in the evenings? Just see if it's possible...even if you do nothing about it for now. Be brave and take a step....dip your toe....dare to dream...