This past week was a tough one, I’m not going to lie… All the after school activities were in full swing, which makes my job – evenings and weekends mostly – more challenging. Oldest daughter was back at dance five days a week, oldest son in soccer five days a week plus saxophone, and my youngest just started soccer as well – two days a week. (How many days of the week are there again?!) Currently, #3 is my favorite child – but only because she hasn’t started her acting classes yet.
I also had to work – a lot. My job usually has a pretty predictable and very do-able schedule even with a busy family like mine. Typically, I work a couple of nights a week, and two weekend days a month. But this past week, everything lined up in so that I worked Monday night, Tuesday night, Wednesday night, Thursday day and Thursday night, all day Saturday and all day Sunday.
(Did I mention that a friend of mine talked me into doing a “Fall Cleanse” with her and that it officially started on Saturday? The food’s good, and I feel great – but someone should have told me to hire a personal chef to get all the meals prepped! There’s no room in my fridge because of all the damn fruits and vegetables waiting to be eaten, and I still have 12 days to go…)
To say I was tired and had no time to do anything last week would be an understatement. So, why am I titling this post “Lucky Me?” Because even as I was dragging myself out of bed at 6:30 am on Saturday for a full-day workshop, I marveled at how very lucky I am to be doing this work in the world.
I celebrated my 17th work anniversary this past July. There aren’t a lot of people who can say that they’ve been with the same organization, let alone the same occupation, for that long anymore. And there are plenty of Childbirth Educators who change their focus and only work with expectant families for a short while. It’s something that works while their children are young, or until they go back to school, or move on to become a Lactation Specialist.
But there are some of us who are “lifers” – educators who continue in this work despite their kids ever-changing schedules, the craziness that it can cause right around the dinner hour, and the sacrifice of coveted beautiful September weekend days hanging out with the family. I won’t speak for other educators I know who are lifers – they have their own reasons. But I’ll give you mine.
The number one reason I’ve never lost interest or passion for this work is that it’s not really about the birth of a baby. I mean, it is about educating women and their partners about how to give birth to their babies, but that’s not all of it. A long time ago I realized that I had the unique opportunity to witness birth on a regular basis in my classroom. No, women were not literally having their babies during my class! But every time I teach a class I witness students moving through their fears and then being transformed or “born” into their new roles of parent, couple and family.
The other reason that I love what I do, is that I’m really good at it. That might sound arrogant, but I’m not trying for that tone at all. It’s just that there are aspects of my job that come together with my particular skill set to make it very well-suited for my personality.
One, I love to talk – a lot. I was always the kid in school who the teachers labeled a “Chatty Cathy” because I couldn’t stop talking to my neighbors. I like being up in front of a group – I’ve never had any issues with stage fright and I love to meet new people on a regular basis. And the fact that women’s bodies are capable of co-creating a brand new human being and bringing that new little person into the world is ah-mazing! The subjects of pregnancy and birth are never boring to me – it’s always miraculous and awesome in the truest sense of the word. I love sharing my passion for this work.
Every time I teach a class and get to interact with expectant families is a gift – one that is both given and received. And that reminds me of how very lucky I am to be doing this work.
Are you doing the work in the world that you are called to do, or are lucky enough to do? What else could you be doing that would help you feel so lucky?