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AIBU to want to be a midwife?

(86 Posts)
jellypi3 Wed 08-Feb-17 16:16:08

Bit of a weird one for AIBU.

I want to be a midwife. I have looked into it quite a lot, visited uni's, worked out my qualifications, chatted to midwives and come to the conclusion I want to do it.

DH thinks I am dreaming up a fantasy that all new mums have (DD is 12 months) and thinks I am setting myself up to fail.

I have seriously researched it to death. I know it's fecking hard to get on a course, I know it's a ridiculously hard job to do when you do qualify, and I know it's not all cuddling babies and talking to pregnant women. And I still want to do it.

AIBU and living in a fantasy world? I feel like I need a bit of a reality check before I start on my personal statement!

anyoldname76 Wed 08-Feb-17 16:23:11

if its your dream then go for it. i also wanted to be a midwife after having my children but i started thinking about it realistically, im not good with blood, poo or vomit, basically i was in awe of the brilliant job that nurses, midwifes, hca etc do

Trifleorbust Wed 08-Feb-17 16:25:08

Not to be a killjoy, but have you thought about how you would handle miscarriages, stillbirths, forced removal at birth, substance abuse, DV, maternal mortality?

Screwinthetuna Wed 08-Feb-17 16:29:30

Why are YBU? There are plenty of midwives around. If you only had grade d GCSEs and wanted to be a brain surgeon then maybe.
Not saying it won't be hard but a friend of mine is a midwife and she loves it. No offence to her but she isn't smartest peanut in the turd and was always in lower to middle set classes in school. If you have determination, you can do it

MrsSquidney Wed 08-Feb-17 16:31:29

If you've thought long and hard go for it. I'm a midwife and by no means is it easy. We're underpaid, overstretched, hungry, tired, etc all the time but I wouldn't change my job (at the moment) for the world.

The bad stuff is bad. Really bad. Honestly, I had to have some time off after a particularly difficult stillbirth (I'm pregnant too which didn't help).

However, when a new family is born in front of you and you hear the mum say "look what I did" it makes it worth it a million times over.

I'm sorry to be a bit negative, I wish it was all hearts and flowers but if it's what you really want go for it and don't let anything hold you back if it's your dream flowers

jellypi3 Wed 08-Feb-17 16:34:38

No i appreciate the harsh / negative comments.

Academically I should be ok, I have a law degree, 3 good A levels, 13 good GCSE's, so I should be ok from that side of things.

I know there are a lot of shit things to deal with. I have spoken to a friend who is a MW who has given me all sorts of details. I guess someone has to do the job, and I like to think emotionally i'd be up to the task, though you never know until you are faced with that sort of situation?

Glad I'm not being a twat wanting to do it though. DH gives me the eye roll when I mention it!

MrsSquidney Wed 08-Feb-17 16:37:38

Jelly you're not a twat you sound very screwed on!! I wish you all the luck in the world - don't let DHs eye rolls put you off wink

FaithAgain Wed 08-Feb-17 16:42:24

My only reservation for anyone who says they want to train as a nurse or midwife is - can you handle the shift work? I'm a nurse. I didn't have DD til after I'd qualified. While you're training you're basically given your shifts. It's not easy to get shifts to co-ordinate with your childcare and it's unsocial hours including early starts, late nights and nights. I was able to carry on with my shifts because my family are brilliant at helping with wraparound care (like dropping DD off to pre-school at 8.30 if I start work at 7). So either your DP needs to work more conventional hours (mine doesn't!) and be willing to do those or you'll need someone else to help instead! It's doable, there were parents with young kids on my course. I took my hat off to them. It's a lot of assignments on top of placement which is tiring but it's achievable if you're determined!

Monr0e Wed 08-Feb-17 16:46:25

If it's something you really want to do and you have thought of all the angles then absolutely you should apply.

I am a first year student, started last September and haven't regretted it once.
A few things you might consider though. Do you have robust childcare? Will it covers you working all types of shifts, starting at 7.30am, 14 hour days, a month of nights as that is the shift your mentor is rota'd on for.

Do you have the minimum entry requirements for the universities you want to apply to or will you need to update your education. Most unis want evidence of recent study within the last 3 years plus the minimum grades. It is very academic as well as learning all the practical skills.

Will you be able to afford to study for 3 years? The bursary no longer exists so there are only loans available now. But applications are down 20% so far this year so possibly less competition.

I'm not saying any of this to put you off they are just all points to consider. If you do decide to go for it I wish you lots of luck smile

user892 Wed 08-Feb-17 16:50:43

Biggest issue is being accepted into a course, next is childcare as you can't easily take time off if your child is sick.

Hannahbanana1725 Wed 08-Feb-17 17:02:18

Repeating previous posters here but I'm a student nurse in my last year and the hours are very unsociable. You don't get to pick your shifts most of the time, long hours and sometimes nights (7:00-19:30 or 19:00-7:30) there's a requirement on my course that you have to do a certain amount of night shifts as well.
Childcare seems to be an issue with a lot of people on my course (although they are still managing); we get 7 weeks holiday a year, one week of that over christmas falls into term time holiday (although maybe not an issue for you as DC young). We'll be on a 32hr placement throughout term time summer holiday, bearing in mind some placements are 9-4 a day or shorter in the community or GP surgery therefore you'll be there mon-fri all day and childcare isn't cheap.
They've scrapped the bursary now so you can only get a student loan and this will be dependent on your DH's income.
The course is bloody hard and i expect it's very similar in workload to midwifery.
If you're sure, you should go for it. Midwifery courses are so hard to get into as well. But it's an incredible career and i love doing nursing! Just bear in mind it is very stressful but there are tonnes of perks as well!smile

thatsnotmyusername Wed 08-Feb-17 17:07:03

Do it. I did after I had kids (had a 2 and 4 year old when I started) and had a baby during my training. It's a hard, stressful job, and really I thought I knew that but I don't think you really can until you qualify. But I do love it so much, despite the long hours and stress. Good luck x

TurnipCake Wed 08-Feb-17 17:08:18

I think it's a very tough job (I work in the specialty as a doctor) and the fact that you've researched it etc is a good starting point (I have relatives who think it's all handing a chubby newborn to its loving parents hmm ).

Will your DH step up to the mark in supporting you? Both with pulling his weight with childcare and emotionally? My OH despite his sqeamishness is supportive, especially if it has been a bad day, or a complaint has come through or worst case, when there has been a death.

Monr0e Wed 08-Feb-17 17:14:53

And yes definitely to needing a supportive partner. It is a constant balancing act. On placement you are working full time plus doing assignments on your days off, likewise when you are in uni. You need to work as a team because it can be all consuming and a struggle trying to do it all.

jellypi3 Wed 08-Feb-17 17:24:56

Well my childcare at the moment is amazing, I have my in-laws living practially next door and my grandparents (who are fairly young grandparents) living with me and they already help 2 days a week with DD. It's another reason I want to do it sooner rather than later, because they are all still young enough to deal with a toddler smile

Thanks for the replies!

jellypi3 Wed 08-Feb-17 17:27:01

love the insight from so many of you btw! It was a MN post on here that made me look into the career in the first place (before I was upduffed). It was actually about dealing with the less nice sides of the role, particularly still birth and it made me realise how amazing these people are!

And yeah i've already contacted the student loans company and worked out our qualification for a loan for the course which luckily i wont have to repay till my first loan is paid off! smile

Monr0e Wed 08-Feb-17 17:34:44

Sounds like you have thought everything through. Are you hoping to apply for next year? Do you have a few uni's in the area you can apply to?

Toddlerteaplease Wed 08-Feb-17 17:35:42

If you've thought it all through. (Sounds like you have) go for it!

mayhew Wed 08-Feb-17 17:43:04

There's no reason you shouldn't do it. I'm an overqualified person who did and I'm still here 29 years later. I still love it but have had some bumpy times
Reasons why people like us drop out during training and as newly qualified
: childcare
: surprise baby
: relationship breakdown/family crisis
: shift work, lack of flexibility , additional on call shifts
: some astonishingly petty regulations
: understaffing
: frustration with protocols and procedures/ management directives
: poor quality management (not all but I've had some shockers)
: scapegoating when something goes wrong
: bullying

Apart from good childcare, the other essential is emotional and physical resilience.

WaitrosePigeon Wed 08-Feb-17 17:43:48

How could you possibly be unreasonable hmm

Katedotness1963 Wed 08-Feb-17 17:47:49

If it's your dream and you can make it happen, what are you waiting for?! I have a friend who packed in her job at 50 and became a photographer. She has a successful business now and is loving life!

GTS Wed 08-Feb-17 17:56:49

Just to add to all the very sensible advice given by PP's, as a midwife myself I would also give some consideration to applying for nursing as well as midwifery. Direct entry midwifery is quite limiting, what I mean by that is if in fact you find you don't particularly like being a midwife (which happens more than I can tell you) you have a very wide range of fields you can go into as a nurse. The conversion is 18 months from nursing to midwifery, which in reality is not that long, and means you can choose from hundreds of fields to specialize in, not just midwifery. Good luck with whatever you decide. Personally, midwifery was just too brutal a job for me, the hours with children can be tricky, the politics horrendous where I worked. That said, it is definitely a calling for some, so just go for it!

Graphista Wed 08-Feb-17 17:57:15

I'm an ex nurse I left due to shifts (hard to work round a family inc husband in army who was often away/on duty), understaffing, low morale.

I considered midwifery at one point then of course learning it's more about mums than babies and I wanted to work with babies/young children so looked into becoming a hv but ex got posted overseas.

You need to be really sure.

Also parents/grandparents may get ill/age faster than you're expecting/find looking after a toddler hard going/decide they don't want to do your childcare.

jellypi3 Wed 08-Feb-17 17:57:28

Great stuff! Im hoping to apply for 18/19 entry. Going to start on my personal statement soon!

And I live near 2 uni's so will hopefully apply to both!

Thanks everyone. I will tell my husband to bugger off grin

EC22 Wed 08-Feb-17 18:02:01

I've not long left midwifery after 15 years. I wouldn't put anyone off but I'd personally, if I were to do it again, do nursing first, it gives you so much more options if after 15 years you can't cope with the job any more! It'll take 18 months longer to do but gives you so many more options x

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