I wanted to let you know about something I'm up to.
Soon I'll be sending out a 30 days of 'kindness in midwifery' email series. These emails are all about how to promote a good culture in midwifery, stop bullying and help midwives and women.
Obviously, I don't have all the answers. No-one does. But I do want to start a conversation.
Myself and the Bradford midwifery society are running an event on this. Read the following and click the link to find out more - and please know if you're a Midwife Diaries subscriber, you will be getting discount codes if you want to attend this event. We've got world class speakers and ideas and we're keen to get as many voices as possible heard.
But even if you can't come, we want you to feel the positivity and light of the people trying to transform midwifery culture. Hence the email series. We'll start on September 25th. Hope you enjoy it and find it meaningful.
On with why this means so much to me....
I was sat at my desk on a sunny August evening. It’d been a typically challenging day, up at six, an hour of editing my midwifery novel, then making a video, answering emails and chatting to student midwives, some who were elated and some who were on the verge of giving up. I’d hit the exhausted stage. Day three of working 12 hours+ mainly in front of a screen. I’d used up my reserve and didn’t want to admit it.
I still had a massive to-do list and I was at that horrible stage of feeling too guilty to give up but too tired to get anything done. I had a message from a student who had a difficult mentor, an email from someone angry with me (this happens when you work online – I can’t get it right for everyone it seems, I’m sure you know the feeling) and another from an experienced midwife who was finding a particular colleague really hard work. I felt like I had to respond to everyone immediately but couldn’t. While I value everyone who wants to get in touch, sometimes I’ve had it.
After scrolling through Facebook, reading comments in The Secret Community For Midwives In The Making but not actually being able to respond to anything, I realised I was just pretending to work. Hours can disappear this way.
As often happens in such moments a Brené Brown quote popped into my head. In her book ‘The Gifts of Imperfection’ she describes an evening where she was sucked into social media, frittering time away, but not finding any relief or reward.
She suggests to herself, ‘Do something deliberately relaxing. Find something inspiring to do rather than something soul-sucking.’
Good advice that I couldn’t seem to take.
I did manage to log off from Facebook but my problem is that in these moods I need to feel I’m doing something useful. It’s often too painful to just stop.
I decided to do some Amazon shopping. I needed some stationary for the business and these were boring jobs needing price comparison but not much effort.
But after five minutes or so, no useful decisions were emerging from the biggest organ I own, just a dense fog of thoughts like ‘you’re not good enough’ and ‘who d’you think you’re fooling’. Thanks brain, really.