Hi Midwives and Midwives in the Making, I hope you've had a fantastic week. I hope you've felt supported by your colleagues and in turn supported your women through the astonishing process of having children. I hope you're getting enough rest and having enough good experiences to keep you sailing through the challenges.
I've had a rather life changing week; I have moved back to the UK from New Zealand, in part to make sure MidwifeDiaries gets much more attention from me. Stand by for new stuff!
A lot of the emails I get at the moment from students and midwives are about keeping passionate about midwifery. How to re-discover your passion is a popular question.
I can relate. I love my job and always have, but when I started training, I had the amusingly misguided view that I'd always be full of beans and happy to be working.
As it was for The Women, and I was enthralled by the whole having babies process, I thought motivation would never be far away.
And yet here I am 7 years later writing a series called 'Midwife Motivation Mondays' - clearly, motivation is not as simple as having passion and a worthy goal.
I think the first thing I realised which helped is I am not bottomless pit, so to speak. Here are some of the things I think are essential for keeping passionate about midwifery:
- 8 hours sleep each 'night' (around shifts; sometimes at odd hours or in naps, but I still prioritise this over things like cleaning!)
- Food with lots of vegetables and fruit (though I still drink loads of caffeine and a fair amount of wine...you might have your own needs)
- Exercise (I cycle everywhere, I have always cycled to shift and it's so good to think things through - it's my exercise 'debrief')
- Family and friends time each day, even if it's just a phone call
- Good, positive resources (Like subscribing to this blog. I also have a group of standby books I find inspiring, anything by Michel Odent always sets me right. Allie Wilson from HappyHealthyNurse.com is also a great resource for staying balanced.)
Having these goals to look after yourself means you are less likely to stay out with a mate until the early hours when you have a shift the next day. It's hard to make these decisions - but you need to take care of your basic needs.
Keeping passionate about midwifery over a career seems to be something that needs cultivating.
Otherwise we can easily run out of steam.
Now I'd like to hear from you, especially if you have experienced burnout before and got yourself back on track. How do you keep passionate about midwifery?
I hope you have a wonderful week whatever happens in practice, study, or whatever else you're getting up to. Midwives are a fundamentally important part of women's lives and you are so appreciated!
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