As a child, my dreams always centered on being famous. An actor, singer, author of best-selling books; these were all acceptable careers. At one point, I think princess might have made the list as well, but, since princesses don’t really do anything, it was soon scratched.
Over the years, my dreams evolved, as everyone’s do.
At different places in my life, I have dreamed of being a high school drama teacher, a stage actor (maybe even on Broadway), a licensed counselor, a writer, half of a youth ministry couple, an artist, and a missionary. Some of these were dreams I held at the same time. Some are dreams I took into consideration when I made decisions about my future. Others I knew were less grounded in reality, and barely within the realm of possibility for me. To put it mildly.
Marriage and motherhood have put all those dreams to shame.
Before I met and married Levi, I was in school with my sights set on a degree in secondary education. I discovered in the first year that education was not what I wanted to do, but kept the major because I didn’t know what I really wanted. In the meantime, I did know that I wanted to marry Levi. So, that’s what I did, and decided to put off school until after we were at our first duty station.
I never did get around to going to school again. Turns out, that was the right decision for me, and all those other dreams have pretty much been laid to rest.
Being a wife and mother took priority in my life, and I took some flak from some. I was told I was “wasting my talent,” by more than one person. Only I could know otherwise. I just didn’t know what, if anything, else I was supposed to do with my “talent.”
So, I became content with what God had created me to do as a wife and mother. There is nothing more powerful than being the biggest influence in a child’s life – and I am truly happy with this role. If the Lord never sees fit to fulfill any other dream of mine, I will be satisfied at the end of my life.
Years went by, and I birthed four children, becoming slowly more and more interested in birth, and everything surrounding it. I began to read articles, books, and talk to midwives. I saw friends of mine have vastly different experiences than mine – not all good, either. Some because of medical necessity, but most because they simply had no idea that they had any other option.
I had learned that if you don’t know your options, you don’t have any. I wanted to tell the world about those options, in the hopes that I might help one or two women find confidence in their ability to birth, and to make truly informed decisions.
Still, it wasn’t until after my fourth child was born, that I finally knew what I wanted to do with my life – as long as it didn’t interfere with my set-in-stone priorities. (Those would be my God, my family, and my friends. In that order.)
I made an appointment with my midwife, and talked to her about what it takes to become a midwife.
Yes, a midwife. This is my dream now.
It was at that appointment where I first heard the term “doula.” My midwife helped me see that, right now, midwifery is a bit much for my life. Simplicity in my life is something very important to me, and since my kids are so young, I chose to pursue a labor doula and childbirth education certification. Being a doula and childbirth educator will allow me to gain experience and knowledge, and the ability to conform my work to my life. I can give my clients and students my best, without taking anything away from my family.
So, I’m a teacher, after all.
And I still harbor the midwifery dream. I dream of sitting in a corner, watching women do the work of ages with very little need for me to do much of anything. I dream of catching babies, and placing them on their mother’s belly in an ecstatic moment of joy and relief. I dream of using my hands and my voice to sooth and stitch and examine. I dream of making hard choices to save lives, and having the wisdom to make them quickly. I dream of coming home exhausted, and sleeping off a birth high.
I dream of catching my own grandchildren, should my children ask me to do so.
What are your biggest dreams right now?