Thank you for your post TLAlady - it was reassuring! Looking into this profession, I know that I want to go for it without regard to schedule/salary. Then that lurking feeling returns -- the one where I wonder if its fair to ask the s.o. to come along for that kind of ride that may include less-ideal pay and bad hours. I like re-hearing stories that debunk that image.
Mandajeanice, having wanted CNM (in my heart) but being cautious (in my mind), I've really done an on-paper compare and contrast like you. The two main fields I've considered are CRNA and PsychNP. Both interest me - I actually love Chem/Biochem - but at this point, they interest me less so than midwifery.
Both CRNA and Psych NP are, statistically speaking, better pay ranges. I'm sure there is overlap, and regardless, I think most midwifes make a comfortable living. The 75-95k a year range fits within the range of 'what I'm comfortable with', but I believe thats a highly personal decision. I know that I don't want to choose something that leaves me financial stressed all the time, that would deplete my energy because I am a worrier when it comes to finances, savings, etc.
That said....starting nursing as a career change, I sometimes put too much pressure on myself to pick the perfect financial trajectory. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I'm not obligated to choose THE MOST lucrative specialty - I just have to choose one thats a fair to my family and me, considering the current sacrifices we are all making for me to go back to school.
I worry a lot about choosing something too risky that puts my family in a tough spot; I would feel terrible. BUT, I honestly don't think thats the case with midwifery. I think the salary will be just fine, and I think you can always 'take control' of a schedule by being selective about jobs, especially with well-woman care options out there too.
As for me, I'm continuing down the path my heart wants. If things change and I realize that due to my location or whatever - midwifery becomes an honestly bad job-option - then I'll rethink, but its to early to make a compromising decision. In the end, I know I can be happy in a lot of medical fields - but for now, I'm going to go for the one I believe I'd be most happy in first