Struggling with decision about next career step...CNM?


I am a RN in OB for the past 10 years. There are currently 2 CNM's at my small, community hospital and they are encouraging me to take the leap! I do feel drawn to midwifery, however, I have so many reservations. First and foremost, will I lose total control over my time? I have 3 kids, ages 9, 7, and 3. Granted, it will take me at least 3 years to get through a program so they will be more self-sufficient by then, but still... I'm just not sure I can imagine being on call 24/7!

What's it honestly like for those of you in it? Do your kids and/or spouses get resentful of your work? My husband says he'll support me whatever I decide. I just don't want it to become a major stressor on my marriage. Can you somewhat control how busy you are or how many deliveries per month or year you do? I have a few other smaller concerns, but this is the big one! Also, how do you arrange child care at those times when you get called to the hospital and your husband's not there? One other thing, I live 30 minutes from the hospital that I'd like to work at. I'm thinking that would be a problem!

I would sooo appreciate any thoughts from those with experience!!

Thank you!!


4 Posts

I'm not even IN nursing school yet, but I'm on the road to it. I plan to get my CNM, too, and I have 2 kids (5 and 2). I just spent the past 12 months working as a CPM assistant doing homebirths. I will tell you sthat it was very hard. I started right after my youngest turned 1. You have to be organized and prepared. Read: no dirty dishes, unfolded clothes, unplanned school get it. Meals need to be thought out and Dad friendly so your kids don't eat crap while you are gone. But honestly, you probably are already pretty good at that b/c you work already. Going from stay at home to on call is probably alot harder.

If your husband says he supports you, then he will. Most men don't offer lip service to their women when they know it is only going to be hard on them. My husband took a while to get used to it and I had to give hom room to be pissy about it, too. I knew that when I called with updates and let him know it would be a long one, he would be irritated. That isn't b/c he was unsupportive, but b/c he wan't used to being a single dad. It took him a few hours after I got home to unwind and be cool again. But that is us. It wasn't ever a huge issue, although it is something that was new for us. We both knew that this was right for me and would eventually work out.

The kid thing works out, too. Lots of babies are born while everyone else is asleep. Alot of times, I was home before they woke up. I was tired that day, and took a nap when the little one did (big guy let me sleep while he watched a movie) but the world still turned. I mean, I got to help a lady have a baby....that is way worth a day of fatigue. If I had to go and find childcare, I had someone lined up. Most ladies "make noise" before laboring hard and you have to have the good sense to have childcare lined up.

Good luck! I think the trials on your family are, for most folks, a make it or break it deal. I know a few MW apprentices who quit b/c they didn't like ditching their kids or the schedule.



288 Posts

Specializes in OB. Has 10 years experience.

Thank you so much for the reply! It was exactly what I was wanting to hear. The reality of being on call and ways that you are coping with it.

My youngest will be in first grade, my oldest in seventh grade by the time I would finish with my CNM, so I definitely think that would make a big difference, but still I know I will miss ball games and dance recitals, etc. But, if I continue as a RN in OB I will miss some, too.

It really is a tough decision for me. Partly because the CNM that I work with is "Superwoman". She has 4 kids ranging from 18-2, and she does a LOT of deliveries. This month is unusually big for her, but she has 17 patients due. I couldn't do what she does. But, I also have to keep reminding myself that I don't HAVE to do what she does. I don't have to be as busy as that.

Guess I'll just keep praying for now!

Thanks again, Corinne! And Good Luck to you with your schooling. It will be tough but worth the trouble!

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