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Pearls from the First Year: Cherish Your Family

by Guest Blogger Aubre Tompkins, CNM

Aubre Tompkins, CNM, is in her second year as a midwife. She has been guest blogging about the lessons she’s learned during her first year in a series for ACNM. Check out her first six posts here:

Pearls #1 and #2: Remember to Breathe, and Listen
Pearl #3: Emotions are Healthy
Pearl #4: Be Humble
Pearl #5: Be Water
Pearl #6: It Takes A Village
Pearl #7: Nurture Yourself

It is a well-known fact that this work can be hard on a midwife. The hours are long, the emotional outlay can be draining. Babies will come at anytime day or night, mamas will need questions answered and support at all hours, and all of this happens without regard to our personal lives.

Now, we know this going in, nobody surprises us with these facts at the last minute. It is a choice that we have made, a path we have prepared for—but our families may not always feel the same way. Our partners surely know who we are, know that we are at times unavailable, and have decided to walk with us. However, that does not mean that they have to like it. Our children, on the other hand, have had no say in this route; we have brought them along for the ride. It is a difficult thing to share your parent with “all the pregnant ladies” as my own children have informed me, numerous times. This brings me to Pearl #8….cherish your family.

There is an unfair irony to our profession. Midwives believe strongly in supporting, guiding, and empowering women in the creation of their families. We fight for women to have choices in all aspects of their life cycles. We foster breastfeeding and promote a balanced postpartum period of recovery. We are “on call” for these women and will come when needed, at all times and hours of the day and week. The other side of this coin is often overlooked. Who is with our family? Who is supporting our efforts as partners and mothers? It is a cruel twist of fate that in a profession so dedicated to the promotion of healthy families, our own families often pay a price.

Just as we must care for ourselves, we must care for our families. Family comes in all shapes and sizes, whether you have children or not. Whether your family consists of relatives, friends, pets, or all of the above—cherish them. Block out time that is dedicated to your children. Plan date nights with your partner. Make time for your friends. All of these things will not only benefit the people in your life, but you as well. When we are well-rounded and fulfilled, we are better providers of care. When we are supported by a full, healthy network of family, we can be at our strongest to support our clients.

Aubre Tompkins became a certified nurse-midwife in 2010. She has a busy family, with 3 fantastic children and a great husband. She lives in Denver and works at Colorado's only freestanding birth center, Mountain Midwifery Center. She has been learning to knit for the past 3 years and is almost done with her first scarf. Her blog, With Woman, The First Year…And Beyond, is a chronicle of her experiences from her developing career.

Posted 6/19/2012 2:00:13 PM



Any opinions expressed in this blog are those of the individual participant(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American College of Nurse-Midwives. ACNM is not responsible for accuracy of any of the information provided by guest bloggers and/or members via the Comments section. We welcome all feedback – including comments, ideas and suggestions. We also welcome civil, friendly debates. However, any and all content that is deemed inflammatory or rude will not be posted.


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