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Is this realistic?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I tend to get into things over my head. So I thought I'd ask the experts.

I have 5 kids at the moment, and I'm just almost 37 weeks pregnant, so could go any moment with #6. My kids are 9, 7, 3, and 1 yo twins. I homeschool, too.

We're just getting to the place where we feel comfortable with me going back to school (financially, as well as we're not moving every couple of years anymore, we think we're settled). Plus, there are some other "signs from God" that we're really thinking are sort of pushing me towards starting AAMI or a similar distance learning program. I've got a couple of things running in my head for ideas, but I'm not sure they're realistic.

One, is that I start AAMI, but also take courses in things like herbs, aromatherapy, things like that to add to my practice when I'm able to graduate. I'd also like to become a certified Hypnobabies instructor, that's something we're looking at doing this spring/summer, when the baby is slightly older.

Am I putting too much on my plate? AAMI says they take 42 months. I won't be able to start an apprenticeship anytime soon, until my littles are somewhat bigger, and the baby is weaned. So I thought I'd use the time until then, to get any distance learning and book certifications I could.

Any thoughts?
post #2 of 9
Honestly everyone is different in what they can handle, so only you can truly answer that question. I know people often think I am nuts because I work at one hospital as a staff doula, at another as a childbirth educator (both jobs equal to 3-9 days of work per month or so) and I am in nursing school and have 9 kids. For me the most important part is that I have a super supportive husband who is and does pick up the slack when I am super busy and overwhelmed. My husband works nights so we just do opposite shifts, and it also helps that i have adult children (although it wasn't always like that - I also have a bachelor's and masters degree - the masters degree I got while I had seven kids and I also went to massage school with seven kids and became licensed).

It really is possible, but it depends on you, your lifestyle and what you can handle (your partner too). Many people ask me how I can do it all and for me it comes easy
post #3 of 9
I only have four children, aged 10, 7, 5 and 3. We homeschool also. Dh and I are going to an information night next week about becoming foster/adoptive parents because we would like more children, but seriously don't want an infant.

Right now, I work as a doula, am working on certifying as a BirthWorks childbirth educator and help run a local doula networking group. Midwifery school is something I see in my future, but not in the next couple of years.

My point is, I don't think that the question of what you want to do depends as much on how many children you have as it does on how understanding and supportive your family is and if you can find a balance that works for everyone.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you both, ladies! My DH is extremely supportive, but, he's the only support person I have. We have no family around or friends really, so we'll be doing it all on our own. I do plan on hiring some sort of nanny person, hopefully, when I start to do apprenticeships, but that can't be for a while.

I think that doing distance learning would work for us. It would keep my mind occupied (sometimes, I swear, my brain is dying...), and it would be good for the kids to see mom working hard for something through education.

I've just got all of these ideas as to what I want to take, and I want to make sure I'm not getting in over my head.
post #5 of 9
I too think it depends on your personality and how organized/supported you are in your personal life. I am a homebirth midwife with five children and I started on this path when I had three children and added two more since then. It is not always easy, but I have a supportive husband and my children are not babies anymore. It was much more difficult when I had a nursling. I always took at least 6 months off after I had babies to just focus on nursing and nurturing them and myself. Everyone is different though, you may be ready before that.
post #6 of 9
If I had it to do over again this is what I would do; I am enrolled in AAMI and and tryign to finish my cbe at the same time. I will be having my third baby next year and we also homeschool.

I would have finished my CBE program first and then taken a lactation program. I would work at this for a while to get used to working with families and get comfortable with the informaton I learned. Then I would have started to study on my own; buying books is expensive and I woudl give anything to have the money I paid on AAMI back to buy books and equipment to learn on. I should say Im not happy with AAMI at all and if I were to pick a school now, it woul be a different one. After I studied on my own and was ready to really commit to a midwifery school then I would enroll. I would personally want to wait to enroll in a school until I knew I could apprentice sometime in the next year or year and a half. I may even have wanted to take a midwifery assistant workshop before starting an apprenticeship. But since I paid for AAMI I have no money to spend on things like that, and I would feel very guilty for spending more, especially since Im considering not even finishing the course.

Of course this is what woudl work best for me and my family. But we have moved every two years for the last 9 years so I have had no support or help from anyone. My dh is military so can be gone for months and weeks at a time. So I cante expect him to help out with the kids or house. We shoudl be settled by next year so Im trying to start over and really organize how I do things. I have a hard tiem doing things that dont make sense to me as far as order goes...hence the cbe, lc then self study before school and midwifery assistant before apprenticeship.

Good luck!
post #7 of 9
I am a student at AAMI and a homeschooling mom to 4. I started while pregnant with #4. It has been perfect for me so far. I love the program. Like you, I know that I won't be ready for an apprenticeship for a few years. It has been great to focus on my studies and prepare during this time. I am so happy with my decision.

I am also taking an herbalism course and finishing up my doula certification. Both programs have fit in very well with my coursework at AAMI.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
@hram: Can I ask why you don't like AAMI? It's a good sized commitment, and I'd like to know pros and cons before I do commit. Feel free to PM me about it.

I'm not sure I can become an LC, or that I'd be a good one. My breastfeeding "record" is 6 weeks, not so hot. But, I do plan on working towards becoming a CBE. Problem *there* is, I've never actually taken a CB education class. Not even at a hospital. :P So, I'm not sure which one to take. Is it possible to become certified in more than one method? Right now, I'm thinking about PfB's workshop for Lamaze.
post #9 of 9
I have never taken a cbe class either...but I know what kind of info is important for familiies to know. Im planning on teaching mostly parents giving birth in the hospital; having to show the myths of birth and how to advocate for your rights if you have a provider that isnt supportive. I plan on only doing an hour of "teaching" then have at least an hour for discussion among parents in each class. So for example I would show the motions the baby makes using a pelvis and doll then have the parents discuss things they think could hinder the progress. That way they are thinking and coming up with solutions and alternatives on their own. Then if I think something that is important didnt coem up, I can always bring it up.

You dont even have to be certified to teach classes. If you want to teach in a hospital then you woudl need to but if you are teaching independently then its not necessary. I would really look at the "method" each organization teaches and really look at their philosophy. I chose an organization that has no method and supports the midwifery model of care for each woman. So Im not teaching them how to give birth, Im teaching them the physiological process then encouraging them to search their feelings on birth and gain confidence in their ability to give birth. And giveing them alternatives to the "routine" of hospital policy and let htem knwo that it is safe even if you dont have every piece of equipmen hooked up to you and every medication pumped into you.

If you are looking into aami you can friend Carla and Kristi on facebook. Carla posts a lot of things on there that will give you an idea of her philosophy. There was a discussion on the student midwives thread a while back about the troubles I was having with the program. It seems as though people either love it and will defend it to their death or the dont like it and it doesnt work for them. Ill pm you with more specific info on how its working for me. But the majority of people here are enrolled in aami and love it, im just no one of htem right now.

But honestly you sound more organized than me, so Im sure you know when the best tiem to start your formal education. I jsut thought I woudl throw out there that you can self study on your own and you dont have to worry about throwing a huge chunk of money down up front. Because like me, if you find the school isnt working for you or you arent ready then you have jsut lost your money.
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