For several years, ok, since I was six, I’ve wanted to help laboring women as they give birth to their babies. First, I wanted to be a delivery nurse, then an obstetrician, then a nurse midwife.
When I was pregnant with my third child, I discovered home birth midwifery and, after a particularly negative experience with my OB, switched to a midwife for the remainder of my pregnancy.
I researched home birth thoroughly and found my passion for birth reignited and decided that I wanted to be a homebirth midwife.
Suffice it to say, I’m still not one.
I’ve studied on my own and sampled different programs. I’ve even done a little apprenticing. But I never truly committed, and over the past four years, not much has changed in that regard.
Even after sitting in church, watching a presentation about Africa and hearing the words “Malawi midwife” whispered in my heart as clear as day. I still come up with excuses for why I can’t do it:
- I have too many kids
- I can’t afford the training
- I’m not smart enough
- Someone could die
- It’s too hard
And really, what’s stopping me most is that four-letter f-word: FEAR.
Isn’t that usually the culprit? Behind all of the other excuses, our inability to commit, the real reason fueling the inaction is fear. There are so many things we don’t do because we’re afraid, especially as parents (I know I’m not the only mom who can dream up horrific what-if scenarios involving my kiddos).
Yesterday, my husband posted this quotation:
Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
– Mark Twain
Fear is the root of regret.
Moms, we can do this! We can view our kids as our reasons, not our excuses. We can show them that facing fear puts it in it’s place. We can show them what it’s like to commit to a life of purpose instead of teaching them how to accumulate stuff and do whatever possible to stay comfortable.
Because life is about more than being comfortable. And deep down inside, we know that, we just don’t know how to get past the fear and self-imposed limitations to commit to the life we truly want to live.
As I write this, Ian and I are searching for a bus. To live in. With our whole fam damily. Why?
We want to travel. And build more relationships. And deepen existing ones. And so I can fully commit to the one thing I’ve dreamed about doing my whole life but have always had an excuse not to pursue.
It won’t be the most comfortable living situation we’ve ever had, but I don’t care. A spacious house is no longer my priority. Neither is the comfort of knowing that on the outside, I still look like everyone else.
We’ve shifted our priorities. It’s crazy, scary and all of the details aren’t planned out. But we’re committed.
Because once you commit, everything else just falls into place. Once fear is faced head-on, it loses its power. Once you see that self-imposed limitations are just that, you can simplify your life and focus on what really matters.
You just have to commit.