interview by Alisha Meyer
This was an interview with apprentice/student midwife Kristen Rud
1. What aspects of being on call may be challenging for me?
For me, navigating my other business and work has been the most challenging part of being on call all the time. Before apprenticeship, I would take birthing clients during certain months of the year, and leave other months open to host retreats, travel, and be more available for my other clients. Figuring out how to continue to teach weekly yoga classes has also been a challenge!
2. What solutions do I have in mind to work on these challenges BEFORE I am on call?
Before I began my apprenticeship, I started shifting my business and preparing my community for the changes. I started bringing in guest teachers for my classes and workshops, and training other women in my methods! This has actually been a beautiful unraveling of a deeper and more enriching way to run my business, allow other women the opportunity to teach and step into a leadership role, and step back from my responsibilities a bit! It’s now regular culture to have subs or guest teachers in my place, and it does not cause a disruption. I also have a really awesome preceptor, who has scheduled “off-call” time in a way that I can still be available for retreats a few times a year.
3. In what ways may I need to increase my “self care” or change my life in general in order to be my best “on call self”?
Well obviously, business and the way I run that has changed! I also was kind of nervous before I started my apprenticeship about my ‘recovery times’ after birth. As a doula, it used to take me a long time to come back after attending a birth. This hasn’t been as difficult as I imagined- I think stepping out of hospital settings and being in a space where women are respected makes it less difficult of a task – in a lot of ways. I have noticed that my self care has changed since starting school and apprenticeship, in the way that it is much more quiet and slow moving. I used to find a lot of my self care in community care. While that is still very important to me, I have a much higher desire for quiet time, alone time, and snuggling self care with my husband.
As far as nutrition, I have definitely noticed a shift. I feel like I have to be more responsible with my choices. Caffeine is less of a treat, and more of a nuisance! Stimulants can really mess up a schedule when you’re always on call! I have also noticed a need to eat more often, more protein, and more nutritionally valuable to keep myself sharp!
4. What parts (if any) of being on call might I have some resistance to? (even if it’s under the surface!)
On a personal level, the hardest part of being on call is probably stepping away from my husband. We both mostly work from home, and we spend a lot of time together. I’ve really had to stand more in my sovereignty, find strength more from my own core rather than his, and dig deep a few times!
5. What solutions do I need externally to make being on call doable for me and my family?
I am not sure if I have found “all the solutions” yet, but I have thought to myself so many times, “This would be so hard without a supportive husband!” Having open communication, putting each other first, listening, and prioritizing each other in off call times has been helpful for us so far.