- May 6th, 2009
I hate, hate, HATE translating these days!!!
I also hate, hate, HATE doing administration like invoicing and collecting money.
On the up side, I've managed to squeeze these activities into as little time as possible, and now do non-paying, but far more enjoyable work the rest of the time.
Mondays, I do prenatal care with the midwife I work with.
Tuesdays and Fridays, I'm at the hospital doing lactation consulting. Have I mentioned that I got a volunteer position at the hospital? This was the plot that involved my obstetrician. It is SO awesome. I get to wear all white and even have a nametag. Best of all, I have access to women in the last couple of weeks of pregnancy coming in for their NSTs as well as women who have just given birth as well as women who are coming into the breastfeeding clinic with specific problems. It is COOL. One of the reasons it's cool is because *fingers crossed* this will allow me to accumulate the 500 hours I need before I can take the IBCLC exam. If they approve my plan, I could take the test next summer! Yay!!!
Wednesdays I have my mommy-baby group.
That's the regular volunteer (read: non-paying) work that I do. I also attend a fair number of workshops and case study groups, in terms of money, that's even worse because not only am I not making money, I'm spending money. Oh, yes, and I'm also doing the certification program for becoming a childbirth educator. In my spare time, you know.
As for paying work, I have a varying number of psychotherapy clients. Right now, just one. Doula clients come and go, too, totally unpredictable. If I do doula work through the midwifery practice, I don't get paid for it because I'm technically just an apprentice there, and I offer my services in exchange for being taught. If it's MY client, then I get paid. But so far, I've only had one paying client. I also get paid for making house calls for lactation consulting, but I ask a ridiculously low rate since I'm still not officially certified.
I squeeze my other paying work (that actually constitutes the majority of the money I make) in around these activities. I still have one student, and I still have one steady translating job, plus incidental work comes in now and then. I try to finish on any given day by 2-3 pm, so I can go pick up the girlies between 3-4 pm.
I think I have a pretty sweet thing going on. I'm making more money than the average person does in this country by spending relatively few hours a week on things that generate this income, and the rest of the time I can devote to doing things I'm passionate about. Hopefully, down the line, the things I'm passionate about will also make me more money, but that depends on building up a practice, and building a practice works best through word of mouth, so it takes time.
I'm happy with the way my life is going, even though I've recently had to cut back on the number of extracurricular things I sign up for (like doula groups, workshops, etc) because it was cutting out too big a slice of my time with my family.
And this is why I'm a bit befuddled that my mother has been making snide and snarky comments about the work that I do. Near as I can figure, she thinks I'm wasting my ivy league education by doing what I do. First of all, I don't think that I am - I still do psychotherapy, and I still work with sexuality and reproductive issues. I also make good money, have a flexible schedule and spend most of my time doing things I love and care about. What's there to be snarky about?
I keep asking her if she'd be more satisfied that I'm taking good advantage of my ivy league education if I had a 9-5 government-funded psychologist position for near-minimum-wage and no flexibility. (Even jobs that sucky are hard to come by for psychologists, but even if I could get one, why would I want to?)
So I'm a bit baffled why she's so hostile to my perinatal work. Yeah, perhaps it's not prestigious to educate women about childbirth, or support them through labor, or help them breastfeed, or show them how to wear their baby... but it's hugely fulfilling and I think very important. So it's not glamorous... though I happen to think it is. It still bugs me though that she doesn't think much of it.