Monday, March 4, 2013

BFBS Changes Priorities

This is personal post.  I've had moments over the last few weeks that have brought me to a new point.  I feel compelled to share them with you.

First and foremost, I am a wife (18 years) and mother of 4 children (16, 14, 11, 7).  I have taught natural childbirth classes for the last 10 years.  I love what I do.  It's the best job on the planet!

As you may or may not know, I founded the Tarrant County Birth Network with a couple of amazing ladies over 3 years ago.  Our leadership grew, as did membership.  In fact, we grew it to be the largest chapter of BirthNetwork National in the country.  We put together so many awesome events and meetings.  I am so proud of all that we accomplished.  It was a very busy, rewarding time for me personally.

Last January, I agreed to join the BirthNetwork National Board.  That entailed a lot of phone conversations and emails.  It took a considerable amount of time, but I had the opportunity to connect with so many women advocating for better birth around the country.

March 24, 2012 we launched Birth Boot Camp childbirth classes.  I wrote a workbook with the help of Sarah Clark and a few other Birth Boot Camp Board members. We've seen incerdible growth in less than a year.  We'll do a full report on our anniversary.  That is not the point of this post.

I cannot begin to tell you what my family has suffered over the last 3 years. Lots of take-out, and fast easy microwaveable meals.  They've learned to make a few dishes, as a result of me being so busy, like pasta and grilled cheese.  Even when I'm here, I'm extremely distracted with all that I have to do.  I'm not really present.  I'm on the phone or the computer almost non-stop.  How's this for full-disclosure?

Did I mention that I never talk to my family and close friends anymore - unless they are working on these projects with me, of course!  I literally haven't had time.  Those relationships have suffered.

It's like a train moving so fast, you can't get off.  I could see life going on for my kids and I have barely been a part of it - only the mechanics of getting through the day - just so you can get them to bed and keep working.  I really love my work.  Did I mention that?

But I also love my kids.  Oddly, my relationship with my husband has not suffered.  He's been extremely supportive and my best friend through it all.

A few weeks ago I was on the verge of starting a huge project for BirthNetwork National.  I had that moment when I stepped back and thought about whether my family could handle another big project, where mom is totally absorbed in something outside the home, even when she is at home? I've nearly got 3 teenagers in the house and they really need me to be more present.  One is homeschooled, but I haven't had time to take her to do anything extra.  In fact, my kids haven't been able to participate in extracurricular activities because I literally haven't had time to take them. Sad.

I love birth advocacy and working with these women to improve birth, not only locally, but nationally.   This weekend I've seen so many people I've worked with over the years posting about the CIMS conference and it's been hard to know that I'm not there.

And yet, I am so at peace with my decision.  I've stepped back from TCBN leadership as well as the BNN Board.  I've enjoyed my kids over the last few weeks.  I've made my family dinner!  I canned beans (I'll tell you how to do it if you really want to know).  I talked to my mom for over an hour and it was great!  I chatted with my niece over Facebook this week about a cowboy she's dating (!!!!) and it was so fun.  I'm totally stalking her page now (shhhh!), whereas I would never have had time for that in previous months.  It feels so good to reconnect with people I love.

So now I have one job.  Birth Boot Camp.  As Founder/President, I have an obligation to our instructors to make this the best company possible.  Like I mentioned, we are growing so fast because there's nothing else out there like what we're doing.  I am not pulled between 3 different jobs.  I have one job and will do it well. It's much easier to set business hours for one job than it is for three!
My family is happier.  I am happier. I am able to live in the moment, which is something I haven't done in a long time.  My church calling might actually get the attention it deserves.  (I'm in charge of SIXTEEN 14-15-year-old girls, which is a huge responsibility and we've got Girls Camp around the corner!) I'm grateful for all that I have and I'm grateful for the realization that it's OK to step away from birth activism for now.  Between all the kids activities we've recently signed up for, I might even do some long overdue home organization!  I can't wait!


Alisa said...


Kate said...

Taking time from helping others birth their babies so you can concentrate on your own sweet babies is always a good thing. Enjoy the time you have with them, it flies by too quickly!

beccalouise said...

I think that's wonderful. Soon your kids will be on their own and then you can take on all the jobs again. But until then I would do the same thing, family first!

Banned From Baby Showers said...

Don't I have good looking kids?!

Marsha said...

That is Awesome! I am so Proud of you!!! Taking time for you and your family is the very best thing you can do!!! Thinking of you during this time!~Marsha

HaleeBurch said...

Very proud of you!

Hopefully one day we can meet in person, (as I hope to one day be able to be an instructor for birth boot camp) and I can fully tell you what an inspiration and encouragement you have been to me.