Welcome back to Mama You Can, a series started to share inspirational stories of Mama’s who have changed career direction, started their own business or negotiated a more flexible role to fit in with family life.
This week we hear from Megan who has just set up her own hypnobirthing business, Megan also runs a beautiful Instagram account @oatcakeadventures
I’ll hand over to Megan to tell her story…
Mama You Can: Megan from Positively Birthing
I’m Megan, Mum to One-Year-old Otis, Student Midwife, KG Hypnobirthing Teacher and founder of Positively Birthing.
Before life became ‘babies, babies, babies’, I trained and worked for six years as an actress (a little known fact about me actually!). That was what I had *always* wanted to do, so there’s no way you’d have convinced 3, 13 or even 23 year old me that that’s not what I’d be doing now! But life is full of twists and turns! I worked mostly in theatre and met my Husband working on a show.. so without it, I’d never have met him or had Otis, and there’s no way I’d be doing what I’m doing now! Like I said, twists and turns!
When did you decide to change direction in your work life?
In actual fact, the first change of direction came before the dive into parenthood! Midwifery had always been the answer to the question ‘if you could have any other job, what would it be?’. As time went on, I started realising a lot about my way of life, the prospects for my future and my general outlook on things. Being a jobbing actress is far less glam than it sounds. I was touring a lot, which meant living out of ‘digs’ (essentially someone’s spare room) and being away from friends and family. My husband was working in London and I felt that the career I’d always dreamt of, and forged for myself, wasn’t making me happy. So on an absolute whim, I applied to study midwifery, and got a place!
The next change came more recently, having taken a year out of my studies for maternity leave, we were all set to throw ourselves into the new way of working parent life, and went for it for a few months. However, after missing out on some childcare funding and readdressing our finances, it felt like the wrong time to be out of the house for days or nights on end, giving every penny I earned straight to someone else to look after my baby, and I also felt like I was doing a half-hearted job at everything. I wasn’t the mum I wanted to be, the midwife I wanted to be or the wife I wanted to be, there weren’t enough hours in the day.
Was it a quick decision or something you thought about for a long time?
It had been a long-term plan, to combine teaching hypnobirthing and working part-time as a midwife for the NHS, and something we’d been discussing since our amazing birth of Otis the year before. The decision to change the timeline of that plan happened pretty quickly, and took me about a month from making the decision, to launch day!
How did you feel in the lead up to the decision?
In the jump from acting to midwifery, I felt relief. I actually hadn’t realised how much I wasn’t enjoying the acting life, until I realised I didn’t have to do it anymore. It felt like a weight had lifted and I was so impatient to get started!
On the setting up a business front- A little anxious, because on one level, the decision was made for me, based entirely on finances. Would I resent having to pause something I loved? Would it even work? And on the other hand, so excited to get stuck in to being creative again. It reignited a passion for birth and women that had got lost between the stress of work, motherhood, finances, and day to day life.
Starting the midwifery course was brilliant. It was like I’d found something I was always meant to do, but never knew. I made some friends for life and feel like I’m genuinely making a difference to people’s lives. There’s no feeling like it! Don’t get me wrong, it’s SO hard and exhausting and intellectually challenging and mentally draining and time-consuming, but I feel like actually, I’m really good at it, so it’s worth it.
And now the jump to setting up my own business… Well so far- Great, mostly. I am genuinely missing working in the hospital, and the current plan is to go back at the end of this year. But being able to spend my days with Otis makes me SO happy (even if that’s more tiring than 3 night shifts on delivery suite in a row sometimes), I grab a few hours a day to work on business bits and am able to teach in the evenings and at weekends- I didn’t quite anticipate how time-consuming it would be! But I really enjoy working on it, so that helps!
Now you have taken the plunge how are things going?
They’re going Ok! I forgot that being an amazing hypnobirthing teacher and passionate mum and student midwife count for about 1% of a business’ success, and that marketing, branding, SEO and all the rest of it make up the other 99%! It’s definitely been a learning curve, but it’s something I’m enjoying getting my teeth into.
What advice would you give to other Mama’s who are thinking about making a change to their working life?
If you can afford to do it, do it. If you can’t afford to make the jump, find a way that you can make some changes to make life happier. I always find it mad that we live in a world where ‘work’ is one of the most important things in our lives, but since we do, we might as well make it something we love to do. I think the best thing to do though, is to STOP imagining how everyone will ‘react’ when you tell them you’re making a change. Honestly, you’ll likely be VERY surprised.
Mama You Can will be back next Thursday, until then why not read some of the other stories…
- Mama You Can: Kelly Pike
- Mama You Can: Julie Clabby
- Mama You Can: Claudette Anderson
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