I will be 38 years old in 2012. Yet I still dream about what I want to be when I grow up. Haven't I already made it that far? Hmmm, what doooo I want to be when I grow up? I started my formal education once upon a time when I was 19 years old. At that time I wanted to work with very young children, under age three to be exact. I went to college for a while while I was married to my first husband. I had a baby became separated, had another baby, became divorced. I dropped out of college when my first child was born. In 1999 I went back to school determined to support my young family. I started nursing school and after a year of that while I was pregnant with my 3rd child I decided nursing was not for me. One of the main reasons I chose nursing was for the job security. Deep down though I wanted to be a Midwife. In Alabama the only legal Midwives are Certified Nurse Midwives that work in the medical setting. I did not know at the time the attitude towards Midwives in Alabama. It is not positive. After I had my 3rd child I started a Doula program. I did not stick with it but I learned a lot about natural birth and the birthing process.I did not drop out of college though. I just switched gears. I graduated on time in 2001 with an AA degree and landed a job believe it or not as a toddler teacher. I taught 2 year olds as well as younger and occasionally a little older children for about 7 years. During that time I had my 4th child. Also during that time I went back to school as I worked full time (most of the time). I graduated with my BS in Socio-behavioral Science in 2004. I stayed in school for a year after that working on a second bachelors in Linguistics. That same year I received a scholarship for a year long program to become a Certified Special Instructor with Early Intervention. I completed that program at the end of 2005. I never completed my Linguistics degree. I then decided to go for my master's degree. In 2006 I started my graduate degree in Education. I also fell in love and started a relationship with my current husband. We had our first child (my 5th) in 2006. I didn't skip a beat and continued with school. I could not have done it without my husband's support. I was still working full time. I was expecting my 6th child when I graduated with my MAE in Early Childhood Education (concentration Infant / Toddler Development) in 2007. I landed a really good job working in early Intervention and gave birth a month later. I worked full time for nearly the next four years. Along the way I had my 7th child. While I was pregnant with him I got the itch to go back to school. I was offered a scholarship to become a Special Education teacher at the graduate level. I tried that but I just was not into it. I never really wanted to work with school aged children anyway. I stopped halfway into my first semester. I would love to get my Ph.D one day but I just can't find a program I like. It would be so cool to be called Dr. Susan one day. Earlier this year I completed my training as a CLC (certified lactation counselor). I have always been a big advocate for breastfeeding. Now I am a trained breastfeeding professional. This past summer I wanted to work part time instead of full time. That wonderful job in Early Intervention was a full time gig and they did not have any part time positions for my job so I walked away from it. I still work in Early Intervention as a contract provider. I get to spend a lot more time with my family this way. We had to downsize a bit but we are making it. But, the question is still what do I want to be when I grow up? A circle in my life has come around again. I have been looking at nursing school again. I am only 9 classes away from becoming an RN. But, I am so not a mainstream individual. I am not sure I could follow all of those rules. I am constantly being drawn back into the birth community. I started doula training again. This time I felt with my background and training and my own special talents that I would be best suited as a Post Partum Doula. I have 2 years to complete the program. I am well on my way. Another route I am drawn to is the one that would take me further into the birth community as a Midwife. This time I am looking at becoming a CPM (certified professional Midwife). They cannot practice legally in Alabama but they are recognized and respected in other states. Alabama Birth Coalition is trying to help change the law so they can practice legally here. Maybe after my training I will be able to help the mothers in Alabama who wish a safer more family centered method of care for the childbearing years. I have the opportunity to start Midwifery training next year. But is that what I really want to be when I grow up????????