Loving Support WBW 2016

The IBCLC Journey

Hey all!  So, I missed last month completely. Sorry for that. I'm sure you all can relate to how crazy busy it can get around this time of year.
I have exciting news to share with my readers:
     I am officially a certified lactation counselor!

To anyone who is interested in the program and looking into getting certified, let me give you a quick run down of the process. I went through the Healthy Children Project certification training course in October. It was a week (5 days) of classes that took all day and we were thoroughly educated on everything from basic female anatomy to counseling techniques to assessing a good latch. To say it was intense is a bit of an understatement. Imagine attending school full time, no... Imagine attending school double the full time credits for a week, then add homework every night onto that plus group practice work in and out of the classroom. Then a final exam on the afternoon of the last day after your last lesson is crammed into your brain during the morning of that same day. FUN!
So, as you can assume, there is no life to have during that week; especially if you take on a 2 hour round trip commute each of those days as I did. My family suffered through with a shell of a wife and mother whose mind was distracted and body was exhausted. The house suffered as well since its main keeper was preoccupied... the laundry was at mountainous proportions by time the weekend came. If you can prepare yourself ahead of time for all of that, you will be able to focus all of your efforts on learning and passing that exam. Now, the exam is no joke. It's a 2 part exam divided between a multiple choice part and a video assessment part. As challenging as the multiple choice questions could be, the video assessment was truly nerve racking!! You get 3- 30 second chances each to see the right and wrong of 2 different latches, you are stuck with what the camera can show you... Challenging!!! But not impossible. :)
 It's one week of major sacrifice and dedication but you'll emerge with an immense wealth of fresh knowledge and confidence in how to support these lactating moms on a whole new level! And if you do well, you get a piece of paper that legitimizes your hard work and a few initials you get to add to the end of your name. So, there you have it! This is an ideal program for doulas, midwives, nurses, WIC employees, pediatricians, obgyn's, daycare workers, and anyone who works with pregnant/lactating women and/or babies on a regular basis. Also great for anyone who is interested in gaining more knowledge in the realm of breast milk/ breastfeeding in general!

Next stop on the certification train, IBCLC!!!! Woot Woot!

Let me start out by saying that this post will be written in frustration; Reader BEWARE.

Among several other pieces of bad news I've received in the last few days, I have recently been informed that my CLC training has been cancelled and I will need to reschedule at a new time and location, possibly even in a new state. You may or may not have known that I 'm in current pursuit to become certified in my field, ultimately to become an IBCLC. But as some of you may be well acquainted with, becoming certified in anything basically means that you've been a designated hoop jumper for several years and have jumped through enough of them that you get to add some initials to the end of your name.Best of all, those initials are usually temporary and required hoops need to be jumped every few years to keep them! Isn't that wonderful? For me, this process has been ongoing for almost 3 years now. There is little to no clarification as to how to obtain all the requirements to be able to even sit for the exam, and I have chosen to take baby steps so as not to miss anything; acquiring other certifications along the way.
Fighting for my job to pay for some of the expenses hasn't exactly been fun, however my boss is super supportive and actually somehow convinced her boss to approve payment of my CLC training and certification. No cheap feat. Over the last several months we've worked on getting time, location, travel expenses, and the like, approved. It's a slow go but I was seeing the light at the end of the tunnel as my registered July dates were nearing. And as one door opens another one closes.
Then, I got the call... the call I should have at least half expected: "I'm sorry, ma'am but the CLC training you were registered for has been cancelled. Would you like to reschedule?" 
Never mind that I had to get my husband to get approved corresponding vacation time with that week as I'd be staying in an area about 3 hours from where we live.We have 2 young boys and low funds. What were we supposed to do?!
 Every move toward progress is a serious struggle of a juggle between family, personal, academic, and, of course, actual paid work time.It's a trying, exhausting, complicated venture to be a dedicated mom and wife and still pursuit your dreams and goals. Any woman who has attempted to do so, knows that I speak the truth. And any wife and mother who puts her dreams on hold for her family can imagine and understand the difficulty of which I speak. Frustration upon frustration. Anyway, I'm prepping myself for the next hoop to jump for these people. And you wanna know why? Because I am determined. I am able. I am a woman! Hear me ROOAAARRRR!!!! ;)

How about you? Any experiences out there about juggling/pursuing your career as a family woman that you'd like to share? Any tips to maintaining your sanity in the process? Please share, I'd love to hear from you!

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