It’s never too late to follow your dreams!
I have lots of people contact me on my Instagram page, saying they would love to be a midwife, but they think having children and responsibilities already means they have left it too late to start university. My response to this is “it’s never too late to become a midwife”!
Ok, so you may not have done things the conventional way, but why should that stop you? It certainly didn’t stop me, and I waited 13 years to start this journey.
The thing with being a midwife is that it really does need people from all different points in their lives to bring varying experience and views to the profession.
Us older students have often had jobs before, we have our own homes, with a husband/wife (or not) and usually children. We bring so much life experience to the role! At this point in our lives we know what we want, and we won’t compromise on anything less. This serious for us.
So, if you are wanting to become a midwife but you don’t know how to go about it, this will just give you a quick idea on where to start and that it is possible.
To study midwifery you need GCSE’s in English, Maths and Science at a C grade or above.
I didn’t have a C grade in science, and this stopped me ‘going for it’ all those years ago! If you don’t have GCSE’s to meet the requirements contact your local adult education centre and see if they offer these courses for free.
You then need A-Levels or an equivalent qualification, preferably relevant to midwifery. If you have a qualification at this level, contact your local university admissions team and talk to them about whether it would be considered.
I undertook an online access course which gave me enough UCAS points to apply for university. It also had enough biology components to cover my lack of GCSE science (again check this with the university you want to apply to). It meant once my littlen was in bed, I could study. I hadn’t written an academic essay since 1999 and I had no idea how to reference my work, but the tutors were contactable if I needed them and skype was an option too.
If money is something that is stopping you from applying, I completely understand. It is a huge worry when you have bills to pay and need to put food on the table.
With the NHS bursary now no longer available and having to pay for our tuition fees, I rely on a student finance loan from the government. This covers both the fees and gives me money to live off. This is all means tested.
This will need to be paid back, unless by some amazing miracle, things change, BUT if you have a look on the Martin Lewis website, he is great at explaining how you pay it back. It is minimal and so worth it in my opinion.
If you have children, you can apply for financial help towards childcare. Again, it is means tested, but if you qualify for it, any childcare you need to be able to study will be paid for (or helped towards).
There is a Child Dependants Allowance that you can apply for through the NHS and as long as you have a child and you are in receipt of student finance, you will qualify for it. It is £1000 that you don’t have to pay back…… hurrah!
Both my parents and my in-laws live 30 minutes away, plus both sets still work full time, so we don’t really have any family support around to help with childcare too often. My husband runs his own business and pretty much works from 6am until 10pm, so placement hours can be hard to juggle. We have a babysitter who is a neighbour’s daughter/family friend, which is a huge help.
Mum guilt sets in a lot, my son may go to bed unbathed due to the rush of meeting deadlines and I often go to bed hours after my husband, but……. IT IS ALL SO WORTH IT!
If midwifery is your dream don’t let your age, education levels or responsibilities put you off. The profession needs people who are passionate about being a midwife and that is you.