THE MONDAY MORNING CARE PROVIDER

Have you ever heard of a Monday morning quarterback? The definition, according to yourdictionary.com, is “a person who, after the event, offers advice or criticism concerning decisions made by others; one who second-guesses”. There’s another saying that goes hand-in-hand with it….”Hindsight is 20/20”

Before I had children, I was the perfect parent! I truly was! I had all of the answers to parental problem…and if these parents just followed my brilliant and perfect ideas and suggestions then they, too, would have perfect children just like I knew I was going to have! Being consistent is the key, if they know that this behavior will result in this punishment then they will stop doing that behavior…don’t let them rule the roost…never feed them junk food, don’t respond to whining, not too much television. That temper tantrum is the parents’ responsibility because they obviously are doing something wrong.

(if you aren’t laughing, then you aren’t a parent!)

I now have 5 children and have learned (often times painfully) that each child is different and requires an individual response. What works for one child fails miserably with a different child. We, as parents, do the best we can in the situation we find ourselves…knowing that we will not always be right, but praying that we are right more often than we are wrong. We make decisions for our children out of love and struggle every day with that damn hindsight, praying that it’s kind to us. (and find out that sometimes that 30 minute television program is a Godsend!)

Now that I’m a parent, I find myself humbled and offering ‘options’ and ‘suggestions’ rather than advice to other parents. Instead of, “you should do X and it will fix your problem”, I will respond with, “I dunno….with one of my kids I did X and one of them I did Y…I dunno what you should do with your child…”

In my professional life, however, I see SO MANY Monday morning care providers (MMCP). Is it really any different? Each client/patient requires individual consideration; individual responses…what works for one won’t work for another. We struggle with every decision, praying that we are right much more than we are wrong, acting out of the best of intentions. We are human and are doing the best we can. (yes, I know that there are some cold hearted jerks who have no business being involved with the public at all – but there are also horribly neglectful and abusive parents. I’m not talking about them…I’m talking about the rest of us.)

Why is it that in this profession the prevalence of finger-pointing and MMCP is so high that it’s staggering. Us vs. them….blogs condemning OB’s, blogs condemning homebirths, position papers outlining why midwifery is aweful, papers talking about the horrible OB outcomes…but it even goes into US vs US!! I’m a midwife, and I regularly see midwives crossing their arms and saying, “Well, *I* wouldn’t have done THAT with MY clients….”, looking down their noses.

I choose to believe that every single person who goes into midwifery, studies her butt off, sacrifices and cries and gives so much of herself to this profession…I choose to believe that she has the best of intentions and acts according to what she truly feels is best for her clients. We may have different philosophies, different approaches, different experiences that we bring to the table….but the one thing we have in common is that we care for our clients and are doing the best we can to help them have the best outcome possible.

We are like parents…we may have different philosophies on raising our children and make different decisions, but we all are coming from the same place with the same goals…to give our children the best possible chance of being happy healthy adults.

I believe all care providers love their clients (or I believe they SHOULD)…and I believe that all of us want the best possible outcome for our clients both medically and emotionally. It’s so easy to sit back and judge – especially when there is a bad outcome!! We struggle quickly to find the things we would have done differently because then maybe that wouldn’t have happened to us….but the truth is that whether the outcome was the same or different, you would have done the same thing that midwife did….which is the best you could in the situation you were given.

I love my sister midwives…including my sister CNM’s (I am a licensed midwife which means that in my state I do only homebirths. CNM’s in my state do hospital births.) I think it takes a special heart to become a midwife, and I respect each and every midwife that I have met. This is not to say that I agree with them (or that they agree with me)…and I am always open to and welcome gentle offering of experience and suggestions…but just like as parents we welcome stories of experience, please don’t look down your nose at someone just because they did something you wouldn’t have done. You don’t know that your way would have had any better of a result!

To my fellow care providers (midwives and OB’s)….I respect you. I may not agree with you, but I respect you and believe that you are doing the best you can in the situation you are in (medically, legally, emotionally). I love my community and strive to be a positive force in it…not a negative or judgmental force…and I pray that you do the same.

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