I've had a number of friends who are in basically the same situation with me: mothers of young (or frequently homeschooling) children who also have a passion for birth and a desire to *someday* be a midwife. I've been trying to take it slow, but also seriously. Its a constant balancing act but with the mentoring of the midwife I was able to apprentice with, I saw a way that it could be done. My preceptor basically did just what we are attempting to do now, but she was doing it 25 years ago.
The following is a list based what I've learned from her example and my limited experience in the area. I like the way that I have entered the field so far. I personally feel like direct entry midwifery and training through apprenticeship is the way to go for mothers who do not feel that full, or even part time schooling will work for their family or their budget.
I've also included the approximate cost of the things I can.
1) Read, take notes, outline and annotate Holistic Midwifery Vol 1 and Vol 2 by Anne Frey (about $290 on amazon). Also get the Diagnostic Manual and Healing Passage (another $200)
2) Take a class on birth assisting or midwifery skills lab. Birth Assistants NW has a good class but the AAMI Skillslab is also really good. ($450)
3) Watch midwifery skills training videos like those from BirthJoy Midwifery.
4) Take NRP, CPR, AIDS/bloodborne pathogens training. Karen Strange's class is basically the only way to go and that is $220. CPR for Professionals is about $100
5) Start apprenticing with a midwife.
6) Work towards CPM designation through NARM.
7) Take additional classes/workshops/seminars (doula training, breastfeeding education, Rebozo, herbs, emergency skills, etc.) Classes are generally somewhere between $40 and can be upwards of $400-500. Keep a record of all trainings in a portfolio.
8) Take any additional classes required by the state for licensure (this may become the case in Washington state if certain advocacy efforts are successful).
I love the work at your own pace nature of this approach and how one can shift focus at any time. Right before I got pregnant with Elizabeth, I felt like it was a good time to share my time between my children and my work/training. Now with a new baby in the house, I'm obviously taking some time off, but I will soon be trying to take on a lesser load than I had when I was pregnant.
During my apprenticeship (I don't want to believe that its over, but I think it might be for now...), I felt so awkward every time I was asked what my plans for becoming a midwife are. It has been a process to really own the answer that feels the most correct for me. Maybe sometime soon I will be able to answer with confidence that I am a midwife in training on the 10-20 year plan to starting my own practice and becoming licensed. However, given how fulfilling my experiences during my pregnancy were, it just feels right to do it that way.
Who knows maybe that could be accomplished in 5 years? It will be interesting to see what the future brings...