I hated every day of school and left it as soon as I could. This was in 1972 and I felt like life could finally begin and I could do what I wanted most, namely working with animals. I started out as a groomer at Aalborg Racecourse, where I took care of race horses for about a year and a half. It was wonderful. But in thoughtful moments, I felt an awareness of that I could not do this the rest of my life, so I found an alternative and more interesting way to go to school than the ordinary high school. I completed a pre-universe diploma as part of a two-year course at The Traveling High School.
During these years I learned a lot. Among other things, I learned to repair old buses; to communicate in sign-language with Tuaregs in the Sahara; to do exams; and not least, I learned that I myself was not the only and not the most important person in the world. I learned something about society, and I learned a lot about inequality in Denmark as well as in the wider world.
I did not use my pre-university diploma for a few years, but in 1980 I started at Midwifery School in Aalborg. It was a great time – demanding and rewarding. After only two weeks in the first internship at the delivery ward, I was so affected by my new environment that I wanted to be a mother. So as an ‘experiment’ during my studies I had my first child. And since then I have had another two wonderful children.
Osteoarthritis in my back put an end to my active midwifery work in the homes (I love home births!) and at the delivery ward, and I had to choose a new direction. As the social aspects of family formation and the relationship with the pregnant women and their families had always been the most interesting part of the profession for me, I chose to study social work. Immediately after completing my degree I started my Masters in social work, while also getting part-time jobs as a social worker at Aalborg Hospital across both the maternity/gynecological ward and the patient associations office. Later, I also worked as a social worker in a council’s family department and with rehabilitation.
But – once a midwife, always a midwife. With my Master completed, I was qualified for a job as a lecturer at the Midwifery School in Aalborg, where I mainly taught social subjects; philosophy of science and social law. I had a break in the employment of almost two years, where I took a degree as a social educator after having taught as a freelance teacher at the Social Educator programs in Ranum and Aalborg and also had edited several textbooks for this degree.
While I was teaching at Midwifery School, I took a PhD in which I researched how pregnant woman navigate high-tech society with its strong focus on risk and the many possibilities that one has to decide on during pregnancy.
With my PhD completed I joined the task of starting Denmark’s first (and so far only) Master’s degree in midwifery science at the University of Southern Denmark with a set of excellent colleagues. It was exciting and very meaningful, but commuting from Northern Jutland to Fyn was becoming too difficult. Moreover, it was only a part-time job, so I also taught, supervised students and did jobs as a scientific assistant at the Department of Sociology and Social Work at Aalborg University. My working life became too fragmented and I needed to focus my energy into one place.
I found this at the social worker degree programme at University College in Holstebro, where I started as a lecturer in 2016. Interrupted by 1½ years as a coordinator of the voluntary work at a hospice in Aalborg, I taught there until I decided to finish permanent employment in the summer of 2019. It has been a great life in the labour market. But now I have had more time to decide for myself what to do and to write and edit books. I have a strong relationship with the publisher Samfundslitteratur on textbooks.