Something is in the air. Thanksgiving is over and instead of comfy pants, a whole slew of people have put on their judgy pants.
Let me digress a moment...
I have had the pleasure of serving as a Postpartum Doula for a lovely family this past week. I put my daughter to bed, I drive to their house, I spend the next 10 hours there, and I come home to my daughter eating breakfast. She rushes toward me when I come in the door and gives me a huge hug. "Mommy's home!"
This week, I was even able to witness my best friend become a mother and have her whole life change by that love. Birth doula and Postpartum doula. That's me.
Both of the mothers I've been with are strong and capable women, and they have already had to make decisions that impacted their babies. Induction? Epidural? Supplement with formula? Pacifiers? Feed every 2 hours? Every 3? Every 4?
Parents make decisions. Most try to make the best ones they can. And it's their right to do so.
This year, I have been growing a new baby - my business in a new city. It is a slow process. Every day comes with decisions on how to best encourage its growth and how to best serve my clients. See, just like I try to instill self-esteem in my daughter, one of my jobs is to ensure that I'm instilling good self esteem in my business.
But just like my decisions as a parent have sometimes come under ridicule, recently, I've received comments questioning some of my business decisions. Not because they are bad, but because they are different and not in line with what has come in the past.
So let me take some time to tell you about me.
I am a business woman. I am a mother that is providing for her family. I am a mother that talks about birth, work, responsibility, and loving yourself, and walks that talk.
The work I do happens to be in a field where there is a tremendous amount of emotion, close bonds and instant connection, and a level of intimacy that is uncommon between non-medical persons.
I am extremely dedicated to my clients and my business. I am committed to providing superb service. One of the reasons I am able to do this is that I have learned and understand that I cannot be emotionally attached to an outcome in birth, and I cannot impart my opinion on your parenting style.
I've written before about offering non-judgmental support. I cannot be both supportive and opinionated. For the service I provide and the support you receive, I in turn receive payment. Just like the care provider receives payment for catching your baby.
The *BONUS* is that this is incredibly rewarding work. I get to be present for women becoming mothers. There is nothing like it! But I know you understand that I can't pay my bills with warm, fuzzy feelings.
I have come to understand this and I make no apologies for being upfront about how unemotional I am with a mother's decisions at her birth.
I am emotional, don't get me wrong. I am right there with you in contractions, with the pain, and with the joy. My heart lifts when your eyes light up with your first view of your baby. My eyes tear up when something that has been wanted for so long is really happening. I am attuned to your experience.
But being unemotional about your choices allows me to provide the quality, non-judmental, support that doulas are hired to provide.
Because after I leave a birth or leave a family after hard over-night feedings with twins, I have to go home. My little girl is waiting for me and wants to give me a big hug. I want to play blocks, and ballerina, and bookstore with her and not be emotionally attached to a birth that was not my birth. I had my birth.
You deserve to have yours with no strings attached.
I reserve the right to have good self esteem, both personally and for my business, and so does every woman in Chicago.
Authored by A Swift Doula