Before I was a doula, I worked in the addiction and mental health field for almost 8 years. My job, working in the jails of Edmonton AB or the outreach programs in Hamilton, ON, left me feeling full. I woke up ready to take on the day and went to bed tired but grateful for the tiny amount of change I had made. When I got pregnant with Charlie, it never occurred to me that I wouldn't return to my job again. Thinking back, I guess a part of me had always known I wouldn't return to my old work because I had already enrolled in and completed my doula training.
As businesses go, work is typically slow to start. I hustled day-in and day-out, trying desperately to get The Doula Tree off the ground. And in between caring for a baby and staring at this computer screen, I guess I started to feel a little hopeless. So picture this, a new mom with a fussy baby, sits at home with no plans and no real adult conversations. She's lost a HUGE part of her identity when she couldn't return to her job and the job she is trying to create is going no-where fast. Her body? Yeah, that's not really hers anymore either. She's up 3 times a night with a baby that doesn't sleep very well, attached to her breast that a tiny dictator has recently taken ownership of. Most people she knows says how lucky she is to stay at home with the baby all day, even reminding her how they have a "real job' to attend 5 days a week.
Staying at home with your kids is hard, working the 9-5 is hard, being away from your baby all day is hard and so is having them attached to you. BEING A PARENT is hard. My point of this blog is to point out that your friend who didn't have to return to work may have wanted to. Even though she loves her baby unconditionally, she may also feel overwhelmed, under appreciated, like a community cow, understaffed, claustrophobic, touched out & judged by Becky from "Natural Moms of [insert your county here]' for whatever the bad parenting choice is this week.
Be kind to the mom at home. Make the drive, bring the food, take the baby, get her the pedicure, buy the wine. Let's get her back to feeling full.
Disclaimer, now that The Doula Tree is busy, I still feel bad. I've gone from feeling guilty about wanting more 'me' time, to feeling guilty about having a sometimes hectic work schedule. I can't win! If you're looking for a reason to get out of the house, want to meet some awesome new people or need to register your baby and/or toddler for fun programming, please visit www.thevillagenorfolk.com to check out our upcoming classes.
Britt - SAHM/Bad Ass Mother Helper.