Our girls are staggered in ages-her oldest is two ahead of my oldest and her youngest is also about two years ahead of my youngest. As it turned out, hers had gone to the bathroom and returned safe and sound. We all met in the cereal aisle and talked about how the mom had been afraid to let them go by themselves and the oldest was tugging at having the freedom. My point……what is my point? I am glad I live in a rural community.
I am glad that the other mom is part of the village that has a hand in helping me raise my kids, and I am happy to be a part of hers. I have a large family and lots of close family friends. I am ever so grateful that they like/love my kids and are willing to help shepherd them through life as they grow and learn. I am a strong believer in having a sense of community.
I suppose that is why I have become a “4-H MOM.” I also think it is one of the reasons I am a doula. Becoming a parent was never meant to be an isolated event. We humans are social creatures. When we are miserable with morning sickness, we are supposed to talk to the members of our village to find out what to do to keep from puking all day long. As the birth approaches and we worry about how a new human is going to change the emotional dynamics, the physical dynamics and the financial dynamics of our current relationships, we should be looking to those in our village that have been there and done that for reassurance and advice. And then labor starts.
Your life mate is the most perfect person in the world to provide you with emotional support. Even physical support. Even with informational support. BUT……to ask anybody to do all three at one time, let alone do a good job at all three, is asking a lot. Your mate is worried about you, worried about the baby, wants to rest, wants to eat, wants this roller coaster called labor to come to an end. Your mate wants to be your hero and make it all better ASAP. Enter the doula.
We can do all three, and most of the time we do a pretty good job at all. What we like even more is having help. We are good at seeing what is working and making it better. If your mate is providing excellent emotional support, we focus on the physical and the informational support aspects of our job. If your mate is an excellent advocate for your desires and knows all the right questions to ask, then we focus more on emotional and physical support. We keep our doula instincts tuned in to all three as the function I serve as a doula often fluctuates with that of your mate as you progress through the different stages of your labor.
Doulas set the stage for you to accept help from your village. I am happy to know that there are many members of my village keeping an eye on my kids, just as I am keeping an eye on theirs.
Many thanks to my editor, "K", without her there would be no commas. ~ Anne