TIME - a doula's musings on a life-consuming word
|Posted by Stephanie Hayes on June 6, 2012 at 5:15 PM|
As I sit here tallying homeschool grades that need to be submitted by the end of the week, I am acutely aware of how quickly time passes. It wasn’t that long ago that my teenagers were just babies, and these days of high school and summer jobs weren’t even a blip in my thoughts of the future. Now, as I live them, I often wonder where the day went as I compare my aspirations with what actually was successfully eliminated from my daytimer.
When I consider what fills my life these days, it is not diapers and naps and breastfeeding, or frantically searching for my young daughter when she spontaneously decided to visit our friendly neighbour for cookies. Nor is it teaching my 5 year-old to ride a bike without training wheels, or begging God for patience as I go over the process of long division with a child for the one hundredth time in the same lesson. (What better way to gain appreciation for one’s own mother!) I still require patience on a daily basis, and there are still many teachable moments – life is full of those, but the daily events surrounding these lessons look quite different than when my children were little people.
As I ponder my daily activities, there is a reason why my kids know that the first place to look for me is in the office. Aside from the many responsibilities related to administrating our home life and our children’s education, much of my work as a doula also occurs in this room. It is here that I do research and paperwork, document birth stories, reply to emails, and connect with the birthing community not only locally, but even worldwide thanks to the internet and social media. My work goes far beyond simply attending births and cuddling new babies. It occurs in the home and encompasses community events and organizations. It involves sharing information to raise awareness about birth options and the role of a doula. It encourages women to take ownership of their births, and to empower themselves to make choices that reflect good information and their personal desires. It’s about re-educating our society in its view of modern birth and restoring a trust in the natural process. It goes into the realm of labour to provide reassurance, physical comfort, and support. And the believing in a woman is paramount while being there for her as she navigates through her individual journey of motherhood.
Doula work covers such a broad spectrum that it is no wonder my day is easily absorbed by an enlightening article or in searching for a new video clip to add to my Facebook page. Or that I become engrossed in responding to a birth or breastfeeding question, visiting a client, or attending an organizational meeting within the Muskoka communities. And then, of course, there are always the births. Momentous occasions that invariably play havoc with a well-planned schedule because babies come in their own time. And there again we move full circle to that one life-riveting word – TIME.