Tuesday, March 14, 2017

As the calendar fills...

Sounds like some crazy soap opera title, doesn't it?

The planner here is filling in...vet trips to finish up, dental visits for everyone, schooling for the kids, planning some field trips, my own schooling between herbal classes, CPR/First certifying, doula certifications, a couple of clients to work with, a much-needed Doula retreat weekend coming up (and a detour coming home to visit with the menfolk at their job)...the calendar fills with colored notes and I get an anxious feeling. Not necessarily a bad one, but not always a comforting one.

I must admit, I have my doubts as to if I truly want to do any of this some days. I miss our old days here. Simple Living isn't easy, and it's definitely busy, but it's family. I don't feel that when I'm away from home forging new roads and the like. I miss it. We aren't that Plain and Simple family that we once were. The dresses-only and head coverings are all but fully replaced with skirts and modest shirts now. Honestly, in this new direction of doula and such, I don't believe there would be any work for me dressed in my Plain clothes. I know from far too much past experience I would not see acceptance from the Amish and Mennonite community, and I certainly wouldn't find clients in the rest of local society dressed that way.  For me, the dress change, the doula work...none of this works to make me a better 'fit' with my community. It actually appears to be isolating me more than I already was.

And you know me, the second guessing starts creeping in with all of this and I wonder if it's worth any of the effort. Of course as soon as that happens I start seeing validation totally supporting those doubts in my mind.

I recently shared online in a couple of groups that I was feeling a bit lost at connecting with any local doulas. Reading so many groups, I've seen what is apparently a culture of 'competition' among a lot of doulas. Sadly, it's quite a universal thread that runs among every area. There are some who are resistant to those coming in, some resistant to those in bordering areas where they themselves serve, some have already formed "associations" or co-ops and don't feel they need to extend a connection to anyone outside that. One of the biggest themes I've seen and had pointed out to me is that there are apparently some certifying organizations that outright shun anyone from a different certifying background. Dare to say you aren't charging a fee and you can almost hear the torches and pitchforks being gathered on some groups.

What is wrong with these themes? It appears that doula services are considered quite boutique and exclusive in a lot of areas. Those who believe in charging the full fee acceptable in the area are often (no, of course not always...) quite vocal against those who are willing to charge less, or brazen enough to offer free services. It just as often runs the opposite with those offering free services being outspoken against those who refuse even a sliding scale approach.

Doesn't every woman who wants a doula deserve a doula? Does it...should it...even matter if there are doulas offering free services and doulas charging the full amount in the same area?

Apparently it does matter to a lot of people. There have been downright heated and nasty arguments online over one sharing their website and being torn apart for not charging as much as others in the same area. Some will band together with their sliding scale or free services and attack those who are charging high end fees. I'm not talking adults sharing opinions, I'm talking outright ugly comments about the opposite opinion.

Yes, I posted something about having trouble making connections locally with the existing doula community. It's not that there's in-fighting here, I was just extending some 'feelers' and not getting a response. Apparently that got around and several have since messaged a hello, even suggested a new client to me.  Of course I feel like the idiot cousin now.

And it fuels those second guessing moments.

Still, I'm hardly a shrinking violet type. If I make connections that would be great. I would love to have a relationship, share some networking, etc with fellow area birthworkers here. We have so many moms in need in this state, especially I would think, in my northern area. There is room for many more doulas.

That aside, I keep moving forward

1 comment:

Greg and Donna said...

I can imagine offering some free services to clients who need that "cost" would rankle some folks ~ but that's their problem! I am sure you will do amazingly well. Making the connections locally will probably take time! I will be praying for you!


Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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