I wish I had a doula for parenting.
Parenting is not easy. In fact it is the hardest thing I have EVER, and most likely will EVER, do. It is altogether incredible, amazingly rewarding, and horribly frustrating at the same time. I find myself flip-flopping between a mixture of Mrs. Huxtable and Homer Simpson. At one moment I am elated and overcome by the beauty and joy of having children, and in the next instant I want to ring their necks!
In particularly hard moments, when they have most challenged me, I would love to have a doula!
My parenting doula would help me stay present & strong. She would remind me that this is only temporary and it soon will pass. And while parenting doesn't come with instructions she would support my choices and encourage me to continue on, and have patience for myself and what is to come.
When I felt doubt or confusion, my parenting doula would give me suggestions & offer advice when things got really frustrating and challenging. When I felt like screaming or running away and locking myself in the bathroom, she would refocus and empower me to meet that challenge and not run away from it (or them).
My parenting doula would inspire me to get out of bed when I just wanted to sleep. Children tend to raise with the sun and knowing that you have littles ones running amuck can make you want to pull the covers over your head and hide from the day's overwhelming work of constant "I wants." When I felt this way, she would remind me of all the little moments that make parenting so worthwhile.
My parenting doula would be by my side through the tough times because sometimes being a mother can feel terribly lonely. She would chat with me about non-parenting things since sometimes I can go a whole day without speaking to another adult. Our conversations would refocus me and make me feel human again.
She would help me feel confident in the decisions I make because a lot of the time parenting feels like you're just "wingin' it". There are so many decisions & choices to make as a parent, and I don't have all the answers. My parenting doula would recongnize this giving me support and reassurance.
She would remind me to eat, and maybe, make me a meal or bring me a snack because there are many a day that I have made, fed, and cleaned breakfast, lunch, and dinner for everyone but myself. Mommy is not so effective when she has low blood sugar.
My parenting doula would give me permission and encourage me to give myself self care without feeling guilty. Take a walk, shower, read a book, or just sit. She would remind me that I am important, maybe even more so, because if mommy isn't her best then everyone suffers.
If I could hire a doula for parenting, I wouldn't feel so overwhelmed with running a household & running a business. She would share the hats I wear and make me feel like I have been effective and accomplished many tasks throughout the day rather then feeling defeated if I did not finish my “to do” list.
She would never let me give up hope for myself as a mother, and she would discourage all the self doubting language that can plague my mind. My parenting doula would boost my confidence in being the mother that I am rather then obsessing about the mother I think I should be.
Most importantly, she would see me. She would not judge or place expectations on me. She would't care what state of cleanliness my home was in or how much laundry there was to be done. Or whether my hair was fixed up. She would just listen when I needed it and give me a hug when I felt under-appreciated and taken advantage of by the little amazing humans in my life. She would understand the love & hate relationship of raising children and give me the validation that all mothers need every once in a while to feel like they are doing a great job.
Doulas provide educational, emotional, and physical non-judgemental support in pregancy, birth and postpartum. Wouldn't it be lovely to have such support in all areas of our lives!